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Revolutionising firms’ security with SASE

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By Porko Veeramani, Head – Solution Engineering Partner Management & Presales, Orange Business Services (India)

It’s crystal clear that today’s economy and work ways are driven by digital transformation, edge computing, and a mobile workforce. Where users are looking for immediate, uninterrupted access to data and applications, one demand stands out to keep up with this increasingly dynamic and expanding environment. Security.

Across organizations globally, the common thread that runs with this shift in narrative lies in the convergence of network and security services for protection. Leading Indian firms are critically aware of today’s heightened threat landscape with a shared belief that the traditional cybersecurity framework no longer provides adequate protection.

In the face of security challenges presented by Artificial Intelligence’s stunning ascent, IDC in its 2023 report found that an estimated 54% of large Indian firms1 already have or will install Zero Trust Network Access and Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) capabilities into their security portfolio. While the Zero Trust Network Access is built around the concept of ‘never trust, always verify’ Zero Trust policy, SD-Wan has helped to deliver cloud-based services with unified visibility and enhanced cybersecurity. Jointly, these are steppingstones to the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture, which promises to identify users and devices, applies consistent policy-based security, and delivers secure access to the appropriate application or data.

India’s booming market growth and burgeoning industries could only translate to the limitless potential and appetite for the transition to SASE. It is only a matter of time that companies large and small will adopt a SASE mindset, though interest in SASE is already palpable and the general awareness there. According to IDC India again, its research found that 90% of India enterprises2 believe SASE will grow as part of their strategy in the face of expanding threat. Another noteworthy finding is that India enterprises are more inclined to pursue single-vendor and unified SASE solutions than multi-vendor or disaggregated products.

What is SASE?

SASE is a mindset and methodology that allows for an organisation to take incremental steps to the big vision. Its deployed architecture is framed around the concept of enabling secure connectivity and access to resources from the edge. By uniting the components of connectivity, networking and security, it can only be part of a centrally managed system that offers seamless work experience to all users from everywhere. Importantly, SASE is not a case of switch on and go, but part of a strategic migration roadmap that should be consistently revisited to evolve with the journey and market.

For Indian companies, today is an opportune time to have a well-thought long-term SASE strategy and identify short-term consolidation tactics to achieve your desired SASE model. There may be a change required in the firm’s IT culture to adopt integrated networking and security teams, which involves a shift from silo ways of working to shared control. Because no two SASE journeys are the same, therefore, it is up to enterprises to prepare differently and plan for different or customized outcomes. And the first step to doing so is selecting a trusted partner to help in the assessment of your network and security roadmaps against SASE as the reference architecture.

Qualities of the right partner

Just as significant as the delivery and operational components of SASE, is having a partner who understands innovation and agility, with an eye towards the future. The partner should be able to assist in technology evaluation, establish proof of value, and recommend adaptations to integrate SASE components – all of which go toward laying the foundation for the firm’s security and network roadmaps. Firms should know that when it comes to executing SASE, it isn’t just done and dusted but a multi-disciplinary project with moving parts.

While choosing a partner, organisations need to focus on those with the expertise and skills backed by secure network, optimized performance, with cost savings and agility that align with the organisation’s roadmap while delivering integrated services as this will make all the difference in SASE’s overall success.

Conclusion

Ramping up cybersecurity measures is the onus of every organisation to curtailing the rise of cyberthreats. There has never been a more vital time than now to work with an expert partner that can streamline your security, redefine the traditional perimeters, and protect you against cloud and web attacks like how a trusted SASE provider can and would. (712 words)

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