Zero Trust and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) are two important concepts in modern cybersecurity that actually complement each other to create a robust and comprehensive security framework for organizations across all industries. Instead of being concepts that would compete with one another, they can work together to enhance an organization's overall security posture.
Let's refresh our knowledge of both concepts first:
SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)
SASE is a cloud-based model that bridges the gap between SD-WAN and security, bringing a modern, decentralized approach to cloud security. It combines Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) capabilities with cloud-native security services such as Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).
Zero Trust is a security model based on the principle of "never trust, always verify." In a traditional network security model, once a device or user gains access to the internal network, they are often given relatively free-reign access to various resources. However, in a Zero Trust model, all users, devices, and applications are considered untrusted by default, regardless of their location. Zero Trust practices the principle of least privilege with a heavy reliance on strict access controls and continuous authentication and monitoring to ensure that only authorized users and devices can access specific resources.
How do ZTNA and SASE work together?
As mentioned before, Zero Trust and SASE are not competing approaches, but highly complementary to one another. Zero Trust focuses on the principles and methodologies for ensuring secure access to resources within an organization, while SASE provides the architecture and services to implement and enforce those principles effectively.
Let's take a look at specific areas:
1. Secure Access
SASE provides the infrastructure and policies to enable secure access for users, regardless of their location or the device they are using. It acts as the delivery mechanism for ZTNA, providing a secure network pathway for authorized users to connect to corporate resources.
2. Identity-Centric Security
ZTNA plays a crucial role in ensuring that only authenticated and authorized users gain access to specific resources. By integrating ZTNA with SASE, organizations can enforce strict access controls based on user identities, device posture, and contextual information. This identity-centric security approach adds an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access attempts.
3. Dynamic Policy Enforcement
Both SASE and ZTNA operate on dynamic policies, adjusting security measures based on real-time information about users, devices, and applications. The combined approach allows for contextual security decisions, evaluating the user's identity, device health, and location before granting access.
4. Cloud-Native Security
Both SASE and ZTNA are designed to be cloud-native and delivered through cloud-based services. This approach offers scalability, flexibility, and ease of deployment, making it suitable for modern, distributed enterprises.
In summary, by combining Zero Trust and SASE, organizations can establish a comprehensive security approach that protects against both external and internal threats, enables secure access for remote users and branch offices, and ensures that security policies are consistently enforced across the entire network, regardless of where the users or resources are located.
This integrated approach provides better visibility, control, and protection against modern cyber threats in an increasingly distributed and cloud-centric environment.If you'd like to learn more about how this can help optimize the current security framework in your orgniazation, contact us to get a conversation started.