Network as a Service (NaaS)

Networking as a service (NaaS) is becoming more prevalent in today’s cyber landscape, as it becomes more difficult, costly, and requires more resources to design, build, and manage a network in-house. 

NaaS is a growing model in which organizations can remove the burden of having to completely build a network infrastructure from the ground up, and instead rely on experienced network security professionals to provide a comprehensive package of value. This could include network resources, security services, appliances/products, and much more at a single price point for a predetermined amount of time.

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Network as a Service (NaaS)

How Does Network as a Service (NaaS) Work?

NaaS works by applying a service-based model to network equipment. The service provider owns, installs, and operates the hardware used by their customers, and the customer pays a monthly subscription fee for access.

Different companies may take advantage of various degrees of NaaS services. Some examples include:

  • Rental Hardware: The service provider owns and provides the networking hardware. The customer is responsible for installing and operating it.
  • Managed Services: The service provider offers subscription-based access to hardware and a managed service for operating it.
  • Full NaaS: The service provider is responsible for all aspects of the networking hardware (ownership, installation, and operation).

The Need for NaaS

Corporate networks are growing increasingly complex. The adoption of cloud computing means that many corporate applications have moved off of the on-prem network. This includes corporate file sharing, videoconferencing, and other applications. Employees need access to these applications to do their jobs, and many of these applications are latency sensitive, requiring high-performance and reliable network connectivity.

Deploying, monitoring, and managing the network and security infrastructure needed to support the distributed enterprise is complex and requires specialized knowledge and expertise. A NaaS solution enables an organization to ensure that it has the network infrastructure that it needs and enterprise-grade security to protect it without the need to maintain the necessary personnel and resources in-house.

Benefits of NaaS

As NaaS enables an organization to outsource the responsibility for deploying, operating, and securing its corporate WAN to its NaaS provider, it offers several different benefits to the organization, including the following:

  • Service-Based Model: With NaaS’s service-based model, organizations pay for networking resources and infrastructure as they consume them. This can provide significant cost savings compared to a model where an organization pays for resources whether or not they use them.
  • Performance and Reliability: NaaS providers offer high-performance, reliable network infrastructure with connectivity to corporate cloud-based deployments. This ensures that latency-sensitive cloud-based applications have good performance and a positive user experience.
  • Up-To-Date Systems: NaaS providers are responsible for installing updates, including both security fixes and expansions to network functionality. This enables an organization to take advantage of modern infrastructure without the need to maintain it itself.
  • Distributed WAN: Maintaining a corporate WAN in-house grows more complex as companies adopt remote work and the cloud. NaaS provides high-performance, reliable connectivity for workers connecting from anywhere to anywhere.
  • Improved Security: NaaS providers are responsible for monitoring and securing the network infrastructure that they provide to customers. With NaaS, an organization can take advantage of enterprise-grade security with the latest tools operated by experts.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: NaaS provides network services under a cloud service-based model using software-defined networking (SDN). Expanding and reconfiguring the corporate network can be done at the software level, providing greater agility and scalability than hardware-based networks.
  • Improved Network Visibility: NaaS providers have monitoring capabilities built into their network infrastructure. This provides customers with improved visibility into how their network and applications are being used.

NaaS and SASE

An effective NaaS offering provides high-performance network connectivity and enterprise-grade security across the entire corporate WAN. This includes both on-prem and multi-cloud environments.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is the logical choice for NaaS. SASE combines a range of network optimization features with various security solutions – including firewall as a service (FWaaS), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateway (SWG), and more – as a cloud-based service.

SASE points of presence (PoPs) can be deployed anywhere in the cloud and optimally route traffic between them using software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). All traffic flowing over the corporate WAN is inspected and secured by SASE, and an organization can centrally monitor and manage its distributed WAN infrastructure.

Network as a Service with Harmony Connect

Check Point’s Harmony Connect SASE solution provides secure remote access for the distributed enterprise. To learn more about achieving both network performance and security with secure SD-WAN, check out this buyer’s guide. Then, request a demo to see the capabilities of Harmony Connect for yourself.

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