As businesses continue to navigate the evolving landscape of hybrid work and cloud-centric IT architectures, a unified, cloud-delivered security and networking solution has become increasingly critical. Enter Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) - a convergence of networking and security capabilities that promises to transform how organizations secure and connect their distributed users, applications, and infrastructure.

Join us as we explore the top 12 SASE vendors on the market, highlighting their key features, strengths, and use cases. Whether you're looking to modernize your network, improve your security posture, or enable secure remote work, this article will equip you with the insights needed to make an informed decision on the best SASE solution for your organization.

What is Secure Access Service Edge?

A secure access service edge (SASE) is a way to keep your internet-connected devices and the information on them safe and secure, even when you're accessing them from different locations. SASE vendors use advanced technologies to monitor the data coming in and out, and it can quickly detect and block any unauthorized access or suspicious activity.

The key benefits of SASE are that it provides comprehensive security coverage for all your internet-connected devices, whether they are in your office, at home, or on the go. It combines different security features, such as firewalls, encryption, and identity management, into a single, cloud-based service. This makes it easier to protect your data and applications, no matter where you or your employees are accessing them from.

The Top 12 Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Solutions

What are the key components of a SASE?

A secure access service edge (SASE) is like a security system for your digital world. It has a few key components that work together to keep everything safe.

  • Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) is a cloud-hosted firewall that inspects all incoming and outgoing network traffic to detect and block threats.
  • Secure Web Gateway (SWG) filters web traffic, enforces security policies, and protects against web-based threats like malware and phishing attacks.
  • Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) monitors and controls user access to cloud applications, ensuring compliance with security policies.
  • Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) verifies the identity, device, and location of users before granting access to applications, implementing a "never trust, always verify" approach.
  • The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) component optimizes and secures connectivity between branch offices, data centers, and cloud resources.

What to take into account when choosing a SASE vendor

By considering employee-centric factors, you can select a SASE solution that enhances both your organization's security and your workforce's productivity and satisfaction. When choosing your solution, look for a user-friendly with a seamless access experience, that minimizes disruptions to workflows, and provides secure remote access. Ensure the SASE solution delivers reliable, high-performing connectivity to support your distributed workforce. Additionally, look for a vendor that offers comprehensive training and ongoing support to help your employees effectively utilize the new security and networking capabilities.

SASE Trending Elements

While many SASE vendors are available, each one will have their selling points. Not only should you be looking for the above elements when choosing a SASE vendor, but you should also look for the following features as well if possible.

  • Simplified deployment and management: Many top SASE providers offer simplified deployment options and managed services to handle the day-to-day management of the SASE infrastructure.
  • Data analytics and visibility: Many SASE platforms include built-in security event management (SIEM) capabilities to provide enhanced visibility and analytics across the entire network.
  • Managed service options: Top SASE providers offer managed service offerings, allowing customers to offload the day-to-day management and operations of the SASE infrastructure.

Why do organizations need a SASE solution?

Organizations need a SASE solution to connect and protect remote/hybrid workforces securely, integrate networking and security into a unified cloud-delivered platform, enable scalable and flexible services, improve visibility and control, and optimize costs. SASE combines technologies like secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and zero trust network access to simplify operations and secure access to resources, regardless of user or application location. By consolidating these capabilities into a single cloud service, SASE helps enterprises adapt to the realities of today's distributed, dynamic work environments while enhancing security and reducing infrastructure complexity.

The List of the Top 12 SASE Vendors

1. Sangfor Technologies

Sangfor Access Secure (SASE) is a comprehensive cloud-native Secure Access Service Edge solution that seamlessly combines SD-WAN, security, and ZTNA capabilities to provide secure and simplified zero trust access for users, applications, and devices. With its advanced features, Sangfor Access Secure offers a unique value proposition to organizations seeking a unified and flexible SASE solution.

This internationally recognized solution boasts a range of unique selling points, including simplified management, enhanced visibility and control, optimized application performance, and comprehensive threat protection – all delivered through a cloud-based architecture that scales effortlessly to meet the evolving needs of modern businesses.

2. Cato Networks

Cato Networks offers a comprehensive SASE platform that delivers a compelling value proposition for organizations. Cato SASE's key selling points include a converged architecture, autonomous AI-driven operations, a global private cloud network, comprehensive SASE capabilities, and unified management and integration. Cato's single-vendor solution reduces complexity, optimizes security and networking, and improves operational efficiency through automation and visibility.

3. Fortinet

FortiSASE is Fortinet's comprehensive SASE solution that combines zero-trust network access (ZTNA), secure SD-WAN, security service edge capabilities, and AI-powered security services under a single platform. Key features of Fortinet SASE include unified visibility and control, flexible deployment options, and a seamless user experience through the FortiClient agent. As a single-vendor SASE offering, FortiSASE simplifies management, enhances security posture, and delivers consistent protection for the hybrid workforce across distributed locations and devices.

4. Palo Alto Networks

For those looking for a comprehensive, AI-powered SASE solution, Palo Alto Networks' Prisma SASE

provides Zero Trust security, exceptional network performance, and AI-driven operations. Its integrated components, including ZTNA, SWG, CASB, SD-WAN, and ADEM, deliver a unified platform to secure the modern, hybrid workforce. Palo Alto Prisma SASE helps organizations scale securely, protect against evolving threats, and ensure an exceptional user experience, all while reducing management complexity.

5. Versa

Versa's Unified SASE platform offers a comprehensive solution for secure and efficient connectivity. It integrates security functionalities like ZTNA, SWG, and CASB with Secure SD-WAN, providing converged security and networking. Versa SASE simplifies management, reduces costs, and improves user experience through features like Versa AI and flexible deployment options. Its cloud-delivered architecture ensures scalability and agility, helping organizations securely connect users, devices, and applications while optimizing network performance and reducing IT complexity.

