The era of traditional IT infrastructure is long gone as we search the horizon for better, more efficient ways to transfer, carry and store our data. The modern age has been full of enlightening innovation and the advent of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has marked itself a milestone achievement – but what is the meaning of SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)?

SASE Gartner Article

What Is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)?

Gartner defined the SASE meaning as being able to deliver converged network and security as a service - including SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, NGFW, and zero trust network access (ZTNA) capabilities. Additionally, the arrival of hybrid and remote work environments boosted its prevalence of it as “SASE supports branch office, remote worker and on-premises secure access use cases.”

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), pronounced “sassy”, is a cloud-native combination of network security functions and solutions that is designed to provide secure access required by enterprises globally faced with an ultra-dynamic cyber security landscape. It puts together a software-defined network with functional network security within a single service – providing improved control and visibility of network traffic, user access, and data for your organization.

The term “SASE” was coined by Gartner in its August 2019 report “The Future of Network Security in the Cloud” and was later expanded upon in their 2021 Strategic Roadmap for SASE Convergence. The report states that “security and risk professionals in a digital enterprise need… a worldwide fabric/mesh of network and network security capabilities that can be applied when and where needed to connect entities to the networked capabilities they need access to."

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for solutions to connect distant employees, offices, and branches - while making it the kiss of death for travel, social interaction, and SD-WAN. As businesses rushed to digital transformation in the wake of the pandemic, SD-WAN capabilities became a star in security and cost-effective connectivity for remote networks and third-party applications. However, VPNs and web gateways have now surpassed the abilities of SD-WAN to provide total connectivity and security.

The arrival of SASE has changed the game indefinitely. Gartner predicts that “by 2025, 65% of enterprises will have consolidated individual SASE components into one or two explicitly partnered SASE vendors, up from 15% in 2021.”

About Gartner

Gartner is a global leader in IT research and advisory fields - providing trusted practice advice, information, reviews, and tools for IT infrastructure. In 2019, they saw a gap in available solutions designed to streamline cloud transformation and network security, leading to the creation of SASE.

According to Gartner, “SASE capabilities are delivered as a service based upon the identity of the entity, real-time context, enterprise security/compliance policies, and continuous assessment of risk/trust throughout the sessions. Identities of entities can be associated with people, groups of people (branch offices), devices, applications, services, IoT systems, or edge computing locations."

So, now that we know who created it, let’s learn more about this revolutionary service.

How Does Secure Access Service Edge Work?

Secure Access Service Edge is now widely considered to be the successor to SD-WAN. But how does SASE work and why is it quickly overtaking SD-WAN as the connectivity solution of choice?

Secure Access Service Edge is a perfect blend of network security and connectivity - controlled centrally and administrated from the cloud with added visibility and automated analytics. SASE applies policy-based rules to network devices and users based on the device or user, role, behavior, and location - or any number of adjustable factors – to provide secure access to applications and data however far you are from the main data center.

Secure Access Service Edge provides a secure, automated, and reliable connection for organizations to link their locations across the globe, improve application performance and enjoy advanced network security.

Technically, instead of replacing the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), SASE adopts a multifunctional approach that includes SD-WAN, as well as SWG, CASB, ZTNA, and FWaaS as core capabilities. Being able to identify sensitive data and malware or being able to decrypt content rapidly under supervision, SASE works by being:

  • Cloud Native: Operating from within the cloud allows SASE to be adaptable, flexible, and accessible anywhere.
  • Based on Identity: The network access and quality of service are determined by the user and resource identity is determined by company policies to ensure that optimal function is allocated as needed.
  • Global Scale: SASE delivers across all networks to provide services and security capabilities across the board.

Architecture of the SASE Model

The SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) model integrates network and security services into a unified cloud-native architecture. It combines components such as the SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) capabilities with security functions such as SWG (Secure Web Gateway), FWaaS (Firewall as a Service), ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access), and CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker).

This architecture enables organizations to centralize network and security policies, applying them consistently across all network traffic and user access points. By deploying SASE, enterprises can achieve scalable, agile, and secure connectivity while simplifying management through a unified cloud-based platform.

The Components of the SASE Model

SASE combines SD-WAN capabilities with several network security functions from the convenience of a single cloud platform. This gives organizations better control over their network traffic and data. The key components of SASE include:

  1. Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN): Instead of overtaking SD-WAN, SASE enables optimal WAN management by leveraging its capabilities to provide optimized internet security, remote access, network routing, global connectivity, and cloud acceleration.
  2. Secure Web Gateway (SWG): Secure Web Gateway solutions protect users against cyber threats, such as malware, phishing, and data breaches through extensive filtering of network traffic. SASE provides a Secure Web Gateway anywhere across your network – ensuring that remote network security is maintained as well.
  3. Firewall as a Service (FWaaS): Firewalls are often the first line of defense for your network against a cyber-attack. SASE includes a Firewall-as-a-Service function that can secure your network within a cloud-based infrastructure and provides a virtual, scalable, and flexible solution to keep your network safe.
  4. Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA): A zero-trust network access platform relies on the idea that applications should adjust access according to each user and require real-time verification of every device used – thus ensuring maximum security.
  5. Unified Management: IT infrastructures can be tedious to manage at times, especially when implementing multiple services. SASE eases this by supplying all the network monitoring and security solutions you need within a single platform.
  6. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): A cloud access security broker helps your organization adapt to new threats within cloud computing. SASE adds this essential function to its roster to ensure that your cloud security and data are always in safe hands.

