SSE vs. SASE: What’s the Difference?
SASE and SSE deliver network security. While SASE refers to the architectural framework that provides networking and security as a uniform cloud service, SSE (security service edge) emphasizes the security aspect. SASE suits those who wish to simplify network security for remote workers, while SSE reflects the preference for different solutions.
Understanding the difference between acronyms and terminology can get a little confusing. So, let’s explore what distinguishes SASE from SSE and why both concepts are crucial for cloud security and networking.
What Is Security Service Edge (SSE)?
SSE stands for security service edge, a comprehensive cloud security solution. SSE is a relatively new approach, only introduced by Gartner in 2021. Essentially, it is a unified security service delivered from a purpose-built cloud. It integrates cloud-centric security to provide safe access to websites, SaaS, and private applications for remote workers.
Rather than thinking of it as a separate entity, SSE is a subset of the SASE framework. However, its only focus remains on security services.
SSE includes the primary security services:
- Secure access to the internet through a secure web gateway (SWG)
- Secure access to SaaS and cloud apps through a cloud access security broker (CASB)
- Remote secure access to private apps via zero-trust network access and cloud direct connect
- Cloud-centric security capabilities through firewall-as-a-service (FWaas)
SSE offers a comprehensive solution for organizations to implement security technologies throughout remote and on-site networks.
With employees, partners, and contractors able to gain secure remote access to private networks, applications, data, tools, and other resources, SSE is an innovative progression as more and more businesses work remotely. Moreover, with SSE, users can monitor and track the behavior of those accessing the network, minimizing threats or misuse.
What Is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)?
SASE stands for secure access service edge, Gartner’s 2019 framework. Although still an emerging approach, it predates SSE by two years. With SASE, the cloud delivers network and security services. SASE focuses on improving the user-to-cloud-app experience, reducing costs and unnecessary complexity.
SASE maintains the unmatched flexibility of cloud access while aligning itself with the evolution of deployment practices. In such a cloud-centric world, with remote working accelerated by Covid-19, security must advance beyond its old outdated perimeters. SASE recognizes the need to protect data wherever and whenever anyone accesses it, everywhere you store it.
Moreover, the SASE framework understands that security needs to work in harmony with fast and reliable networks. High-performing networks are crucial for user experience and maximizing productivity. A cloud migration solution, SASE transitions high-performing networking and security capabilities to the cloud, mitigating the need for outdated, inflexible, and perimeter-based services.
Understanding the Difference Between Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Security Service Edge (SSE)
What is the relationship between SSE and SASE? In essence, they are not mutually exclusive products. Rather, SSE is a subset of SASE. They are both continually relevant as we begin preparing for an increasingly hybrid office environment.
SSE and a third acronym SD-WAN, standing for Software-Defined Wide Area Network, work to complete SASE.
- SSE is a security-focused approach. Generally speaking, it’s the territory of a security team. They focus on simplifying complex infrastructure with a single-vendor, cloud-centric security framework.
- SD-WAN is generally the responsibility of the infrastructure team. It attempts to smooth and direct traffic across an extensive network spanning a wide geographical area.
- SASE incorporates the security of SSE and the traffic control of SD-WAN to improve user experience, save time and reduce costs throughout the network.
Companies might embark on SSE and SD-WAN as separate initiatives or work in parallel, with SASE. Each business’ SSE, SD-WAN, and SASE approaches depend on its priorities, resources, and budget.
Advantages of SSE Over Traditional Network Security
SSE enables businesses to overcome the limitations and challenges of traditional security. Below, we’ve listed the advantages.
Better Risk Reduction
SSE allows organizations to implement cybersecurity without tying their security to their system. From the vantage point of a cloud platform, SSE can follow the user-to-app connection wherever their location, supporting remote workers. Unified security services reduce risks as it eliminates gaps between point products.
In addition, SSE improves visibility across users and data, regardless of location and the channels they access. SSE also forces automatic security updates throughout the cloud without waiting for manual IT admins. Therefore, it enhances your overall security system.
Zero Trust Access
SSE and SASE provide a firm zero-trust policy throughout the cloud and private apps. The policy relies on four factors:
SSE assumes that no user is inherently trustworthy. It only grants access based on identity and policy. However, by connecting users and apps over the cloud, SSE offers a more secure remote experience as the user never accesses the network directly. Therefore, threats can’t move laterally, and applications remain protected behind the SSE cloud platform.
The SSE approach requires distribution across global data centers. Purpose-built SSE data centers are stronger, offering improved performance and reduced latency. Inspections occur when the end-user connects to the SSE cloud, giving remote users an optimized experience.
Employees don’t need to use slow VPNs. Accessing apps through public and private clouds enables a fast and seamless experience.
Unifying all key security services results in lower costs and reduced complexity. SSE delivers all the necessary security services in one platform, including SWG, CASB, ZTNA, cloud firewall (FWaaS), cloud sandbox, cloud data loss prevention, cloud security posture management, and cloud browser isolation.
Moreover, you can simplify your security services. Rather than purchasing and hosting every service at once, you can easily add or remove security services as your organization scales. With all security on one platform, all users receive equal and consistent levels of protection.