6. Zscaler

For a cloud-native solution that unifies security, optimizes user experience, and reduces cost and complexity, consider Zscaler's Zero Trust SASE. Leveraging Zscaler's industry-leading Security Service Edge (SSE) capabilities, the Zscaler SASE platform enforces least-privileged access for users, devices, and workloads, eliminating the risk of lateral threat movement. The global Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange ensures secure and reliable connectivity, while the cloud-native architecture streamlines administration and operational costs.

7. Cisco

Cisco's SASE offers a compelling solution for organizations seeking a unified security and networking platform. It converges networking and security functions, streamlining IT complexity by integrating solutions like SD-WAN, SWG, ZTNA, and CASB. Cisco's industry-leading Security Service Edge (SSE) provides robust threat protection and secure access controls, empowering a hybrid workforce with seamless and reliable connectivity. The flexibility to deploy either cloud-delivered SASE services or a custom SASE architecture using Cisco's products makes it a versatile choice for enterprises navigating the evolving secure access landscape.

8. Citrix

More of a hybrid platform as opposed to being a dedicated SASE solution, Citrix Secure Private Access enables zero trust access to corporate applications, with adaptive security policies, advanced app protection, and a unified user experience. It allows organizations to replace legacy VPNs with a modern zero-trust approach, enhancing security for the hybrid workforce while improving productivity. Key features include ZTNA, adaptive authentication, malware protection, and flexible cloud or on-premises deployment options, making Citrix Secure Private Access a comprehensive SASE offering for organizations seeking to embrace zero-trust principles.

9. Cloudflare

Though more commonly known for its DDOS protection service, Cloudflare offers a SASE solution for enterprises seeking to simplify network infrastructure and security. Its unified cloud-native architecture consolidates networking and security services, enabling better visibility and control. Identity-based access, leveraging zero trust principles, moves beyond traditional network perimeter models. Cloudflare's global edge network brings capabilities closer to users, reducing latency and mitigating attacks. With comprehensive security features like CASB and SWG, and proven scalability, Cloudflare's SASE provides a robust, trusted platform for enterprises embracing the modern, distributed work environment.

10. Forcepoint

For those looking for a streamlined choice, Forcepoint ONE (Forcepoint SASE) is a comprehensive SASE platform that simplifies security and protects data everywhere. Its key selling points include a single-vendor solution, industry-leading data security features like CASB and DLP, enabling secure remote work, replacing legacy infrastructure, adopting Zero Trust principles, and providing consistent compliance visibility. Forcepoint ONE empowers the hybrid workforce with secure access to the web, cloud, and private apps while keeping data safe on any device. As a unified cloud service, it reduces operating costs and leverages the scalability of AWS.

11. Netskope

Businesses already using Netskope products would benefit from Netskope One SASE, their comprehensive, cloud-native platform that converges security and networking services. Key selling points of Netskope SASE include AI-powered visibility and protection, unparalleled performance and resilience from the NewEdge network, flexible deployment options, seamless integration with enterprise technologies, and a full suite of Security Service Edge (SSE) capabilities.

12. VMware VeloCloud

VMware's SASE solution, VeloCloud, provides a comprehensive, unified platform that converges security and networking services. Key selling points include seamless integration with the broader VMware ecosystem, flexible deployment options, centralized management and visibility, intelligent analytics and automation, global reach and high performance, and scalability to support digital transformation. VMware SASE consolidates Secure Web Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Zero Trust Network Access, and SD-WAN into a single cloud-delivered platform, enabling organizations to streamline operations, enhance security, and modernize their network architecture.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your company has a highly distributed workforce and hybrid work environment, your business is a prime candidate for SASE. Organizations with employees, contractors, and partners accessing resources from various locations can leverage SASE's unified security and networking capabilities to enhance visibility, control, and secure access across their distributed infrastructure.

Similarly, enterprises with a significant cloud footprint and reliance on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications can benefit greatly from SASE's cloud-native architecture and integrated security features, such as Secure Web Gateway and Cloud Access Security Broker, to protect their cloud-based assets.

On the other hand, organizations with a predominantly on-premises, centralized IT infrastructure and a minimal remote workforce may experience different immediate benefits from SASE. Your organization may find that its current network and security solutions still adequately address its needs, and the transition to a SASE model may not yield a significant return on investment in the short term.

Once you have selected an SASE vendor, the next phase will be to arrange for the full SASE implementation, which can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months, depending on the factors below.

  • Deployment Model: SASE solutions can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid model. Cloud-based SASE deployments are generally faster and simpler, whereas on-premises or hybrid models may involve additional time for hardware procurement, software installation, and integration.
  • Integration and Migration: Integrating SASE with existing network and security tools, as well as migrating users and applications to the new SASE platform, can be time-consuming, especially for organizations with legacy or complex IT environments.

When implementing a SASE solution, organizations often face several key which require a strategic, phased approach to SASE implementation, as well as close collaboration between your vendor, IT, security, and business stakeholders to ensure a successful transformation. You should prepare for the following issues to potentially arise:

  • Legacy Infrastructure Integration: Many organizations have existing network and security infrastructures that were not designed for the cloud-centric, converged SASE model. Integrating SASE with these legacy systems can be complex and require significant time and resources.
  • Data Sovereignty and Compliance: SASE platforms often rely on distributed cloud infrastructure, which can raise concerns about data sovereignty, residency, and compliance with regional regulations. Addressing these concerns requires careful planning and coordination.
  • Change Management: Transitioning from a traditional, perimeter-based security model to a SASE architecture can be a significant cultural and organizational shift. Driving adoption and managing user expectations requires a well-planned change management strategy.

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