SASE components

While these are all great functions to apply within your infrastructure, what are the actual benefits of a SASE model in your business?

The Benefits of Secure Access Service Edge

Essentially, SASE is a mere extension of SD-WAN. The service provides a host of advantages for an enterprise that bridges the gap between connectivity and security. A few of the benefits SASE users enjoy are:

  • Scalability and Agility: SASE networks have adaptable and flexible resources that allow them to connect globally with employees and offices across the globe. The platform can be used to connect users and deploy resources – all without the need to maintain an on-premises infrastructure quickly and securely. SASE also improves the network traffic control and performance of your organization and, therefore, provides automatic adjustments as required.
  • Control: SASE allows IT administrators to have full control of all user and application traffic from one place while using the cloud to set management and security policies within all areas of the network.
  • Simplicity: SASE provides simplified monitoring and reporting capabilities that will ensure your operation runs smoothly. Single-pane-of-glass management removes the need for multiple vendors and solutions, therefore reducing the complexity of the operation.
  • Cost Efficiency: SASE employs an infrastructure that ensures a reduction in operation and maintenance costs. The need to employ IT experts or multiple cybersecurity vendors is dramatically brought down. A virtual infrastructure also maintains a minimal cost on hardware expenditure and completely mitigates the need for on-premises supervision.
  • Improved Security: A good SASE service will provide a full security stack with consistent deployment and management of network security policies across all locations for all applications and data traffic. With SASE, your company’s security is boosted due to uniform policy deployment and zero-trust networking capabilities. Your organization is actively protected against data breaches and cyber-attacks within on-premises and cloud networks.
  • Latency Routing: Optimizing latency routing allows SASE to determine the fastest network path based on network congestion and other factors. This will ensure that user experience is improved.

Who Is SASE Most Valuable to

Enterprises that need secure direct access between branches or remote offices will find the most value in deploying SASE services. SASE is also the solution of choice for budget-conscious businesses that might not be able to afford the ease of deployment from any location. Ultimately, SASE is chosen by those enterprises moving towards digital transformation with the cloud as it prioritizes the easy distribution of secure access for everyone in the organization.

Secure Access Service Edge is the Future

Gartner suggests that by 2026, network and security vendors that are unable to deliver a compelling SASE offering will be relegated to niche market opportunities. SASE is a blend of network security and cloud – providing the best of both worlds.

Enterprises have always struggled to provide the best and easiest system management for their networking solutions. With so many critical systems like SD-WAN, NGFW, secure web gateways, and VPN devices, management can get understandably complex when operating each solution independently.

Additionally, the lack of qualified IT and security personnel and the drastic rise of remote office locations easily display where gaps in management lay. Enterprises are sometimes hesitant to deploy a SASE approach, yet most of them have already done so in some way. The key steps to fully adopting a SASE model include:

  • Migration to the cloud
  • A secure remote workforce
  • Moving DDoS protection to the edge
  • Putting branch offices behind a cloud perimeter
  • Replacing security appliances with unified, cloud-native policy enforcement

Sangfor Technologies is an APAC-based, global leading IT vendor that specializes in cybersecurity and cloud computing and has a ready-to-use SASE model for your enterprise to deploy.

Challenges in SASE Implementation

  • Role Redefinition and Collaboration: SASE requires redefined roles and closer collaboration between networking and security teams, especially in hybrid cloud environments.
  • Navigating Vendor Complexity: SASE simplifies vendor selection by integrating various tools and methodologies to align with transformation goals.
  • Ensuring Comprehensive Coverage: Achieving a balance between cloud-driven and on-premises strategies is crucial for seamless networking and security, especially in branch-heavy setups.
  • Building Trust in SASE: Engaging with reputable providers is essential to build trust and ensure effective networking and security integration, especially in hybrid cloud environments.
  • Product Selection and Integration: Siloed IT teams may need to select and integrate multiple products for networking and security to optimize operations.
  • Addressing Tool Sprawl: Identifying and mitigating overlaps in existing tools ensures a cohesive technological infrastructure during the transition to a cloud-centric SASE approach.
  • Collaborative Approach: Successful SASE implementation relies on collaborative efforts between security and networking professionals to align with organizational objectives and maximize benefits.

