Ten essential benefits of a managed SASE solution

July 27, 2023
Matt Douglass
Sr. Director of Solution Engineering
Ten essential benefits of a managed SASE solution

SASE (SD-WAN + SSE) is critical for the security of modern businesses. The CBTS best-of-breed approach produces the best results for the success of long-term managed services.

What exactly is SASE (pronounced “sassy”)? It’s a framework that unites security and networking in a cloud-based model, combining software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) with secure service edge (SSE) technologies. SASE benefits an organization by simplifying and strengthening its security fabric, boosting efficiency, and simplifying WAN deployment. It is evolving to include a portfolio of security tools, including VPN/ZTNA, EDR, CASB, DLP, and a host of new emerging AI tools.

Each SASE and SD-WAN vendor offers slightly different features, so it’s not uncommon for organizations to utilize multiple security and networking solutions to create a customized security strategy. However, managing several vendors quickly becomes overwhelming for overworked IT departments. A managed service provider (MSP) like CBTS can help your organization choose and implement as many solutions as necessary for your operations while maintaining a single point of contact.

Learn more: What is SASE?

What SASE means today

SASE increasingly relies on zero trust network access (ZTNA), a security philosophy that only gives users access to systems and applications as needed. ZTNA is a broad approach, but in essence, it involves the following:

A vital tenet of ZTNA is the concept of “least privilege access,” which monitors user IDs, device IDs, and application IDs for anomalies. For example, if a user who logs into a Salesforce account at 9 a.m. in Chicago and then tries to log into the same account from Germany at 10 a.m., this activity is blocked as impossible and suspicious.

Additionally, as SASE evolves, it has grown to incorporate other security tools, including:

  • VPN clients.
  • Remote SWG clients.
  • Multiple site east/west firewall.
  • EDR/XDR.
  • MDR/SOC.
  • Malware/threat prevention (signature and IP reputation).
  • New AI/machine learning technologies.

Learn more: 2023 Strategic Roadmap: The Future of SD-WAN

Single platform vs. best-of-breed

Leading technology vendors like VMware and Palo Alto offer various SD-WAN and SASE solutions. Some vendors consider SD-WAN and SASE to be the same thing. While there is a good amount of overlap between the two, there are enough differences to be meaningful. Choosing a single vendor for SASE and SD-WAN has the benefit of simplicity and lowering operational complexity.

But what if there are specific tools that your organization needs from rival vendors? Then your IT will need to manage several platforms and risk tool sprawl. But a managed service provider can deliver integrated solutions from multiple vendors in a customized best-of-breed approach. This approach offers the best of both worlds—simplified operations while accessing the highest quality tools.  

Top benefits of a managed SASE solution

1. Cost efficiency

Managed services eliminate the need for upfront technology spending and significantly reduce overhead. Managed SASE shifts the expense model from CapEx to OpEx. Additionally, managed SASE allows IT departments to realign from maintenance tasks to innovative, mission-critical projects.

2. Access to experts

Your IT department likely houses many skilled professionals. However, security requires up-to-the-minute knowledge of the increasingly sophisticated threat landscape. CBTS security experts constantly monitor and adapt to emerging threats. In addition, they can guide your company through the thorny issues revolving around data compliance.

3. Mitigate security risks

It’s not enough to simply access next-gen security tools. Your company needs the experienced hand of security professionals to implement those tools according to the highest priority threats based on ZTNA and data compliance frameworks. Managed SASE significantly improves security across all users.

4. Increase visibility and control across hybrid environments

Managed SASE provides greater visibility across the whole of your digital estate. Closely monitor applications, users, and data flow. What’s more, managed SASE lets you take control of user profiles or application traffic when needed.

5. Simplify security operations

Merging networking and security with a managed SASE solution simplifies IT operations for the enterprise. There’s no need to update hardware at each location; all that’s needed is an Internet connection.

6. Free up IT resources

Implementing, managing, and maintaining SASE tools require time and resources. Sustaining relationships with vendors takes even more time. MSPs remove these burdens and allow your IT team to refocus on more important tasks.

7. 24x7x365 support

A high-quality MSP supports your business through each phase, from consultation to deployment to support. CBTS managed service experts provide day-two assistance for their clients and 24x7x365 technical support, as well as response, remediation, and SOC (Security Operation Center) capabilities.

8. Custom solutions

Utilizing the CBTS best-of-breed approach, you gain access to the best tools your organization needs, regardless of the vendor. Our team can advise you on what services, bundles, and solutions make the most sense for your company and then implement and manage those solutions. While being vendor-agnostic, CBTS maintains relationships with industry-leading technology vendors that our experts can leverage to seek the best pricing possible. Additionally, you will avoid the tool sprawl associated with deploying multiple security and networking tools by leveraging CBTS as your single point of contact for your organization.

9. Flexibility

Managed SASE solutions are easily implemented at any location and for remote work environments. CBTS service managers continuously update, upgrade, and manage SASE platforms to ensure the highest quality of service. Security policies can be customized based on user groups, personas, or roles.

10. Security on a global scale

SASE is ideal for a hybrid world. Admins can set security policies from a central cloud-based platform for every branch globally. They can easily add new branches or implement multi-factor authentication. Build security standards that apply to your business, regardless of where the user works.

Managed SASE is a future-proof investment

Managed SASE benefits your organization in many ways, including a cost-effective increase in ROI, reduced operational complexity, and greater security regardless of where your staff is located. While taking a single vendor approach to SASE management has its benefits, in the end, the logical conclusion is to seek out a best-of-breed provider that can offer custom solutions while maintaining a single point of contact.

The MSP you select for SASE implementation must have security and networking experience. CBTS is deeply experienced in both areas, with extensive relationships with leading security vendors, including Check Point, VMware, and Palo Alto. By combining multiple, best-of-breed SD-WAN and SASE solutions, CBTS delivers complete cloud-based security while streamlining access and control for our clients.

CBTS experts work from the assessment phase to the implementation of your SASE capabilities to provide ongoing, full-spectrum support for your organization.

Contact us today to level up your approach to network security.

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