A SASE Crash Course

Get up to speed fast on the Secure Access Service Edge, an emerging converged networking and security category that Gartner has labelled transformational.

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2020! What could better motivate you to push ahead with your resolutions and organization’s digital transformation than a new year AND a new decade. As you put together your digital strategy, check out a new transformation-empowering (and transformational) technology category Gartner coined the Secure Access Service Edge or SASE (pronounced “Sassy”). SASE converges wide area networking and identity-based security into a cloud service targeted directly to your branch offices, mobile users, cloud services, and even IoT devices, wherever they happen to be. The result: consistently high WAN performance, security, productivity, agility, and flexibility across the global, mobile, cloud-enabled enterprise.

To jumpstart your research into one of the few networking categories Gartner has labelled “transformational,” we’ve put together a very workable SASE crash course and reading list. Each lesson helps you dig a little deeper into SASE, so you can develop a good grasp of its components and transformational potential.

Lesson 1: SASE as Defined by Gartner

So, what is SASE exactly and why should you care? SASE was coined by Gartner analysts Neil McDonald and Joe Skorupa in a July 29, 2019 Networking Hype Cycle Market Trends Report, How to Win as WAN Edge and Security Converge into the Secure Access Service Edge and an August 30, 2019 Gartner report, The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud. If you don’t have access to these reports, Cato quotes the highlights of the former word for word in this short blog: The Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), as Described in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking, 2019. It’s a great place to get started on exactly what Gartner has to say about SASE and its drivers, likely development, and place in the digitally transforming enterprise. There are also some valuable links to more information on SASE and exactly how the Cato cloud fits into the SASE trend.

Lesson 2: What SASE Is and What It Isn’t

After Gartner piques your interest, get some valuable insight from Cato in this blog: The Secure Access Service Edge (SASE): Here’s Where Your Digital Business Network Starts. Here you can learn why convergence of wide area networking and security is absolutely vital for the agile, digitally transforming enterprise and why legacy data center-centric solutions can’t deliver any more in a world of user mobility and the cloud. This blog breaks down the four essential attributes of SASE—identity driven, cloud native, support for all edges, and globally distributed—in detail. It also explains why SASE is not anything like telco-managed services and summarizes how Cato delivers SASE effectively.

Lesson 3: How Cato Delivers SASE

Sometimes visual/audio-based learning can bring things into better focus than straight text, and few people are better at explaining WAN and security concepts than Yishay Yovel, Cato Network’s Chief Marketing Officer. In this short, 17-minute video presentation, Intro to SASE by Yishay, Yishay digs into Gartner’s take on SASE, why WAN and security need to converge, and why SASE is one of only three (out of 29) Networking Hype Cycle categories that Gartner has labeled “transformational.” Yishay gets into a lot of nitty-gritty SASE details and offers valuable perspective on how Cato Networks delivers a complete cloud-native SASE software stack that supports all edges and is identity-driven, scalable, flexible, and easy to deploy and manage. Yishay also explains clearly why some of the other WAN and security solutions out there don’t fulfill some essential requirements of SASE, such as processing traffic close to the source. For visual learners, there are also some great architectural diagrams.

Lesson 4: Gartner Webinar Breaks Down SASE and its Implications

You’ve heard it from Yishay, now hear it from Gartner’s VP Distinguished Analyst Neil MacDonald and Yishay in this 37-minute Gartner Webinar: Is SASE the Future of SD-WAN and Network Security? MacDonald explains SASE elements and drivers in depth, why SASE belongs in the cloud, how enterprises will adopt SASE, and how organizations should evaluate SASE offerings. There’s some good detail here on how SASE works in different contexts and scenarios, such as a mobile employee connecting to Salesforce securely from the airport, a contractor accessing a Web application from an unmanaged device, and even wind turbines collecting and aggregating data and sending it to the cloud for processing. Neil digs into core SASE requirements and recommends additional services and some other useful options. Yishay then takes over with why Cato is the world’s first true SASE platform.

Lesson 5: The White Paper

But wait, there’s more. Here’s a clear and concise white paper from Cato, The Network for the Digital Business Starts with the Secure Access Service Edge. This is a good piece to give out to the other digital transformation stakeholders in your business if you want them to get up to speed on SASE fast. It’s a quick read that explains why the digital, mobile, cloud-enabled business needs a new converged network/security model. It also covers the four elements of SASE, core SASE capabilities, SASE benefits, and clear examples of what SASE isn’t and why. It describes the features that make Cato one of the most comprehensive SASE offerings on the market. It’s a clear, concise presentation broken into short paragraphs and bullet points to provide a fast introduction to SASE and the Cato Cloud.

Lesson 6: Icing on the Cake: The Short and Sweet Video

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a short YouTube video to go along with the white paper, combining perspective and information from Gartner and Cato on why you need SASE simplicity for your digital transforming business.

We hope you have a happy, healthy, transforming New Year. To accelerate your organization’s digital transformation over the next decade, get up to speed on SASE with these useful blogs, videos, and white papers and find out how SASE can help you make that transformation happen quickly and more easily.