SASE is a next-generation WAN solution designed to meet the needs of the modern enterprise. It combines the network optimization capabilities of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solutions with a full security stack and is deployed as a cloud-native security solution.
SD-WAN enables optimized traffic routing between SASE appliances, but this is only effective if a SD-WAN appliance is deployed alongside a full security stack. Otherwise, traffic will need to be routed through the headquarters network anyway for security inspection.
For this reason, a SASE integrates security solutions that include – but are not limited to – the following:
- Firewall as a Service (FWaaS): FWaaS within SASE provides an organization with access to the capabilities of a next-generation firewall (NGFW) as part of their SASE solution. This provides the foundation for any organization’s security stack, and SASE ensures that this protection is available for all traffic across the corporate WAN.
- Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): CASB is responsible for enforcing security policies within cloud environments. This is an invaluable feature in a SASE solution because it ensures that the organization’s security is consistently applied and enforced across the organization’s entire IT ecosystem, regardless of the details of the endpoints and environments being protected.
- Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Zero trust is a security model based upon strong authentication and assigning access to corporate resources based upon job roles and business needs. Integrating ZTNA into SASE ensures that users, regardless of where they are located on the network, only have access to the data and resources required to do their jobs. This dramatically minimizes the impact of a compromised account by restricting an attacker’s capabilities and ability to move laterally within the network.
- Secure Web Gateway (SWG): A SWG inspects incoming Internet traffic for malware and other malicious or unwanted content. This is an essential because it can help to identify and block attacks relying on malicious links, regardless of how they are delivered.
How Does SASE Protect SaaS Applications?
As organizations’ sensitive data increasingly moves to the cloud, it is essential to deploy SaaS security and email protection solutions capable of securing these applications against the most common and modern cyber threats. SASE’s integrated security stack provides a protection against a number of the most common threat vectors facing SaaS applications:
- Phishing Attacks: With cloud-based email, phishing is one of the most common cyber threats faced by an organization. If an attacker can successfully trick an email recipient into clicking on a malicious link or downloading an attachment, then it is possible to deliver malware or perform an account takeover. SASE, with its integrated FWaaS and SWG, can help to identify and block attempted phishing attacks before they cause damage to the organization.
- Malware: Malware attacks can be designed to do anything from stealing sensitive data to denying an organization access to critical resources with ransomware. The full security stack within a SASE solution should include an integrated sandbox environment. This enables any suspicious content to be inspected and classified as benign or malicious before it touches the organization’s cloud-based or internal systems.
- Account Takeover: Employees commonly have poor password security habits, including the use of weak passwords and reuse of the same passwords across multiple accounts. These practices – combined with the threat of phishing attacks targeting user credentials – make it easier for an attacker to gain access to a legitimate user account within an organization. Beyond helping to block these attacks – using anti-phishing and anti-malware protections – SASE can also help to minimize the damage by using CASB and ZTNA functionality to restrict a compromised account’s access and permissions on enterprise systems.
- Data Breaches: As an organization’s sensitive and valuable information is increasingly stored in SaaS solutions like Office 365, it is necessary to deploy solutions capable of identifying and blocking attempted data breaches. SASE’s integrated FWaaS and CASB functionality enable an organization to enforce strict data protection policies to help with data loss prevention (DLP).
Protecting SaaS Email and Office 365 with Harmony
SASE is the next generation of WAN networking and security, offering optimization of both network routing and security in a single solution. To learn more about SASE and its capabilities, check out this webinar.
Harmony Connect SASE is Check Point’s cloud-native SASE and SaaS security platform. To learn more about its SASE capabilities, request a demo of Harmony Connect. For more information about Harmony Email & Office 365 protection offerings, you can also request a demo.