SASE helps healthcare company pivot to support remote workers

TrialCard rolls out secure access service edge (SASE), which combines SD-WAN capabilities with network security services.

network security lock padlock breach
Getty Images

Security and performance concerns made it challenging for TrialCard to enable its employees to work from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Customer service agents use a voice-over-IP phone and thin-client computer, both of which were designed to work in an on-premises office environment. "They need those systems to do their day-to-day job," says Ryan Van Dynhoven, director of infrastructure at TrialCard, a Morrisville, N.C.-based company that helps pharmaceutical manufacturers connect with patients, including providing patient support and clinical trial services.

To maintain sufficient voice quality over residential Internet connections and keep those interactions secure, TrialCard looked to deploy a new secure services architecture: secure access service edge. SASE, pronounced "sassy," combines elements of SD-WAN and network security in a cloud-based service.

Research firm Gartner started talking about SASE last year, citing the need for greater scalability, flexibility, low latency, and pervasive security at the WAN edge than a legacy network and security architecture can provide. Services that might be wrapped into SASE include SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), DNS protection, and cloud-based firewall.

"SASE offerings will provide policy-based 'software defined' secure access from an infinitely tailorable network fabric in which enterprise security professionals can precisely specify the level of performance, reliability, security, and cost of every network session based on identity and context," Gartner wrote in its report introducing SASE.

To continue reading this article register now