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Is SASE the future of cybersecurity?

With the pandemic putting a strain on IT departments worldwide, the industry saw a massive shift towards the secure access service edge (SASE) solution. But is it here to stay?

Already by 2025, Gartner predicts that the SASE market will have reached almost $15 billion, at a CAGR of 36%. By the same year, cyberattacks will be costing companies - from big to small - $10.5 trillion per year.

As work turns hybrid and goes perimeter-less, running security from a centralized point becomes impossible. With users scattered across the world, networks, and access points, there is a higher need for a cloud-native approach.

Of course, good old traditional security methods, such as a VPN, a firewall, and an antivirus are all still viable solutions. But once you start upgrading your security to ensure that all areas are covered, you end up with an extremely complex and costly system. And quite frankly, many smaller businesses simply cannot afford it.

"Using different providers to fill out gaps in an organization's security architecture is not just difficult to do - for companies with small or non-existent IT departments, it's simply impossible,” said Donatas Tamelis, Managing Director at NordLayer.

To address those issues, pundits put a lot of trust in SASE - an easily scalable solution that can cover all areas of cybersecurity.

What is SASE?

Short for secure access service edge, SASE is an innovation in networking security. However, it’s not a new technology per se, but rather a combination of a variety of well-known and trusted technologies. It is a cloud-native solution that combines network security services and networking with the aim to minimize complexity, as well as improve speed and performance while not compromising security.

"SASE keeps networks protected against ever-evolving cyber threats without putting additional strains on a company's IT and other departments, and is effortlessly scalable," Tamelis told Nordlayer.

It optimizes an organization’s hardware systems, allowing employees to easily access them from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, SASE covers various areas of digital protection while ultimately reducing costs. Because of that, Gartner sees it as the future of IT security:

"The legacy perimeter must transform into a set of cloud-based, converged capabilities created when and where an enterprise needs them — that is, a dynamically created, policy-based secure access service edge."

What are the challenges to adopting SASE?

The primary challenges concerning the adoption of SASE will have to do with vendors and changing operating models at your organization.

Most companies likely have separate networking and security teams, meaning that SASE will require them to work cooperatively, leading to a change in the work culture. Furthermore, there are numerous requirements for the SASE model to be operational. Currently, almost no vendor provides SASE in its full scalability - but many are working in that direction. In the end, choosing the right - and only - vendor to put your trust in will also be a challenge.

Ultimately, Gartner predicts SASE becoming every company’s best friend, with “at least 40% of enterprises having explicit strategies to adopt SASE by 2024.”

"We see SASE being deployed across the industry, with companies big and small adjusting their offering according to the framework's blueprint," Tamelis shared. "We are a perfect example of the trend - our recent rebrand was in part to move beyond being just a business VPN provider. To stay protected in this cybersecurity climate, companies need to have access to a range of easily manageable, deployable, and interconnected tools."

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