Exium expands SASE, 5G-based security for midsize enterprise networks

The on-premises module offers new capabilities, based on 5G standards, for midsize businesses.

California-based secure networking company Exium is adding a new, on-premises SASE ( secure access service edge) node to its cloud-based network management and security platform, bringing that system's capabilities directly to end users' data centers.

SASE is a Gartner-defined model that combines SD-WAN with cloud services. It aims to provide a single, cloud-based service that can dramatically simplify the deployment of modern, identity-based security technology. Gartner's definition of SASE mandates the use of five specific security technologies, including secure web gateways, SD-WAN, firewall-as-a-service, a zero-trust network access model and a cloud access security broker to keep data in cloud systems secure.

According to Exium COO Michael Gallagher, all of these features are key to protecting businesses' networks from the full panoply of modern security threats, but they're often sold a la carte, meaning that midsize businesses might have a hard time affording all of the necessary products, or having difficulty integrating them all together.

"Everyone is under siege," he said. "[Midsize businesses] are getting hacked and ransomwared more than anybody else right now, because they can't afford the gear and they can't afford the security."

Cloud-based offering adopts 5G standards for SASE

The idea with Exium's service, which is sold both through the channel via managed service providers and direct to end users, is to provide a one-stop, fully cloud-based offering for the midmarket that covers those gaps. To do this, the company has adopted open standards from the 5G core project, and built a zero-trust architecture and SASE capability, among other things, on top.

According to the company's founder and CEO, Farooq Khan, the use of 5G security standards allows both a degree of flexibility — open standards are designed to be iterated on for specific use cases, after all — and a built-in, automatic path to upgrades, since the standards are constantly refreshed by other stakeholders like the telecom companies.

"Billions of dollars go into that," said Khan. "It keeps getting better and better, every year there's a new release, and we piggyback on that."

But one issue with any cloud-based service is the need for a round-trip between the cloud and the end-user's systems — which is the issue that Exium's new on-premises SASE node is designed to correct. The idea here is to build many of the Exium framework's capabilities into a software image that can be run on any x86 machine sitting in the customer's data center, to support network segmentation and operational/IoT technology.

The local node is still managed from the cloud, according to Gallagher, so no additional provisioning or management work is needed.

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