Invest in Security Now for Tomorrow's Challenges

Transitioning to simplified and scalable connectivity with SASE promises better protection for users and endpoints while optimizing performance

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Network security is forever a work in progress, but rapid changes in technology and fundamental changes to the nature of work over the past two years leave many organizations wondering if they can ever catch up.

Unmanaged endpoints are a new reality that are challenging conventional approaches to network perimeter security. New applications are being deployed rapidly, possibly without a full understanding of potential security blind spots. With a growing attack surface, IT organizations are struggling to integrate networking and security.

Safe and secure cloud migration

There are myriad tools offered to try and resolve these issues, yet too often they seem like just another set of point products, or complications, rather than a comforting multipurpose solution that delivers the three keys to safe cloud migration:

  • Simplicity – controls that make securing remote workers easy
  • Security – technology, capacity, and planning to secure the user and their applications, no matter their location
  • Scalability – the ability to scale up and down as needs change, or to add functionality as needed

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up business and society, Gartner proposed that enterprises aim to adopt a new network security framework that it labeled Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). This combines several network security functions such as SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and zero-trust network access into a cloud-delivered security architecture aimed at resolving the challenges of cloud and mobility.

“Because it’s a cloud service, SASE (pronounced “sassy”) can be readily scaled up and scaled down and billed based on usage,” says Network World. “As a result, it can be an attractive option in a time of rapid change.”

Getting from pre-SASE to post-SASE is not a simple, one-step implementation, but a journey, however. “Today, many organizations hold dozens of fragmented cybersecurity solutions to meet the ever-growing list of security needs and with the expectation of a more layered protection,” writes Cisco’s Shailaja Shankar. “However, these multi-vendor environments have the potential to widen security gaps instead of removing them.”

Infoworld columnist and cloud architect David Linthicum cautions that, “Security providers promote SASE as the answer, but the actual solutions are still evolving and implementations are few and far between.” Therefore, adopters are encouraged to partner with vendors with whom they can conduct the SASE implementation journey, over the course of its deployment.

Comprehensive approach

A key issue between the promise and realization of SASE is the ability to easily integrate services into a solution or set of solutions. Open APIs are essential to achieve the vision, as well as a broad ecosystem that let’s organizations chose the solutions that work best for their needs.

At the heart of Cisco’s SASE architecture, Cisco Umbrella delivers on that vision with flexible, cloud-delivered security when and how it’s needed. Delivered from a single cloud security service, Cisco Umbrella includes secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality, plus integration with Cisco SD-WAN

Cisco Umbrella aims to fulfill SASE aspirations with a cloud-native security service that unifies a variety of leading networking and security solutions. By consolidating services into a single platform that extends across users, devices, locations, and environments, Cisco Umbrella enables businesses to streamline just about every aspect of networking and security processes.

Learn more about how Cisco is driving the revolution of secure access everywhere at this link.


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