Three Key Benefits of Adopting SASE With a Services Partner

August 25, 2021
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co-authored by Norman Dorsch
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3 min read

According to a recent Forrester Consulting research report commissioned by IBM, 78% of security decision-makers plan to implement or are unsure how to implement Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) in the next 12 months. A SASE solution can make a lot of sense for digitally driven organizations where remote employees and partners need faster application access, be that from on-premises based networks or the cloud, using a myriad of devices to connect. SASE is a relatively new framework that is changing the game in terms of bringing networking and network security into a single, cloud-based service model.

Even so, business and security leaders who are evaluating or implementing an end-to-end SASE solution for their enterprises have discovered how challenging it is to adopt and implement a solution on their own. A partnership approach is essential to ensure best practices. More specifically, organizations are choosing to collaborate with a managed security service provider (MSSP) to help design, deploy and manage SASE on an ongoing basis. In turn, a MSSP integrates with a zero trust-based SASE platform and proactively monitors the security of connecting users, devices and applications over any network for optimal perimeterless network protection.

Combining the capabilities of a global leader in MSS, like IBM Security, and a global leader in SASE, such as Zscaler, you benefit from the expertise, aligned processes and best-in-class technology for a modernized zero trust networking architecture. Overall, it provides the organization with these next few hidden advantages.

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Generating Better Collaboration

Experts at IBM Security have seen that integrating, managing and optimizing the capabilities of SASE is paramount to an organization’s successful adoption of the technology. Moving beyond the constraints of a perimeter-based architecture using traditional VPN concentrators and network infrastructure, you reach a more refined framework where security policy follows the user. You could benefit from a collaborative approach between platform vendor and MSSP, using a well-designed zero trust network access architecture, providing more context and insight while improving network access and increasing productivity. Ultimately, you are able to accelerate network security transformation, strengthen to a zero trust security posture, and allow the MSSP to continuously monitor and protect access to key applications in the cloud or on-premises.

Improving Targeted Business and Technical Outcomes

Organizations charged with leading a transformation initiative to benefit their bottom line, driving IT efficiencies and increasing security, will likely consider SASE as part of that journey. Clients benefit from extending a zero trust architecture beyond on-premises to cover distributed users and devices that access cloud resources, while providing a seamless, more high-performing user experience with better productivity.

Consider what improvements can be made using zero trust network access over existing VPN. While VPN can have latency and performance issues as a remote workforce scales, using SASE strips away tunneling, allowing direct connectivity with an application, while embedding zero trust security controls on all devices. You get one unified platform for the security and IT teams, strategy and technology.

Getting an Extended Team of Skills and Experience

Selecting a managed security provider to manage a SASE solution can help alleviate the skills gap by extending your security team with a strategic cybersecurity provider like IBM Security. Ultimately, customers benefit from a proven adoption plan, with change management, process alignment and overall guidance to adopt zero trust best practices. With their SASE project being managed by IBM Security, customers can reskill their team members toward better, more strategic security practices.

A global MSSP leader such as IBM Security can provide further guidance on the following areas:

  • Bridging and overcoming network and security silos
  • Implementing and integrating granular security controls to bolster security
  • Applying the experiences and knowledge learned from other clients to address unique situations – industry, size and attack types

Additionally, the global scale of a MSSP’s dedicated security team supports around-the-clock regardless of geographic location by continuously monitoring, managing and optimizing a SASE solution, like Zscaler. By having eyes on the network security environment, MSSP team members can help reduce the alert fatigue that security and IT teams face by sifting through incidents and elevating only the most critical alerts that deserve attention. The result is more time for the security team to spend on strategic security and IT work, such as planning long-term security strategy and expanding zero trust architecture to other security domains.

With eight global security operations centers and more than 50 Zscaler certifications for delivery, IBM Security is a MSSP designed to meet the needs for end-to-end cybersecurity through a successful SASE partnership.

Further Integrations Possible in a SASE Partnership

As the network security program is strengthened through zero trust network access, a SASE solution can be integrated with other industry-leading technologies, like identity management, SIEM, endpoint detection and response and more. This can bring more context and insight to security operations, deploy more granular access controls and even get expert guidance on overall security program governance and strategy. This partnership can provide noticeable and measurable results for your organization.

Register now for an upcoming webinar to learn more about how a SASE solution from IBM Security can help transform your network security while accelerating digital business and strengthening zero trust security posture.

Michael Massimi
Global Business Leader, Cloud Security Services, IBM

As the Global Business Leader, Cloud Security Services within IBM’s Security Division, Michael Massimi is responsible for managing the worldwide sales exec...
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