Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) software provides a secure method to connect employees, customers, and partners to an enterprise network from any device, anywhere. With mobile, edge and cloud computing dominating the enterprise landscape, LANs and data centers are being left behind. Users want faster applications with minimal latency, so security and WAN functions need to be moved closer to the edge of the network.
The market for SASE software is growing rapidly as more and more businesses move their operations to the cloud. According to a study by research and consulting firm Markets and Markets, the SASE market size is projected to exceed $4 billion by 2026, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.4%.
What is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Software?
SASE consolidates network and security functions into a single service at the network edge that can be managed from the cloud, simplifying network and security management.
SASE software is a combination of:
- Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology.
- A multitude of security features that include secure web gateways (SWG), cloud access security brokers (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), antivirus/malware inspection, virtual private networking (VPN), firewall as a service (FWaaS), and data loss prevention (DLP). SASE delivers a single cloud service at the network edge.
SASE provides the security and performance that enterprises need to support their digital transformation initiatives. SASE has the ability to connect users to applications with the lowest possible latency and the highest security posture.
SASE is an emerging category of solutions that address the need for secure access to applications and data outside the corporate firewall.
The term SASE was initially coined by Gartner analysts as a way to help enterprises navigate the growing number of network and security solutions in the market.
Also see: Top Zero Trust Networking Solutions
Features of SASE Platforms
SASE platforms offer a wide range of features, including:
- A convergence of WAN and security features through a cloud-native architecture. By forgoing the need to manage their own infrastructure, businesses can reap the benefits of these services without any hassle.
- Their cloud-native architecture delivers converged WAN and security as a service, making it easy to get up and running quickly.
- A network of points of presence (PoPs) around the world. This allows businesses to connect to their customers and partners, no matter where they are located.
- SASE platforms are identity-driven, which means that businesses can use their existing user identities to access the platform’s services. This makes it easy for businesses to get started with SASE, without having to create new user accounts.
- SASE platforms support all types of edge deployments, including physical locations, cloud data centers, users’ mobile devices. This ensures that businesses can use the platform’s services wherever they need them most.
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Benefits of SASE
SASE offers a range of benefits for businesses, including:
SASE provides a cloud computing model and a single vendor for all WAN and security functions. This simplifies the SASE deployment process and reduces the number of potential SASE solution providers. SASE’s single-pass architecture also helps to reduce complexity by eliminating the need for separate hardware and software solutions. As a result, SASE can provide a more streamlined and simplified approach to networking and security.
SASE’s distributed network means that businesses can access SASE from anywhere in the world, providing a consistent experience for all users, regardless of their location. SASE’s identity-driven approach also means that businesses can easily provide access for their employees, customers, and partners.
SASE can improve cost efficiency by reducing the need for on-premises hardware and simplifying SASE deployments. SASE also helps to improve cost efficiency by providing a consistent approach to networking and security, reducing the need for separate solutions for each function.
SASE’s distributed network allows for improved performance, as SASE can route traffic through the closest PoP for the lowest latency. SASE can also improve performance by reducing network congestion and optimizing SASE traffic flows.
SASE provides consistent security for all SASE traffic, regardless of the type of edge it is coming from. SASE’s distributed network also allows for increased security, as SASE can route traffic through secure PoPs to protect sensitive data.
Also see: Top Software Defined Networking Solutions
Top SASE Vendors
Here are seven top SASE vendors worth considering:
Zscaler Cloud Security Platform
The Zscaler Cloud Security Platform provides a single point of visibility and control across all of Zscaler’s flagship offerings with the addition of Zscaler Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). This gives users an easy way to access both Zscaler Private Access and Zscaler Internet Access from one place.
The SASE solution also enforces least-privileged access via context-based identity and policy enforcement using the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange. This makes it easier for IT and security teams to manage their security posture and ensure that only authorized users have access to corporate resources. By consolidating different security solutions into one platform, Zscaler is making it simpler and more efficient for organizations to secure their data and devices.
- Zscaler Internet Access: Provides cloud-delivered secure web gateway, advanced threat protection, and SASE capabilities.
- Zscaler Private Access: Securely provide remote and mobile users with access to internal applications without the need for a traditional VPN.
