SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) has gained popularity as organisations seek robust threat protection and secure access in the work-from-anywhere (WFA) era. However, amidst numerous vendors claiming to offer SASE solutions, it is crucial for customers to cut through the marketing noise and find the best solution, particularly in terms of unified management.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Fortinet from IDC, 100% of respondents in Hong Kong have a hybrid or fully remote working model, with 64% having at least 20% of their employees working in a hybrid mode. This has led to a surge in managed and unmanaged devices, increasing the complexity and risk of security breaches.
In Hong Kong, 74% of respondents anticipate a more than 100% increase in managed devices over the next two years, while 84% expect unmanaged devices to grow by over 50%. Such growth places a strain on IT security teams already burdened with their responsibilities.
With cloud computing and remote work becoming more prevalent, an increasing number of users, devices, and data are located outside enterprise networks. In Hong Kong, 40% of devices connecting to networks are currently unmanaged, posing a significant risk of security breaches.
Securing cloud applications is crucial as hybrid work models require employees to connect to multiple external systems and cloud applications to remain productive. The number of connections to third-party cloud applications is expected to double or even triple in the next two years, further amplifying the risk of security breaches.
Traditional security measures are insufficient in maintaining network security while ensuring employee connectivity to these services.
Cybersecurity risks in the hybrid working environment
With hybrid work increasing, there has been a notable rise in security incidents. In Hong Kong, 36% of surveyed organisations reported more than triple the number of breaches, and 56% experienced at least a 2X increase in security incidents.
The top security incidents include phishing, denial of service, data/identity theft, ransomware, and data loss. Alarmingly, only 49% of organisations in Asia have dedicated security personnel, leaving them more vulnerable to security incidents and breaches.
Many organisations in Hong Kong are exploring the adoption of a Single-Vendor SASE solution to tackle the challenges posed by hybrid work. This approach is aimed at strengthening security measures, ensuring a consistent remote work experience for employees, and simplifying security policy management.
A substantial 78% of respondents in Hong Kong have expressed a preference for a single-vendor approach that combines networking and security services. The consolidation of IT security vendors is also a notable trend, with 86% of respondents in Hong Kong actively pursuing this strategy.
Single-vendor SASE has emerged as a transformative solution, unifying networking and security aspects. It eliminates the complexities and expenses associated with utilising multiple vendors by providing a single management console for all security and networking functionalities.
With this unified management, IT professionals can effortlessly update security policies across the entire SASE solution, ensuring uniformity and efficiency.
Unified management requires true integration
Understanding the core concept of unified management is essential. In some instances, even when a solution is marketed as a single-vendor system, it may necessitate the use of distinct management tools, especially when incorporating additional services or features.
This results in a lack of true integration as these components operate independently. A genuine unified management solution offers a single interface for policy deployment, network traffic management, and issue resolution, thereby enhancing overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Furthermore, in addition to unified management, a comprehensive SASE solution should encompass unified logging capabilities. Logging plays a critical role in the daily operations and troubleshooting processes of network and security teams.
By consolidating alerts from both on-premises and remote users, unified logging streamlines the troubleshooting process, reducing the time required to identify and resolve issues. The primary goal is to support Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) teams in minimising response times.
A robust SASE solution, when augmented with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, empowers IT teams to address alert overload by enabling a more detailed analysis of the numerous alerts they receive. This capability enables them to prioritise critical alerts effectively.
Comprehensive visibility throughout the system is pivotal in this endeavour because, without a holistic view of the situation, IT teams may face challenges in determining issue priorities and appropriate resolutions.
In summary, the hybrid work era presents significant security challenges that require robust solutions like SASE. Single-vendor SASE with unified management and logging capabilities offers a comprehensive approach to address these challenges, providing end-to-end visibility, streamlined policies, and efficient troubleshooting.
By selecting the right SASE solution, organisations can secure their networks, protect against security incidents, and ensure a positive user experience for remote employees.