How SASE redefines enterprise security

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Despite numerous macro and geopolitical issues vying for airtime in the board room, there isn’t an executive team on the planet today that isn’t talking about cybersecurity. Unrelenting cyberattacks, such as the recent MOVEit software breaches – that claimed victim to the likes of the BBC, British Airways, Boots and media watchdog Ofcom – have kept the topic high on the board’s agenda.

For IT professionals or those tasked with managing security, you may feel some relief that security responsibility has spread far beyond the walls of IT, across business lines and into the board room. But as the costs of goods, energy, transport, and staff rise, any relief will likely be tempered by increased scrutiny and pressure to justify security spending.

The knee-jerk reaction to tighten purse strings and cut cybersecurity spend is too much of a risk. Doing so can potentially open businesses up to a major attack that impacts their revenue, causing them to slip behind their competitors. However, after the number of cyber-attacks surged by more than a third last year, securing businesses from modern-day threats is vital. This is where investing in the right solutions to protect your IT infrastructure comes in.

Shifting your cybersecurity mindset

Although many companies see a crisis as the time to cut back on spend, security must be treated as the exception and businesses need to continuously invest in protecting their business. Security is an ongoing process, which must be done over and over to ensure a business is properly protected.

To be truly effective, an ongoing and proactive approach to risk needs two things: first, it must work on data which faithfully reflects the complex reality of the network, and second, it must have an approach to respond to discovered risks. There are, fortunately, a number of essential technologies that can help with this. For example, solutions like SASE offer the opportunity to ensure the future of enterprise connectivity with the highest level of security.

Cybersecurity begins and ends with SASE

For the uninitiated, SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) – pronounced “sassy” – is a networking and security technology that combines the software-based configurability of SD-WAN networks with enhanced security functions within a cloud-based service.

To me, SASE is more of a framework than a product, a strategic enabler that can improve network security while simplifying the management of dispersed networks. In today’s era of hybrid working where an organisation’s attack surface has expanded to include thousands of new devices and locations, organisations must be prepared for an attack from anywhere.

Plus, at a broader level, SASE enables greater security and business resilience with the added benefit of potentially reducing costs. It’s a cloud-based holistic strategy that provides unified security regardless of the location from all edge points with a central secure policy. Some SASE vendors also offer simpler hardware, with no chipset delay constraints so there’s no need to manage new security appliances, offering the dual benefit of a lower equipment cost and much faster deployment times.

Executives can be reluctant to free up budget on efforts to secure the business, but promoting the importance of investing in cybersecurity technologies like SASE is the right thing to do in today’s climate.

Staying ahead of the curve        

Beyond these tangible benefits, it all boils down to staying ahead of the competition. But keeping your place on the mountaintop is only half the battle. Staying there requires a commitment to continuous improvement and development. Solutions like SASE represent a wise investment into your overall security posture. By locking down your IT infrastructure, organisations can deprive attackers of their preferred routes to critical data and assets. Simultaneously, comprehensive security across all network endpoints, regardless of location or network connection will provide the fierce protection needed in an era of digital transformation and hybrid working.

It might not seem like it, but now is the time to invest while you can.