- Zscaler Business-to-Business: Enables secure access for SaaS and cloud applications, as well as secure collaboration with external partners.
- Advanced Security Features: Includes secure web gateway (SWG) to cloud access security broker (CASB) and zero trust network access (ZTNA).
- Easy to use based on user sentiment
- Supports SSO
- Multifactor authentication, that is, client authentication and a PIN security
- Physical or virtual hardware to deploy or manage
- Leader in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for SASE
The vendor does not publish pricing information. Customers can, however, request a demo.
Citrix Secure Access
Citrix Secure Access is a key part of Cisco’s SASE solution. This software provides Single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, which simplify access for users while providing an extra layer of security. Citrix Secure Access is easy to deploy and manage, and it integrates seamlessly with other Cisco software solutions. As a result, it is a powerful tool for protecting users and networks while streamlining access to critical data. Citrix Secure Access is an essential part of Cisco’s SASE solution, and it is a key reason why Citrix is a leading provider of secure access solutions.
- Citrix Secure Private Access: Enables secure access to private applications and networks, without the need for a traditional VPN.
- Citrix Secure Internet Access: Provides advanced SASE capabilities, including secure web gateway and zero trust network access (ZTNA).
- Citrix Web App and API Protection: Helps protect against malicious activity on web apps and APIs.
- Citrix Analytics for Security: Uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and prevent security threats.
- Seamless integration with other Cisco SASE solutions
- Advanced security features, including AI-powered threat protection
- Easy to deploy and manage
- Delivers VPN-less, centralized access and SSO to SaaS, internal web apps, and files to users.
Citrix Secure Access is sold as part of Cisco’s SASE solution. Pricing for this solution is not publicly available, and customers can request a quote from Cisco.
Prisma SASE is a sophisticated solution for securing the edge. With Prisma Access, you can secure your edge and get firewall-as-a-service, zero-trust networking, and cloud application access. This seller also provides complimentary software products that are specific to the component functionalities within the Prisma Platform.
- Zero Trust Network Access: Prisma SASE uses best-in-class security capabilities to protect all application traffic and data, dramatically reducing the risk of a data breach.
- Cloud Secure Web Gateway (SWG): SWG offers comprehensive security for web-based threats by utilizing static analysis and machine learning, in addition to streamlining the experience for customers migrating from legacy solutions.
- Cloud Access Security Broker: Provides best-in-class security by proactively enabling the safe use of thousands of SaaS applications with real-time data protection and visibility.
- Branch and SD-WAN: SASE solutions from Prisma include software-defined networking capabilities, enabling secure access for branch offices and remote workers.
- Autonomous Digital Experience Management: Real-time SASE performance and digital experience monitoring help organizations understand how SASE is affecting user experience and enables them to address any issues quickly.
- Manage multiple firewalls simultaneously
- Provides software and hardware as a complete setup
- Offers complete SASE capabilities, including zero-trust networking and cloud application access
- Real-time SASE performance monitoring
- Natively-integrated AIOps capabilities
Pricing information for Prisma SASE is not published on the vendor’s website. However, prospective clients can sign up for a free demo and request a quote.
Also see: Top Enterprise Networking Companies
A SASE platform from McAfee, the Skyhigh Security combines advanced security features with SD-WAN functionality, providing organizations with a holistic SASE solution. It includes advanced SASE capabilities such as secure web gateway and Zero Trust Network Access.
- Skyhigh Security Service Edge: Keeps data safe no matter where it lives—on the web, in the cloud (SaaS, PaaS, and Iaas), or any private app—and from any device.
- Skyhigh Cloud Access Security Broker: Proactively enables the safe use of SaaS applications and manages data loss prevention in real-time.
- Skyhigh Secure Web Gateway: Offers comprehensive security for web-based threats using advanced technologies such as static analysis, machine learning, and URL filtering.
- Skyhigh Private Access: Provides secure access to private apps and data without the need for a traditional VPN.
- Skyhigh Cloud-Native Application: Bringing application and risk context together to protect workloads and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) from a single, cloud-native enforcement point.
- Offers SASE and SD-WAN capabilities in a single platform
- Provides advanced SASE functionalities, including a secure web gateway
- Browser extension for real-time protection
- User-friendly GUI
- Secure VPN
Customers can sign up for a free demo at the vendor’s website. Pricing information is not publicly available.
