Hackers leverage technological advancements to improve attacks and compromise organizations’ network security. Therefore it’s important for organizations to go with the flow and integrate new cyber security solutions to anticipate the rapidly changing environment and deploy effective countermeasures to address these issues.
One of the leading cyber security solutions you can consider for your organization is Security Service Edge (SSE) service, which provides a holistic view into your network’s usages and resources. SSE can help you maintain your integrity and confidentiality by restricting access to your cloud infrastructure.
What is SSE?
Gartner introduced the Security Services Edge framework in its 2021 Roadmap for SASE Convergence report as a collection of integrated cloud-native security capabilities. It allows organizations to provide remote employees with secure access to their websites, SaaS applications, and cloud workspaces.
You can leverage a full set of security tools in a comprehensive SSE solution to provide secure remote access to your applications, data, and tools for your employees, contractors, and other stakeholders. SSE makes monitoring and tracking user behavior easier as they utilize resources on your network. As you expand your hybrid or fully remote workforce, you must secure your remote and mobile users while protecting your applications and corporate data.
An effective SSE solution consists of the following core security capabilities that help organizations improve their security posture and stay updated with the latest changes in the cyber environment.
Zero Trust Network Access
ZTNA provides secure remote access to cloud applications, services, or data per the defined access control policies to authenticate users. Traditional VPNs were ineffective as they grant complete access to an organization’s network, whereas a ZTNA solution operates on the “never trust, always verify” principle. Therefore, a ZTNA denies all access requests to provide access to services that the user has been explicitly allowed by the organization.
A ZTNA solution provides a multi-layered security approach that removes redundant layers of inspection and enforcement. Here are some features of a ZTNA solution:
- Centralized visibility and control
You can see what resources your users are accessing over the network. ZTNA also makes it easy to see where data is stored and its sensitivity level while logging network traffic wherever possible.
- Identity-based authentication
Organizations use ZTNA to assign the least privileged access to their users by utilizing a fully customizable authentication system. Even after ZTNA grants access, the network administrators can monitor user behavior for signs of malicious activity, credential theft, malware injection, or data loss.
- Uniform security policies
You can enforce security policies on all cloud services or applications owned by your organization, regardless of where the cloud stores your data.
- Granular access
You can authorize user access to data necessary to your employee’s job description. ZTNA allows organizations to restrict access based on the location and devices remote employees use to connect to cloud resources.
Cloud Access Security broker
CASBs allow organizations to discover and locate their data across multiple SaaS applications. You can also track when your data is in motion as your remote workers access them across your cloud environments. You can use a cloud access security broker to enforce your organization’s security, governance, and compliance policies by authenticating and authorizing users to access the cloud to utilize cloud resources.
Therefore, a CASB offers effective and consistent data protection across different locations. There are two types of CASBs you can deploy; traditional and integrated CASBs. To build an effective SSE strategy, you need to leverage an integrated CASB to help your organization keep track of the SaaS explosion.
An integrated CASB utilizes an in-line security mechanism to automatically discover and control all risks associated with your SaaS application. It uses API-based security mechanisms to scan your SaaS applications to detect sensitive data, malware, and policy violations. CASBs maintain compliance and prevent threats without relying on third-party tools.
A CASB solution contains three pillars:
A CASB enables organizations to have better visibility into their managed cloud services.
A CASB enables organizations to improve their compliance with regulatory policies.
- Data security
A CASB enables organizations to leverage the latest data loss protection mechanisms to protect their data stored in the cloud.
Secure Web Gateway
An SWG protects remote employees from web-based threats while applying and enforcing user policies as defined by higher management. Instead of a direct connection to a website, users access the internet through a secure web gateway that performs URL filtering, web visibility, and malicious content inspection to offer safe browsing over the unsecured Internet.
A secure web gateway is an integral part of a comprehensive SSE strategy as they provide secure web access even when a remote employee is not using a VPN to mask their identity and encrypt their traffic over the Internet. Additionally, SWGs assist organizations in:
- Blocking access to inappropriate websites or content based on acceptable use policies.
- Enforcing security policies to secure internet access.
- Helping organizations in protecting their data against unauthorized access and transfer.
Since legacy firewalls are only suitable for on-premises, you need to include FWaaS into your SSE strategy because it integrates firewalls into your cloud infrastructure to protect your cloud-based applications and data. You can use FWaaS capabilities to enable your organization to aggregate traffic from numerous sources and provide consistent security policy enforcement across all users and locations.
The FWaaS aspect of SSE gives complete network visibility and control over the network without deploying physical hardware. Moreover, FWaaS provides:
- A proxy-based architecture that natively inspects SSL/TLS traffic to detect malware hidden in encrypted traffic.
- Granular firewall policies cover multiple layers of network applications, cloud applications, domain names, and URLs.
- Optimization of DNS resolution to improve user experience and performance of cloud applications.
Changes in the cyber environment are spontaneous and can catch organizations off guard. SSE helps organizations stay updated with the latest trends and improves their ability to protect themselves from new threats and vulnerabilities. An effective SSE strategy makes monitoring and controlling remote workspaces easier through granular access policies.
About the Author
Furkan Yilmaz is a Bio – Engineer, cybersecurity, and tech enthusiast. He likes sharing about the latest stuff on new technologies and help you understand how to implement them in your business.