Before the pandemic and the work-from-home world it created, and before there was a cute acronym to describe it, network and security vendors were working on ways to provide remote access securely and efficiently. Even now that it has become a buzzword, secure access service edge, or SASE, should be viewed as a means toward a greater end, says Raviv Levi, chief strategy officer for cloud and network security at Cisco.
"Users need to connect from everywhere. Applications are being run everywhere," Levi told Dark Reading's Terry Sweeney in this Edge Chat episode. "You need a certain cloud edge architecture in order to serve to efficiently serve all those users all those applications and achieve your business needs. The architecture that we as an industry came up with to address that is commonly called SASE today."
Levi emphasizes that the important thing is to meet business needs rather than implementing a particular set of technologies.
"Make sure that you're doing what's right for you," he says. "And if you decide that starting your SASE journey now is not a great fit, you don't have to do that."
Foremost, Levi says, companies should look at what their users need to do, which is often accessing software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and other network resources from their home office.
Building on that, he says, companies should look at how to support their users. For example, to accommodate remote workers, a company might want to refurbish its network security with a secure SD-WAN architecture. Implementing that measure sets up a company for full SASE rollout when it's ready for it.
"Let's use that opportunity in order to put the right building blocks in place so that gradually you have your SASE architecture and that you're future ready," Levi says.