Cisco SASE Architecture
Cisco has a build-your-own solution that combines its various offerings into one comprehensive SASE Architecture. Leveraging the Umbrella, Duo and SD-WAN products, the integrated solution effortlessly converges connections for security and experience.
- Secure access without trade-offs: Use security that will hinder attackers without being a bother to users. With Cisco, you don’t have to choose between high security and productivity.
- Automated, streamlined security with Extended Threat Detection and Response (XDR): Mitigating threats is easier with XDR, combining data from multiple sources and automatically responding to attacks.
- Cisco Secure Firewall 3100 Series: Provides next-generation firewall capabilities with the ability to scale up to 10 Gbps.
- Cisco SD-WAN: A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution that helps simplify the deployment and management of enterprise WANs.
- Cisco AnyConnect: A remote access solution that provides users with secure, seamless access to corporate resources from any location.
- Zero Trust Network Access (Cisco Secure Access by Duo): A zero trust network security solution that uses two-factor authentication to verify the identity of users before granting them access to corporate resources.
- Control with cloud security (Cisco Umbrella): A cloud security solution that helps protect against malware, phishing, and other online threats. Cisco Umbrella also provides advanced reporting and analytics capabilities.
- Intuitive user interface
- Straightforward configuration and security policy setup
- The vendor has lots of training materials, documentation live webinars
- Duo app is easy to use and reliable
- Best custom SASE solution
Most customers buy Cisco products via a Cisco partner. Final pricing depends on the actual SASE bundle you settle on.
FortiSASE Solution is a combination of various Fortinet products that can be bought singularly or as a modular solution. Some of its notable features include firewall as a service, intrusion prevention, secure web access, and zero-trust networking.
- Secure web gateway (SWG): The secure web gateway provides protection against threats coming from the web, including malware, ransomware, and phishing. It also allows for granular control over user access to web applications and websites.
- Universal zero-trust network access (ZTNA): The universal zero-trust network access feature provides a secure way to connect to corporate resources from any device, regardless of location.
- Next-generation dual-mode cloud access security broker (CASB): The next-generation dual-mode cloud access security broker provides visibility and control over sensitive data in cloud applications and services. It also helps protect against threats that originate in the cloud.
- Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS): The firewall-as-a-service feature provides a firewall for protecting your network from incoming and outgoing traffic.
- Good support for SASE features
- Centralized, automated control dashboard
- Intuitive user interface
- Excellent protection against web-based threats
- Fortinet firewall is easy to troubleshoot compared to its peers
Free product demos and free trials are available. Pricing depends on the SASE package you choose and may vary depending on the number of users and devices covered.
Forcepoint SASE Platform
Forcepoint’s SASE security offering combines networking and application security solutions. The platform is powered by cloud access, zero-trust functionality, data-centric security features, virtual firewalls, and network access through a unified software-defined agent.
- Secure Web Gateway: Forcepoint SASE’s Secure Web Gateway provides protection against web-based threats by blocking malicious and unwanted traffic before it reaches the corporate network. It also provides granular policies to enforce safe browsing practices for users and inspects SSL traffic for signs of tampering or infection.
- Cloud Access Secure Broker: The Cloud Access Secure Broker allows secure access to cloud applications from any device, anywhere. It provides a single sign-on experience for users and eliminates the need for separate authentication credentials for each application.
- Zero Trust Network Access: Forcepoint SASE’s Zero Trust Network Access provides security for devices that are not traditionally considered part of the corporate network. It uses context-aware policies to dynamically determine the trust level of each device, user, and application and then applies the appropriate security measures.
- Patented, agentless reverse proxy: The patented agentless reverse proxy technology in Forcepoint SASE allows secure remote access to both internal and external applications without the need for additional software or agents on endpoints.
- Cloud Security Posture Management: Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) in Forcepoint SASE gives customers real-time visibility into the security state of their cloud deployments. CSPM can detect and report on insecure configurations, malware infections, and other threats and provides recommendations for remediating them.
- One platform, console and agent
- Convenient and unified SASE platform
- Excellent for SaaS application security
- Good support for ZTNA
- CSPM offers valuable insights
Customers can schedule a demo. The vendor does not publish pricing information.