By Pravir Dahiya, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Teleservices Ltd
Enterprises are on a path to transitioning to the cloud primarily leveraging its ability to enable digital transformation and growth. Cloud also played a key role in helping enterprises maintain business continuity despite lockdown scenarios and IT infrastructure inconsistencies during and after the pandemic. Cloud not only enabled them to innovate faster but also enhanced their speed to market, agility, and customer responsiveness. At this point in time, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a cloud architecture model allows enterprises to unify their network and security tools in a single management console. It bundles network and security-as-a-service functions like CASB, SWG, FWaaS , and Zero Trust and delivers them as a single cloud service.
Why the adoption of SASE is critical for networking communication
The industry is facing novel challenges posed by insufficiency to address the growing and changing vulnerabilities within the new workforce landscape. Disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) push companies to innovate and plan expansion by undertaking periodic exercises. Return on Investment (ROI) from technologies dependent on physical assets is low due to high capital expenditures and a long time to go live. An estimated 92% of small enterprises and 80% of medium enterprises are faced with gaps in how they manage security-related risks.
Worldwide spending on information security is forecasted to grow significantly, mainly due to strong demand for software-as-a-service solutions. As digital knowledge forms the key to a digital economy, the increase in global competitiveness in the technology foundations creates new challenges. Changes in product/service delivery due to an increase in remote users and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications new channels for connecting/reaching customers, changes in organizational processes, and maintaining a competitive edge.
A 2022 survey by EY NASSCOM indicates that four in every five enterprises are set to increase their cloud budgets over the next one year wherein one in two companies has already accelerated its cloud journey driven by the pandemic. IT and ITes organizations lead cloud adoption followed by the healthcare and BFSI sectors. Most enterprises will have a clear strategy to unify web, cloud services, and private application access using a SASE/SSE architecture as the cloud-based solutions deploy quicker and deliver ROI exponentially than that of on-premises solutions.
How it can help enterprises in their digital transformation journey
SASE framework helps enterprises simplify their IT infrastructure, advance their threat prevention, better protect their data, implement flexible solutions, easily connect users and devices wherever they are located, and reduce total costs. SASE also provides a Zero Trust approach to the cloud, which validates users and device access to applications anywhere in the world. SASE provides complete application session protection, whether a user is inside or outside the corporate network.
The SASE security model offers plenty of benefits that enterprises can utilize to scale their digital transformation:
• Flexibility: It is possible to implement and deliver security services such as threat prevention, web filtering, sandboxing, DNS security, credential theft prevention, data loss prevention, and next-generation firewall policies with a cloud-based infrastructure
• Cost savings: Utilizing a single platform will dramatically reduce your costs and IT resources instead of buying and managing multiple-point products.
• Reduced complexity: It helps in minimizing the number of security products managed by the IT team, updating and maintaining, and consolidating your security stack into a cloud-based network security service model.
• Increased performance: Easy access to apps and resources such as globally located corporate data helps increase the overall performance
• Zero Trust: With a provision of complete session protection, a Zero Trust approach to the cloud removes trust assumptions when users, devices, and applications connect regardless of the user being on or off the corporate network.
• Threat prevention: With full content inspection integrated into a SASE solution, you benefit from more security and visibility into your network.
• Data protection: Implementing data protection policies within a SASE framework helps prevent unauthorized access and abuse of sensitive data.
The Way Forward
Enterprises across industry segments will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE extensively over next couple of years. More companies will be adopting this software-defined networking with network security functions that address their technological and business needs. It is enabling companies to do more operations in an efficient way which is improving their agility and responsiveness and increasing business cost efficiency in terms of providing faster ROI.
It is important to upskill the existing workforce and the companies to update their existing infrastructure to reap the benefits offered by SASE. With awareness of the inner workings of SASE, it is going to prove itself as the best solution for facilitating remote working to multiple branch offices.