Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

By: Dustin Bonn
March 8, 2023

“Migrate to the cloud,” they said. “Everything will be easier,” they said. 

You did, and a lot of things did get easier. But if your network isn’t up to the challenge, and all of your cloud tools aren’t performing as expected, there’s a better way. As a bonus, it also makes security a lot easier. 

What is SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge?

SASE (pronounced “sassy”) is a type of network architecture that blends VPN and SD-WAN capabilities to better support cloud security, including cloud access security brokers, zero-trust network access, secure web gateways, and firewalls. This network, just like the solutions it was designed to support, will be delivered in the cloud by a SASE vendor.

And if you’re wondering, yes, it’s already being referred to as SASE as a Service, but I haven’t yet seen SASEaaS. 

What Are the Benefits of SASE?

Essentially, with SASE, you’ll get reliable, secure connectivity that’s better designed for cloud tools, and it’s also much easier for IT personnel to manage. 

More specifically, businesses will enjoy the following benefits: 

  • Save money
  • Provide a better end-user experience for cloud applications
  • Improve productivity
  • Add security to remote and hybrid workplaces
  • Add microsegmentation
  • Provide centralized orchestration and real-time application optimization
  • Easily increase security consistently, throughout your network and tools
  • Free up time for IT personnel 

The 3 Components of SASE

There are 3 Cs of SASE: 

  1. Connect
  2. Control
  3. Converge

Let’s explore each of these in a little more detail.



An effective SASE architecture will quickly and effectively connect users to their cloud tools.


With layers of segmentation, also known as zero trust architecture, you’ll be able to restrict access by user, device, and application. 


Security and productivity are often at odds. In a SASE solution, networking and security go hand in hand. 

The SASE Architecture Challenge

Ever heard of the Minitel? It was a French videotex service that allowed users to find contact information, make purchases, get information, access online dating services, post messages, and play games. And if that sounds a little bit like an early version of what we now know as the internet, you’re on the right track. It was faster than the phone book, but you’d still need to visit the local library to get in-depth information about a topic, and you’d still need different tools to accomplish most business tasks. It definitely wasn’t the all-encompassing internet we have today. 

SASE architecture is currently kind of in the Minitel phase. It’s not really a one-and-done product…yet. But you can mimic its functionality in a few ways. 

Cisco’s SASE Solutions

SASE may not yet be one-and-done, but you can find a one-and-done provider that’s evolving their tools towards SASE architecture. That alone can go a long way toward streamlining operations and management tasks, and you’ll avoid the blame game if your solution doesn’t perform the way it should. 

Cisco currently has four product solutions that, together, will help start your journey to SASE architecture:

  1. Cisco+ Secure Connect
  2. Cisco Umbrella
  3. Cisco Secure Access by Duo
  4. Cisco SD-WAN

Get Secure Access Anywhere

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Topics: Security