What to Consider When Choosing a SASE Vendor

SASE technology can be quite complex. There are a wide range of SASE vendors available. Find out what to consider when choosing the best SASE vendors.

Bob Wallace, Contributor

July 11, 2023

3 Min Read
cloud security

Simply stated, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud architecture model that combines network and cloud-based security framework to provide secure access to network services from anywhere. A plethora of offerings are now available from SASE vendors.

Those offerings cover a wide range of technologies and service models. And the SASE vendors include many familiar companies who, in the past, have provided SD-WAN, networking security, and endpoint security solutions. Here is our guide to help you sort through those offerings and pick a SASE vendor that is right for your enterprise needs.

What's Accelerating SASE Demand?

Demand for a cybersecurity architecture rose in part because of the explosion of office workers who shifted to work from home or hybrid plans as we move through the COVID years. Combine that shift with the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which committed $45 billion to provide broadband to all (sites), and you have a broadening sea of devices to support and applications to access. Climbing broadband access speeds are helping feed the fire.

Supporting work-from-home and work-from-anywhere approaches and new sites supercharges the need to provide secure remote access to data and applications. Add in the use of SaaS offerings, cloud services, and IoT devices, and SASE becomes an alluring solution, so researching the best SASE companies is critical.

Related:Feeling SASE? A Complete Guide to Secure Access Service Edge

SASE written in clouds


Why Knowing the Right SASE Features Is Important

One of the challenges those new to SASE technology often encounter is that solutions can be quite complex as they are made up of many discrete elements. One way to better understand what SASE is and what it does is to look at those elements.

The elements within most offerings and assembled solutions fit into two categories. There are WAN Edge Services and Security Service Edge (SSE) elements. Functionally, there are five main pillars of SASE. They are SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), and zero trust network access (ZTNA).

Many SASE vendors don't yet have the full stack of features, and some partner with other companies to fill the gaps. There are traditional internet and WAN service providers who are now bundling endpoint security offerings with their WAN connectivity services. Another class of vendors is the remote access companies, like those that provide VPNs, edge routers, and more. Some are partnering with endpoint security vendors and WAN service providers to deliver SASE services. And finally, there are the traditional access security vendors. These are companies that offer firewalls, zero-trust access, and other offerings. Again, some of these vendors are now partnering with others to round out their offerings into a full SASE service.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

About the Author(s)

Bob Wallace

Contributor, Network Computing

A veteran business and technology journalist, Bob Wallace has covered networking, telecom, and video strategies for global media outlets such as IDG and UBM. He has specialized in identifying and analyzing trends in enterprise and service provider use of enabling technologies. Most recently, Bob has focused on developments at the intersection of technology and sports. A native of Massachusetts, he lives in Ashland. 

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