It’s fast becoming a old cliché that ‘work was a place you went to’. But like any cliché, its existence is rooted in real experience.
Looking back to before the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine a world different to what we’ve all been living in for close to four years. The whole idea of ‘WFH’ would have been greeted with ‘WTF?!’ not so long ago. And who could have imagined attending – or even running – so many professional meetings over video from our homes?
Today, managers, workers and of course the tech leaders they increasingly rely on to function, universally acknowledge that work is now an ‘activity’, rather than just one location.
And as we all adjust to the reality that ‘users’ are likely to be anywhere, CIOs, CISOs and other technology leaders need to also ensure that all data and applications – from the mundane to the critical – are instantly available and also secure.
Users are now going directly to apps
And tech leaders without their heads in the sand understand:
- Most apps live outside the perimeter
- Users are working from home and the office, but increasingly the former
- A completely new architecture for managing data and systems is required
In addition to the obvious inefficiencies and productivity losses, reinforcing the third point is the explosion of cyber security attacks that have occurred over the past several years, including many that have done serious damage to businesses’ bottom lines and their brands.
Back in 2021, Forrester reported that 92 percent of companies experiences a cyber attack in the previous 12 months. Fast forward to 2023 and you’d be hard pressed to find any company that hasn’t been targeted, as the attack surface continues to expand exponentially.
In response, organisations have been bolstering their arsenals of cyber security tools. But this in itself has now become a problem, with one report from 2022 stating the average number of security tools in organisations had shot up almost 20 percent to 76 in just the preceding two years!
Most analysts agree that this growth of largely disparate tools, speaking different languages from different vendors, is more likely to be welcomed by attackers, than discourage them.
SASE provides one architecture for all use cases
Everyone today agrees that the traditional perimeter has failed, providing neither the certainty and efficiency required by modern workers, and obviously scoring a massive ‘F’ for cyber security.
This is of course because there are so many perimeters, including for mobile, home and branch users. Supporting them all are:
- Public cloud
- Private cloud
- Data centre
- SaaS apps everywhere
- The internet
The prevailing wisdom today is that less is more when it comes to perimeters, ensuring better outcomes for users no matter where they are, whatever applications they’re using, protecting and securing all data and traffic.
Secure Access Service Edge is the only modern framework and suite of tools that can deliver true ‘security’ and true ‘access’.
By secure, we mean ‘Zero Trust’. This demands:
- Access based on true ‘least privilege’ principles
- Continuous posture and application assessment
- Always-on inline security inspection
- Protecting all data in motion and at rest
- Protecting all apps regardless of delivery mechanism
By ‘access’, we mean:
- Zero Trust provisioning
- Unified management
- Integrated ADEM (autonomous digital experience management)
And by ‘service edge’ we mean abandoning the traditional ‘thick branch’ approach to IT management, in favour of a ‘thin branch’, ‘cloud scale’ architecture that supports:
- Security-as-a-service, with ZTNA, CASB, FWaaS and cloud SWG
- Network-as-a-service with SD_WAN
- Better user experiences with guaranteed, seamless and secure access
To the uninitiated, SASE might sound like a lot to take in, however, its potential to simplify management and securing today’s evolving digital landscape has placed it among the top of Gartner’s technology picks for this year and beyond as work moves to ‘everywhere’ and ‘anywhere’.
If you would like to discuss your security posture Click here to get in touch with one our team.