Most companies know that they need specialized cloud security solutions, but it can be difficult to determine what they actually need. A common question might be whether or not a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is sufficient to maintain security policies and protect their application in the cloud, but CASB is no longer the only solution for cloud-based security policy management.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) provides all of the capabilities of CASB as well as additional security solutions and zero-trust capabilities that extend beyond the cloud, reaching the remote user and branch office. Here we discuss the pros and cons of each, and provide further insight into the SASE vs CASB question.

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What is CASB?

A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a cloud security solution designed to address the deficiencies of legacy network security models. In the past, organizations relied on a perimeter-focused security model where an array of cybersecurity defenses were deployed at the perimeter of the enterprise local area network (LAN). By forcing all traffic to flow through this perimeter, it was possible to inspect it and attempt to block threats from entering the network and sensitive data from leaving it.

With the growth of cloud computing, this perimeter-focused model no longer works. A growing percentage of an organization’s resources are located outside of the enterprise LAN and the defenses that secure it.

CASB solutions help to bring the same level of protection to the cloud. Whether implemented as a physical appliance or under a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, they provide network visibility and threat protection for an organization’s cloud applications.

  • Pros and Cons of CASB

On the one hand, a CASB solution can be very effective at achieving its intended purpose. A CASB solution provides limited inline threat protection capabilities and can be combined with other solutions to provide an organization’s cloud infrastructure with the protection that it requires.

However, the major limitation of CASB is this need to integrate it with other standalone security solutions. Every cybersecurity solution that an organization needs to acquire, deploy, monitor, and maintain increases security complexity and decreases the efficiency of the security team.

What is SASE?

Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a networking solution designed to provide high-performance and reliable network connectivity by aggregating multiple transport links. Its ability to optimally route traffic between SD-WAN appliances makes it an ideal choice for connecting organizations to their multiple cloud-based deployments.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) integrates SD-WAN functionality with a full network security stack and deploys the result as a cloud-native virtual appliance. This enables an organization to perform full security inspections and achieve comprehensive visibility into the traffic flowing through their corporate WAN while taking advantage of the optimal routing provided by SD-WAN.

  • Pros and Cons of SASE

SASE is an emerging technology that promises to provide an all-in-one solution fulfilling the networking and security requirements of a corporate WAN. A fully integrated security stack enables an organization to take advantage of the convergence of SD-WAN network services and fully integrated security technologies.

SASE is a complete WAN infrastructure solution, meaning that it cannot be just slotted into place like CASB. Implementing SASE may require a network redesign and retiring legacy networking and security solutions. However, the efficiency and security benefits of SASE can outweigh the costs associated with deploying it.

The Verdict on SASE vs CASB

CASB is designed to solve the challenges of protecting an organization’s cloud applications. While the cloud does not fit into the traditional perimeter-focused security model used in the past, CASB extends some of the same protections to an organization’s cloud-based deployment.

SASE provides a fully integrated security stack, including CASB. This goes beyond providing the security features that CASB includes to incorporate the optimized network routing offered by SD-WAN, the security of a next-generation firewall (NGFW), and more.

The main difference between SASE and CASB is the level of security integration available within the solution and the assets protected by the solution. CASB secures SaaS applications and can be an add-on to a security stack where the organization has already invested in and deployed the other necessary security solutions. SASE, on the other hand, offers a fully-integrated WAN networking and security solution that connects remote users and branch offices to cloud and corporate applications and the Internet.

Why Both SASE and CASB Can Be Beneficial To Your Organization Depending On Your Business Needs

A standalone CASB and a SASE solution both provide the CASB functionality required for cloud security. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the “right choice” can depend on an organization’s unique situation and business needs.

In general, the integration and optimization provided by SASE is likely the better option since it simplifies security and maximizes the efficiency of an organization’s security team. However, a standalone CASB solution can be more easily slotted into an organization’s existing security architecture.

To learn more about protecting your cloud-based resources, check out this webinar. Then, contact us for more information and request a demo to see how Check Point’s solutions can help to increase and simplify the security of your multicloud deployment.

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