Fallacy: SSE and SASE Are Different Names for the Same Thing
It’s easy to see why people might confuse SSE and secure access service edge, or SASE. Both terms were coined by Gartner in just the past few years, and they’re closely related but definitely not synonymous. The easiest way to distinguish them is to remember that the A in SASE stands for access, and that refers to SASE’s network access capabilities, like SD-WAN. SSE is essentially a scaled-down version of SASE that doesn’t include network access.
SSE is a subset of SASE; SSE is focused on security while SASE focuses on both security and network access. SASE offers security benefits that SSE doesn’t because SASE provides a more complete picture of what’s going on.
Fact: SSE Is a Relatively New and Evolving Technology
The concept of SSE was first proposed in 2021. While the components of SSE aren’t new, unifying the particular combination of components that make up SSE is new and is still evolving. There isn’t universal agreement yet as to all the capabilities of the technology, but the fundamental pieces are generally recognized as:
- Zero-trust network architecture, which provides stringent access control
- Secure web gateway, which performs content inspection and filtering for browser-based activity
- Cloud access security brokers, which offer several security functions for Software as a Service applications.
Some consider Firewall as a Service to be a part of SSE, and others include additional security functions. At this time, different SSE solutions may have significantly different capabilities.
Fact: SSE Provides Big Benefits Over Traditional Network Security
The adoption of mobile, cloud, IoT and other technologies as well as today’s increasingly distributed working environments have made traditional network security largely ineffective. Its primary benefit today is in protecting on-premises servers and equipment. For just about everything else, SSE can provide stronger security because it can monitor and analyze network activity regardless of where the users, devices, data and applications are. This enables SSE to find threats against many, if not most, of your university’s systems.
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