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SASE vs. Zero Trust: Which One Is Better?

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As cybersecurity has become more urgent, organizations are increasingly interested in Gartner’s SASEsolutions model and Zero Trust model to protect their network and company activities.

SASE is a cloud-delivering framework that includes network and security solutions. Zero Trust, however, is an advanced security model. It ensures consistent authentication and validation before making resources available on request.

SASE, a newer network security technology, is largely based on Zero Trust to ensure a reliable and efficient network. Zero Trust not only simplifies network requirements, but also seamlessly adapts to current-day technology.

CNBC reported a dramatic increase in Zero Trust products demand. It was actually predicted that there would be a more than 200% increase in Zero Trust product demand between 2020-2026. Zero Trust is a significant departure from the traditional cybersecurity system.

Many believe that VPN is dead because of the increase in diverse remote workforces after the pandemic.

How SASE and zero trust align, and the importance of identity

Zero Trust removes all trust in any device or user when they request access to company resources. Trust algorithms require constant access to user’s history and identity engines.

SASE, on the other hand requires identity in order to modify policies based upon requested access. A business user can access an application in a bank, while an IoT device can access a cloud resource. This requires multiple identities. It is important to verify who and what access is being requested at each level.

The SASE policy is based on the user, service, or device identity. The Zero Trust strategy also includes other context sources such as the time and place of the request, identity level, trust level, application/data sensitivity, and risk level.

Unified SASE and Zero Trust Principles

Zero Trust Network Access focuses on whitelisting capability to allow service access. It is often referred to the backbone of SASE architecture. Zero Trust is built on a number of policies or tenets. One of the most important tenets is that encryption and authentication must be applied to all communications, regardless of their location. That security must be applied at the layer closest to the asset. Another principle requires that all network flows go through an authentication process before they are finalized. The dynamic policy gives access to the flows. These two essential tenets are the foundation of Zero Trust.

ZTNA works in the same way as traditional remote-access VPNs. It allows access to services only at the application layer and not across the entire network. This allows authorized or authenticated users to access approved applications.

Dynamic Policies and context-aware Trust Levels

One Zero Trust is the principle that access is granted based on dynamic policies. Another feature is the use of technology to automate authentication of users and assets to access resources and make other policy decisions. Automation is a key component of the SASE. It also includes user and device monitoring.

SASE vs. Zero Trust: Which model is best for your business?

Zero Trust is an extremely reliable security strategy during times of cyberspace attacks. SASE can be integrated into many areas of an organization to make it possible. SASE is a key point of reliance when it comes to network security, given the high adoption of cloud services and the service consumption in an X as a Service model.

SASE is not in competition with SASE when it comes down to adopting it. Zero Trust is designed to complement the SASE framework.

The network security architecture is moving away from being a core part of network architectures and focusing on perimeter protection. SASE and Zero Trust are important as organizations strive to increase the security of remote systems.

These principles are the foundation of Zero Trust:

  • Trust no one, asset or person. Authenticate and verify everything.
  • Authorize access to resources and devices that are not restricted to users or devices.
  • Finally, verify and monitor every access.

All levels of access to a company’s network must follow the Zero Trust principles. It doesn’t matter if you are a user or a service, application, cloud or entity. You will need to authenticate, authorize, and monitor the process.

SASE is used to deploy network security services. It focuses mainly on four areas.

  • Security services for networks. SASE focuses mainly on core security services.
  • Network services. It provides secure connections to cloud providers and data centers.
  • Identity. SASE has a similar policy to identity as Zero Trust.
  • Consumption-based. The cloud deployment of network services, network security, and identity.

What are the differences between SASE and zero trust?

Gartner first coined SASE, and Forrester zero trust.

SASE is your “how” and Zero Trust your “what.” Zero Trust does not depend on any particular technology solution in Cyberspace. No matter what deployment method you’re considering. No matter what deployment approach you are using, whether it’s a firewall, AntiX solution, DLP product or monitoring software, the Zero Trust principles can be applied to all aspects of technology deployment.

SASE incorporates many security and networking technologies. It also addresses the deployment of these security services by cloud providers and how companies can use them.

SASE and Zero Trust share the common goal of securing business-, contextual, and identity-based policy assignments.

Are they both?

According Gartner, zero trust is a core component of SASE. This is not a complete implementation of Zero Trust-based architectures around the entire environment. Find out more about SASE and Zero Trust here: https://nordlayer.com/blog/sase-vs-zero-trust/

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