SASE Misconceptions

1. SASE is just a cloud VPN.

SASE offers more than a traditional VPN, integrating secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and firewalls as a service for comprehensive security and networking.

2. Only big companies benefit from SASE.

Businesses of all sizes benefit from SASE, simplifying network and security management while scaling to meet diverse needs.

3. SASE is only for remote work environments.

SASE benefits both remote and in-office setups, ensuring consistent, secure access to cloud resources regardless of location.

4. SASE sacrifices on-premises security for cloud advantages.

SASE doesn't require abandoning on-premises security measures, allowing seamless integration for optimized performance and security.

5. Adopting SASE means ignoring other security technologies.

SASE complements other security technologies like endpoint detection and response, enhancing overall security posture.

Common SASE Use Cases

  • Threat Defense for Distributed Offices and Remote Workers: SASE enforces consistent security policies across all users, filtering and inspecting network traffic to prevent various threats.
  • Data Protection for Regulatory Compliance: SASE provides visibility into network requests, enabling compliance with data privacy laws through policy enforcement.
  • Simplified Branch Connectivity: SASE streamlines branch connectivity by replacing complex MPLS circuits and appliances, facilitating seamless site-to-site connectivity.

Distinguishing SASE and SSE

  • SASE (Sure Access Servicece Edge): SASE integrates SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, NGFW, and ZTNA for zero-trust access based on device identity and real-time context.
  • SSE (Security Service Edge): SSE focuses on securing web, cloud services, and private applications. SSE often precedes full SASE deployment, especially for organizations with mature SD-WAN setups, which may initially opt for individual SASE components. Some platforms offer additional features like:
    • Remote Browser Isolation (RBI): Prevent malware downloads and browser vulnerabilities.
    • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Detects sensitive data in web, SaaS, and private apps.
    • Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM): Pinpoints connectivity issues and outages.

Sangfor Access SASE Solution

The SASE Sangfor Access solution provides a secure, cloud-based connection for HQ, branches, and remote users. Deploying Sangfor Access gives you consistent network security from malware, viruses, and ransomware. The platform can audit all traffic - external and internal – and protect the enterprise from any insider threats.

  • Seamless Connectivity: Sangfor’s total secure access connects branch offices securely and seamlessly and was created based on unique customer needs and guidance from Gartner. The SASE Sangfor Access platform serves over 100,000 customers who operate branches and offices in some of the most remote locations - across continents, oceans, and borders. Remote locations and users need only install a lightweight client on their devices to become connected and secured by Sangfor Access.
  • Advanced Security: With Sangfor Access SASE, users are authenticated and constantly protected from malware, ransomware, and cyber-attacks. Administrators can easily audit users and behavior to discover any misuse of applications, bandwidth, or data leakage - no matter how remote the user is.
  • Cost Effective: Additionally, Sangfor Access SASE decreases costs for its users with Sangfor’s pay-as-you-grow strategy, allowing enterprises to scale as needed and save their money for other critical functions or upgrades.
  • Active Analytics: Finally, the Sangfor Analytics Platform tracks data leakage and deploys extensive data analysis to uncover hidden security risks. The platform works closely with Neural-X to uncover invisible threats within the network before they can cause damage.

Sangfor Access Secure (SASE) Solution Case Study Video

Emily is the marketing manager of a SaaS company that embraces the hybrid work model but faces some IT connectivity challenges in her daily work life. Sangfor Access Secure is here to save the day. Watch the video to learn how Sangfor Access Secure solution empowers Emily to work efficiently and securely across all her devices and platforms.

Secure Access Service Edge is going to be around for a very long time and Sangfor is proud to provide the most advanced and innovative SASE solution with Sangfor Access – for those who are leaders in every industry and value security and reliable connectivity for their organizations. For more information on Sangfor’s cyber security and cloud computing solutions, visit


Contact Us for Business Inquiry

Frequently asked questions

Yes, SASE operates in the cloud, providing an integrated approach to networking and security services from a unified cloud-native architecture.

SASE encompasses secure web gateways and other functions but extends beyond traditional proxy services.

SASE doesn't replace VPNs directly but offers a cloud-centric solution with dynamic policy enforcement based on user context. Unlike VPNs, which focus on encrypted connections through centralized servers, SASE provides integrated secure network access without centralized server latency.

Listen To This Post


Get in Touch

Get in Touch with Sangfor Team for Business Inquiry

Related Glossaries

Cyber Security

What is NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0? How Businesses Can Use NIST CSF?

Date : 27 Mar 2024
Read Now
Cyber Security

What Is Application Control?

Date : 23 Feb 2024
Read Now
Cyber Security

What is Security as a Service (SECaaS)?

Date : 27 Dec 2023
Read Now

See Other Product

Cyber Command - NDR Platform
Endpoint Secure
Internet Access Gateway (IAG)
Sangfor Network Secure - Next Generation Firewall
Sangfor Access Secure