SASE Reality Check: Security and SD-WAN Integration Journey

By: Nav Chander, Head of Service Provider SD-WAN/SASE Product Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Today, enterprise IT leaders are facing the reality that a hybrid work environment is the new normal as we transition from a post-pandemic world. This has meant updating cloud, networking, and security infrastructure to adapt to the new realities of hybrid work and a world where employees will need to connect to and access business applications from anywhere and from any device, in a secure manner. In fact, most applications are now cloud-hosted, presenting additional IT challenges to ensure a high-quality end-user experience for the remote worker, home office worker, or branch office.

Network security policies that are based on the legacy data-center environment where applications are backhauled to the data center affect application performance and user experience negatively within a cloud-first environment. These policies also don’t function end-to-end in an environment where there are BYOD or IoT devices. When networking and network security requirements are managed by separate IT teams independently and in parallel, do you achieve the best architecture for digital transformation?

So, does implementing a SASE architecture based on a single vendor solve all of these challenges?

SASE, in itself, is not its own technology or service: the term describes a suite of services that combine advanced SD-WAN with Security Service Edge (SSE) to connect and protect the company from web-based attacks and unauthorized access to the network and applications. By integrating SD-WAN and cloud security into a common framework, SASE implementations can both improve network performance and reduce security risks. But, because SASE is a collection of capabilities, organizations need to have a good understanding of which components they require to best fit their needs.

A key component of a SASE framework is SD-WAN. Because of SD-WAN’s rapid adoption to support direct internet access, organizations can leverage existing products to serve as a foundation for their SASE implementations. This would be true for both do-it-yourself as well as managed services…