4 signs it’s time to implement SASE

Summary: Is it time for your organization to migrate to SASE? Here are four undeniable signs that you should start your SASE implementation now, and advice on how to make the process as easy and seamless as possible.

The accelerated shift to a hybrid workplace, coupled with the fast-tracked adoption of new technologies and processes, means it’s time for businesses to rethink their networking security approach. But that’s proving to be easier said than done—networking and security technologies are becoming increasingly complex, just as the stakes for securely distributed experiences have never been higher.

Man working from home.

That’s why organizations are turning to modern-day solutions that can support a unified experience for their hybrid workers, with secure access to applications and resources that are on their corporate networks and in the cloud. A growing number of businesses are adopting Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a framework of advanced network and security solutions, to achieve this.

Making moves

How do you know when it’s time to leave your legacy solutions behind and make the switch to SASE? Here are four signs to look out for:

  • Lack of agility and flexibility. Your current network is no longer nimble enough to evolve with your organization’s future-proofing initiatives (e.g., supporting new cloud workloads, addressing a remote workforce and accommodating for rapid expansion).
  • Increased security vulnerabilities. Your security solutions are fragmented between physical locations, cloud resources and mobile users, and it’s becoming a challenge to monitor and remediate cybersecurity incidents across all perimeters. You fear your organization will fall victim to the next cyberattack.
  • Poor performance. Your lagging business applications are starting to impact your employee’s productivity. It’s clear that your workers need more to stay efficient. They require secure, reliable, low-latency connectivity to cloud and data center applications.
  • Limited visibility. You can’t control what you can’t see. Limited visibility makes it hard to control and manage application performance and security.

SASE use cases

There are many reasons to deploy a SASE framework to support modern enterprise environments, but here are the most common use cases that it’s best equipped to help solve:

  • Rapid deployments. IT teams are no stranger to the challenge of connecting and securing new sites within very tight timeframes. Often these teams are understaffed and are being asked to build out a disjointed security stack on top of inconsistent network infrastructure. SASE enables IT to optimize and protect traffic from all users, sites and data centers with just Internet connectivity and an edge SD-WAN device.
  • Cloud adoption and migration. SASE can speed up application adoption and migration efforts by offering security services in a unified framework, all while managing applications from a single console.
  • Mergers and acquisitions. M&As are one of the most stressful situations for any IT team and result in multiple challenges that must be overcome. SASE helps seamlessly integrate an acquired company’s resources through centralized management and global cloud delivery. This enables IT teams to enforce enterprise-wide policies and deliver optimized access to these resources, regardless of the location.
  • Remote access for business continuity. IT must enable a secure and optimized work-from-anywhere (WFA) environment in order to ensure business continuity. Unfortunately, legacy WAN architectures and VPN servers weren’t designed to support constant connectivity to everyone and from everywhere. Fortunately, SASE can deliver scalable, high-performing and global remote access that eliminates these legacy solutions’ limitations.

Where to start?

It’s one thing to recognize the signs that indicate the need to start planning a SASE implementation. The bigger question is, how can you do it with the least amount of complexity?

Embarking on the SASE journey must be carefully considered and executed. Because SASE is a long-term project that requires in-depth planning and personalization, your organization may need to decide on what to prioritize first, whether to address gaps in your existing SD-WAN deployment or to deliver greater security to your remote workforce.  

Consider the efficiency and cost reductions of replacing multiple vendors and legacy products with a  single solution. Windstream Enterprise offers a holistic platform that provides a high-performance network with integrated security that will help your organization consolidate security elements in the cloud.

 

Key takeaway: If your network can’t support business needs and growth plans, it’s a clear indicator to start exploring SASE adoption. It’s never too early to start the conversation about how your organization can benefit from this framework and what capabilities to prioritize.

About the Author

Mike Frane

Mike is responsible for the company’s overall SD-WAN strategy, as well as the network and security service portfolios. Since joining WE in 2008, he’s overseen the launch of MPLS IPsec access elements, Secure WiFi & Analytics, Unified Communications and more.

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