Organizations must improve their security posture to mitigate the risks of evolving cyber threats. As the world embraced remote working, hackers also increased their attacks on remote workplaces to extract sensitive information or inject ransomware to extort organizations. Therefore, organizations had to deploy network security solutions to protect their network and data.
Most organizations use a Security Service Edge (SSE) solution to have a holistic view of the network and their user’s activities as they utilize cloud resources. Organizations prefer implementing an SSE solution because it allows them to migrate to the cloud while ensuring the same level of security as on-premises infrastructure.
What is SSE?
Secure Service Edge is a comprehensive solution that equips organizations with a full set of security technologies to build a cloud-based remote workspace. You can use SSE to secure your applications, data, tools, and other corporate resources while monitoring behavior and tracking usage over the network.
An effective SSE solution consists of four capabilities that protect the cloud:
- Secure web gateway.
An intermediary between the users and the web, which contains acceptable secure user policies that prevent users from accessing restricted or unsecured websites.
- Zero Trust Network Access.
A cloud security service that applies the Zero Trust policies to remote traffic to restrict their access to the cloud resources. With a ZTNA in place, your remote users won’t be able to see or interact with others without verification.
- Cloud access security broker.
A software gatekeeper between the organization’s on-premises and cloud infrastructure to enforce security policies on incoming and outgoing traffic.
A cloud-based service that protects the cloud infrastructure without rerouting traffic through physical hardware. FWaaS provides all standard firewall features like URL filtering, intrusion detection, and network monitoring.
Pros of an SSE Solution
Here are four benefits that make SSE one of the most effective cybersecurity solutions.
- Enforcing security policies.
An SSE solution connects all endpoints into a common security platform, where all traffic is inspected and compared against corporate policies to protect data and prevent threats. SEE inspects all traffic exchanges from legacy and web-based applications to enforce security policies on every user, avoiding any compromise to data security.
- Reducing attack surface.
SSE leverages Zero Trust to ensure users only gain authorized access to applications, and their session is continuously assessed to detect anomalies like threats, attacks, and data loss. SSE uses application connectors to create an overlaying network on top of the organization’s infrastructure to continuously inspect the traffic between users and applications. You can also implement identity access control to segment the network without integrating additional components to perform deep packet security inspection.
- Implementing performance-based security inspection.
SSE is a cloud-native solution that you can deliver through a global backbone consisting of points of presence. These PoPs must secure the traffic without negatively impacting the cloud’s user experience. Therefore, you must scale PoPs vertically and horizontally to leverage optimal routing capabilities for local and global traffic.
- Reducing IT workload.
SSE establishes process processes to update cloud services continuously, integrating new enhancements and fixes without taking input from the users. Therefore, the self-maintainability of SSE reduces the total cost of ownership and diverts key IT resources to improve the business.
SSE Use Cases and Their Benefits
Here are some SSE use cases that can improve your understanding of how it can benefit your organization.
Securing Remote Access to Applications
Many traditional organizations were forced to adopt new remote access technologies to allow their employees to work from home. Previously, VPNs were used to access enterprise resources, but they were ineffective for a fully remote workforce as it grants access to the entire network. Organizations were worried that a single compromised set of credentials could compromise the entire network.
The remote traffic needed to be rerouted to a secure server with a firewall to filter traffic and detect malware, which led to bottlenecks on the enterprise network that negatively affected the network’s performance.
SSE eliminated bottlenecks because it removed the need for rerouting remote traffic to the organization’s secure server. It leverages technologies like ZTNA to equip organizations with granular visibility, control, and verification of remote employees before granting them access to cloud resources.
After authenticating a user, ZTNA creates an encrypted tunnel to cloud resources and removes the need to use a VPN. You can use SSE as a unified cloud-based security stack that can be easily accessed and managed from anywhere. Components like FWaaS make monitoring and tracking remote connections from a centralized control panel easier.
Additionally, SSE helps restrict lateral movement across your network by following the dark cloud principle to prevent remote users from seeing or interacting with anything except the services and applications they are allowed to view. Therefore, SSE is VPN’s alternate, allowing remote users to access the applications without compromising the entire network.
Migrating to the Cloud Without Compromising Security
Most organizations don’t move towards cloud infrastructure due to security concerns. It’s commonly perceived that the cloud is not as secure as in-house infrastructure due to a lack of enterprise security and access control policies.
SSE offers Cloud and SaaS services the same level of security as an enterprise network. It uses integrated CASB capabilities to implement security, governance, compliance, and access policies across cloud and SaaS platforms.
A cloud access security broker also leverages API integration to discover data and identify users utilizing it automatically.
CASB also uses APIs to scan malware, detect policy violations, notify administrators, and contain threats. Therefore, organizations can use CASB to migrate to the cloud from their on-premises data centers and apply the same data governance, access, and security policies to protect their sensitive data.
An SSE solution provides organizations the necessary security and protection to move their sensitive data to the cloud. It integrates numerous technologies like SWG, ZTNA, CASB, and FWaaS to convert the network into segments and improve monitoring.
Administrators can design an effective SSE solution that restricts the lateral movements of users across the network, mitigating the risks of data exposure.