Hybrid working, rapid cloud adoption, and the rising usage of third-party software have raised cybersecurity concerns among enterprises in APAC. With greater connectivity, enterprises must secure their network including at the endpoints. Many are increasingly turning to network security frameworks like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
SASE, designed to mitigate the security challenges created by rapid digitalisation and interconnectedness, is a cloud-based enterprise security framework that provides networking and cybersecurity controls at the edge or as close to the user as possible. By moving controls to the edge, SASE provides centralised security management capabilities through a single pane of glass.
It improves user experiences by enhancing response times of cloud applications, regardless of the users’ location. Enterprises can increase visibility and control over the network security infrastructure by consolidating security and networking services using SASE.
Rather than granting access to any device or application trying to access your network, ZTNA grants the users access to only those applications or parts of the network that they need to perform their work, with the underlying principle that all access attempts are potentially compromised.
By limiting the visibility and access to the network for potential hackers, ZTNA limits an enterprise’s exposure to external threat. The advantages of ZTNA include the ability for companies to control access at the granular level with simplified security management and enhanced user experiences.
ZTNA vs SASE
The ZTNA security framework is particularly useful for organisations with a high level of security sensitivity. Meanwhile, SASE suits organisations looking for a comprehensive security framework.
SASE is recommended for organisations with complex IT environments, such as those with multiple offices, branches, and remote workers as well as those with multi- and hybrid cloud architecture. In such cases, SASE can provide a unified security solution across all locations, users and applications.
ZTNA focuses on limiting access to resources and is part of SASE, whereas SASE is a more multifaceted and comprehensive approach to security. When applied as single framework, they can enable enterprises to implement security measures at a granular level, specifically for applications and data.
Why SASE and ZTNA are meant to be together
SASE combines security services such as ZTNA, Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Secure Web Gateway (SWG) with network services such as Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) and WAN optimisation into a unified, cloud-native platform.
This means that instead of choosing between SASE and ZTNA, the adoption of SASE architecture itself provides organisations with the benefits of ZTNA, as well as a comprehensive suite of networking and security management capabilities within a simplified and scalable system.
This approach reduces reliance on multiple solutions for endpoint security, preventing network slowdown and complexity. SASE optimises network cost, while improving the enterprise’s network efficiency and security. As a subset, ZTNA offers enterprises enhanced control over access policies, simplicity, greater scalability, and heightened security measures.
Integrating and implementing SASE with ZTNA
So, how can organisations integrate and implement SASE with ZTNA? Here is a six-point path that organisations can follow for integrating, implementing, and managing these frameworks.
- Assess security needs: Determine specific security needs and address the foremost challenges. Identify the data and apps that need protection, the users who need access to those apps, as well as the networks and devices that need safeguarding.
- Choose the right vendors: Select vendors that offer ZTNA as part of their SASE solutions, and ensure compatibility with the existing network and security infrastructure.
- Define policies: Establish policies and guidelines such as user access control, device authorisation, and data protection.
- Implement ZTNA: Ensure that only authorised users and devices can access resources, regardless of their location or network, through ZTNA.
- Implement, test, and evaluate SASE: Implement, test, and evaluate the SASE solution to ensure that it is effective, efficient, and meets the organisation’s security needs.
- Monitor, maintain, and manage: Continuously monitor, maintain, and manage the integrated solution to ensure its ongoing effectiveness and alignment with the latest security threats and technologies.
For many enterprises today, the top focuses are to maximise their investments in the cloud and protecting their businesses against cyber threats. A trusted technology partner can assist you with reviewing your existing security framework and network architecture that supports your growth strategy.
Let’s start from your network! Get in touch with us to learn how transformative network solutions and SASE can help you simplify and secure your business.