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How businesses can transition to a single vendor SASE solution
Thu, 30th Nov 2023

Secure access service edge (SASE) has quickly transformed from concept into reality to accommodate and secure the surge in new network edges and remote and hybrid workspaces. It’s a cloud-based framework that combines various network and security functions, such as software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS), into a singular cloud-delivered solution. This integration offers users secure access to enterprise applications and data from any location or device, enhancing flexibility, scalability, and security while reducing complexity. 

The traditional model of network security, focused on protecting a centralised network perimeter, has become less effective with the advent of cloud computing, mobile devices, and the shift to remote work. SASE addresses this by delivering security from the cloud and applying it at the network’s edge, where users and devices connect. Its identity-driven security, cloud-native architecture, and globally distributed network simplify and reduce costs by consolidating multiple security technologies into a single solution.

To address the challenges of complex security environments, vendors are now providing single-vendor SASE solutions. This strategy offers a more streamlined and unified approach to deployment, ensuring that security policies are applied uniformly across all network environments. However, the adoption of SASE is not without its challenges. Businesses need to carefully assess how this system will integrate with their current setup and prepare for any compatibility issues that might arise. It also requires significant adjustments in both operational processes and the organisation’s cultural mindset. 

For a smooth transition, it’s important for company leaders to clearly articulate the advantages of this change to their teams, ensuring everyone understands and supports the new approach. The integrated approach of SASE may also present itself as a learning opportunity for IT staff who are more accustomed to traditional, separate models of network and security systems. To combat this, businesses must offer comprehensive training and support to fully leverage the capabilities of the SASE system.

While the idea of transitioning to a single-vendor SASE solution might seem overwhelming for organisations accustomed to using multiple vendors, a systematic approach can make the process much more manageable.

First, it’s important to gain a thorough understanding of the current network environment. Given the rapid evolution of networks, IT teams must assess their existing infrastructure, understand the company’s needs, evaluate the solutions in place, and clarify team responsibilities. When it comes to selecting a single-vendor SASE provider, consideration is key. Businesses should look for a solution that offers flexibility and compatibility with existing security systems, including on-premises solutions. 

Post-implementation, it’s important to evaluate the transition. Organisations should review each step, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, especially in terms of communication, execution, and user experience. These evaluations are valuable for refining future migrations.

Implementing the SASE solution should be a gradual process, beginning with the less critical segments of the network and progressively extending to more essential areas. This staged implementation helps to reduce operational disruptions and facilitates smoother integration into the existing network framework.

Moving to a single-vendor SASE solution can be straightforward if done thoughtfully. It’s all about good planning and understanding the challenges that might come up, as the goal is to keep things simple. By doing so, companies can anticipate enhanced security, a fluid user experience, and heightened operational efficiency throughout their networks. They’ll also see their network operations run more efficiently, which is a win for everyone.