The origins of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) can be traced back to 2019, when legacy network security systems were extensively used in workspaces. Gartner defined SASE as the combined deployment of cloud-based cybersecurity functions, including Firewall as a Service, a cloud access security broker (CASB), a secure web gateway (SWG), Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN).

SASE has gained more relevance post the COVID-19 pandemic as companies have shifted to remote work and workforces have spread across various geographic locations. This has led to numerous employees relying on home networks to perform tasks. Amidst these changes, the elimination of a well-defined security perimeter has made organizations increasingly prone to cyberattacks and malware.

With remote and hybrid workforce models exposing several inadequacies in existing cybersecurity models, SASE has stepped up to provide a scalable alternative. It offers a location-neutral approach by blending an organization’s network and security functions.

 Benefits of SASE

 Endpoint security

The emergence of remote work has contributed to a steady rise in BYOD integration and thus an increase in unmanaged endpoints within cloud-based office networks spread across multiple locations. With SASE’s emphasis on placing security on the network’s edge as opposed to on physical data centers, endpoint security can be achieved indiscriminately. With the addition of SIEM tools, IT admins can gather contextual information about unauthorized devices to customize access and make them compliant with the enterprise’s data policies.

 Simplicity of design

SASE delivers multiple security services within a single, unified package, providing seamless access to resources across the cloud and reducing the reliance on third-party applications for verification. Implementation of SSO eliminates the dependency on multiple passwords for accessing individual services, which enhances the user experience and minimizes security risks caused by password fatigue.

 Enforcement of policies

With the inclusion of a CASB and a SWG, SASE automates the enforcement of security policies across platforms. This reduces the IT staff’s burden to a considerable extent.

 Restricted access

SASE adheres to ZTNA’s ‘never trust, always verify’ principle, which requires granting minimal privileges to users based on their context within the organization. After access is granted to users, the controls for continuous device monitoring are implemented to assess user and device activity within the network. Placing stringent access restrictions on the edge minimizes the attack surface of a network.

 Reduced latency

SASE enables the transition of network security devices from the confines of data centers to a cloud-based environment. Such changes render backhauling redundant and thereby reduces latency by decreasing the creation of additional network pathways. This in turn improves the performance of latency-sensitive applications within cloud platforms, such as VoIP, web conferencing, and streaming.


With SD-WAN playing a crucial role in SASE, the execution of application-aware routing (as opposed to IP routing) can pave the way towards context-based segmentation of traffic. Microsegmentation helps identify lateral movement and improves advanced persistent threat detection.

 Why is SASE relevant?

 In the face of unprecedented changes, adaptability becomes critical for the sustained growth of an organization. As organizations shift to cloud-supported workforce models, SASE has proven to be a viable strategy that ensures end-to-end network security while keeping pace with sophisticated threat actors.

 A recent survey by Bitglass and Cybersecurity Insiders indicated that over 82% of organizations implement BYOD and over 22% of unmanaged devices accessing corporate resources have downloaded malware. SASE offers security for devices regardless of their authorization, making it a necessary solution for the cybersecurity needs of recent times.

Learn more about how SASE is transforming the cloud security landscape.