SASE vs. SSE: What Is The Difference?

November 27, 2022 by Patricia Bennett

In today’s world, cyber crimes are at their peak, and each year cybercrime rates go up and become concerning for businesses. Modern-day businesses have more complex networks due to remote workers and the increasing cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) usage. In this regard, the legacy infrastructure can’t keep up with modern-day complexities and cyber threats. Additionally, these legacy technologies can’t secure cloud environments or enable secure remote access for remotely working employees.

Simply, cloud and remote workforce-dependent businesses can’t rely on these technologies for maintaining enhanced security across all kinds of corporate assets. For these reasons, these businesses need more comprehensive security tools that can secure remote workforce and cloud environments. Security Service Edge (SSE), and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions can help businesses establish robust security in cloud environments and on-premises.

SASE and SSE solutions include cutting-edge technologies and deliver features that modern businesses are in need of. Click To Tweet

In this article, we’ll explain the main differences between these solutions. But before doing that, we should explain these solutions in detail to readers who have no knowledge of these frameworks. Let’s start by explaining what is SSE?

What Is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

Security Service Edge (SSE) is a holistic framework for security. SSE has three main components, which are Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Secure Web Gateway (SGW). But SSE isn’t limited to these components; businesses can add additional security solutions to the framework, such as Next-Generation Firewalls, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), or Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), etc.

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Security Service Edge is really the best in terms of securing cloud environments, SaaS, and IaaS assets. It enables security across all edges and endpoints in an organization’s corporate networks. Additionally, this framework is easy to use and flexible. As new cloud infrastructures, branch locations, or remote users join the company; IT admins can easily add these new remote users, branch locations, and cloud infrastructure to the SSE’s scope.

By using Zero Trust, the SSE framework secures identities, devices, and corporate networks. Zero Trust is based on the idea “never trust, always verify,” and that’s why every entity that requests access is considered hostile, and authentication is mandatory for access. Authentication is conducted via multi-factor authentication, biometrics, and single sign-on (SSO) tools.

MFA tools require users to verify their identities in two or more ways. This way, compromised user accounts won’t pose any threats, as cybercriminals can’t gain access unless they bypass other factors of the MFA tools. Bypassing these factors is really hard. Other than securing identities and devices, Zero Trust enables greater network security and visibility.

Using Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), the SSE framework controls communication between SaaS applications and private corporate resources. With CASB, SSE enables greater data protection and security. By using Secure Web Gateway (SGW), SSE enforces security policies on access control and identification. Additionally, SGW has URL filtering and data loss prevention capabilities, allowing SSE to filter malicious content and monitor data transfer even after they leave the network perimeter.

What Is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a comprehensive security and networking cloud-based architecture. It performs as a service in the cloud and secures these environments along with on-premise resources. SASE consists of five main components, and these are SD-WAN as service, Secure Web Gateway (SGW), Firewall as Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

SASE architecture enables secure remote access to cloud resources by using SD-WAN as a Service. When employees request access to resources, SD-WAN technology connects them to the resources directly and securely. Additionally, SD-WAN enables better network performance in two ways. First, it spreads traffic to the cloud-compatible WAN and prevents network congestion issues. Secondly, it chooses the best routes and paths when connecting employees to the resources and enables better network speed and performance.

SASE has a multi-layer security design. SGW, ZTNA, and CASB enable enhanced edge and end-point security. The firewall as Service (FWaaS) component is responsible for securing the edge points within the cloud perimeter, and it monitors these environments frequently. Additionally, FWaaS aims to detect all illegitimate access attempts in order to prevent these entities from accessing private corporate resources.

The Difference Between SASE and SSE

SASE architecture shares three of its components with the SSE framework. The main difference between them is that SSE lacks networking features, but it has very similar security capabilities to SASE architecture. Additionally, SASE integration is far more complex and costly than the SSE framework. Implementing the SSE framework will cover the security aspect of SASE architecture and enable robust network, edge, and end-point security.

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While using SSE, businesses still need other security solutions to safeguard on-premise assets. But, while using SASE architecture, businesses can center networking and security features to the cloud, and this architecture will enable on-premise and cloud security. In other words, businesses don’t need additional security solutions to protect on-premise assets. Lastly, implementing SSE would be a cost-efficient solution for businesses as it delivers very similar security features to SASE architecture.

Last Words

Nowadays, all sizes of businesses are facing increased risks of cyber attacks, and legacy security infrastructures are inefficient in handling these current security threats. That’s why businesses should implement modern and comprehensive security solutions that can cope with modern-day complexities and security threats.

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