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SASE today

Before we can dive into Security Service Edge (SSE), we first need to go down memory lane with secure access service edge (SASE).

SASE has rapidly become a new solution amongst the IT community. Not just because it's a fun term to say, but it also gives your business the peace of mind knowing you are providing optimal and secure connectivity edge to cloud. 

Prior to SASE becoming popular, organizations had already embarked on their transition from a centralized traditional data center design to a cloud-centric design like software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). However, security teams were confronted with the following challenges that SASE was able to solve:

  • Network and security visibility
  • Centralized security policy
  • Secure consistent access to internal resources while minimizing latency
  • Cohesive user experience regardless of physical location and identity context

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What is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

I know what you are thinking – my organization just started on their SASE journey and now there is a new breakout term called SSE?! 

Don't panic. Simply think of SSE as the unified security services slice of the SASE pizza. Gartner coined the SSE term in their "2021 Roadmap for SASE Convergence" to develop a path for organizations struggling to bridge the gap between their cloud-security design and WAN Service Edge design.

SASE components explanation
Vendors may handle security features differently than shown above. We can help you determine what vendor will work to meet your organization's needs.

Looking at the image above, think of SASE as the extra-large pizza you would like to order for your network and security team pizza party. However, your network team likes cheese pizza, and your security team likes pepperoni pizza. Due to cost, you can only order one extra-large pizza. The solution here is to order a half-and-half SASE pizza.

Yes, we're aware the analogy can be likened to a bad dad joke. The point is, you can start your SASE journey by focusing first on the same unified security features with SSE or focusing on the WAN Service Edge. This gives IT leadership the ability to begin their digital transformation, even if the network team and security team are not aligned for an immediate full SASE solution. However, once the network and security toppings are ready to be put on the SASE pizza, the oven is hot and ready to bake the perfect half-and-half pizza.

SSE and SASE similarities

  • Threat protection
  • Data security
  • Centralized security policy and monitoring
  • Secure user experience regardless of location

SSE and SASE differences

  • Possible inconsistent user experience due to latency
  • Great solution for newcomers to the SASE pizza party
  • Can work with legacy network architecture, but does not unify the network and security architectures

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SSE can be your organization's starting point before integrating your network and security into a unified experience with SASE. We're here to help with those decisions. You can start by following our SASE topic to review additional articles, OEMs and on-demand labs. Also, you can request a briefing that is designed to help you with this conversation.

Understand the SSE of SASE