Hybrid and remote work require a new approach to security; new SASE tools can make it easier for MSPs to secure clients.
The shift to remote and hybrid work has fundamentally changed workplace dynamics and upended IT security approaches. Perimeter-based security is no longer effective in a world where most end-user traffic is web-based and coming from both within and outside the campus.
The rapid uptake of remote access during the pandemic put this new security reality in the spotlight. Many organizations had inadequate endpoint protection, leaving their networks and applications vulnerable due to weak password and multifactor authentication (MFA) policies. Several point solutions are available to address those vulnerabilities, but a converged approach that Gartner dubbed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has emerged as a more effective solution. Its streamlined and easy-to-deploy and manage approach makes it a perfect solution for managed service providers (MSPs) to provide comprehensive protection instead of point solutions to deliver these security services.
SASE combines zero trust network access (ZTNA), SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SGW), cloud access security broker (CASB), and next-generation firewall technology that can be delivered as a service. It provides zero-trust access based on device or user identity, context, security, and compliance policies. An integrated SASE solution reduces complexity and makes it easier for MSPs to offer this type of security as a service that is easy to manage and can be deployed quickly.
Integrated offering evolves as security needs change
For example, Barracuda offers the SecureEdge SASE platform that can be deployed as a SaaS offering or an on-premises solution that enables a zero-trust model for secure remote access. While it incorporates many existing Barracuda security solutions, it is an integrated offering that saves MSPs the cost and headaches associated with cobbling an ad hoc system. It can be managed through a single cloud portal and is designed to incorporate additional features and functions as they are developed so that it can evolve right along with client security needs.
The growth of remote work and the increased adoption of cloud-based applications has expanded the potential attack surface when it comes to cybersecurity and put more pressure on IT staff that is already stretched thin. The convergence of greater vulnerability with an industry-wide shortage of cybersecurity staff (and IT staff in general) has caused more companies to turn to MSPs.
MSPs and their clients reap the benefits
As resource constraints continue to be a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and MSPs alike, having a SASE platform offering provides benefits on two levels. First, it simplifies the deployment of several otherwise disparate tools. Second, it is easy to deploy and centrally manage, allowing MSPs to grow their security business without investing in more staff (or unduly stressing their existing team).
Specific to SecureEdge, MSPs can quickly install physical and virtual appliances to provide SD-WAN and firewall-as-a-service functions via a zero-touch deployment model that does not require IT staff on-site. Cloud services can easily be set up using a wizard that automatically configures the solution.
For clients, the SASE platform helps provide an additional level of security to ensure that only authorized users can access approved data and applications. It also provides edge security for external, cloud-based applications and tools. The transition from a VPN model to zero-trust can be made quickly and almost invisibly for the MSP client.
SASE provides flexibility, enabling MSPs to help clients meet their security needs now and future-proofing deployments to incorporate new features. The suite of features in a SASE gives those clients the endpoint security to address remote workforce and cloud application requirements without affecting productivity or accessibility. These platforms also allow MSPs to provide a broad array of cost-effective security solutions for quickly evolving threats.
To learn more about SASE and how MSPs and their clients can benefit, watch this on-demand webinar or visit us at barracudamsp.com.
Chris Crellin is Senior Director of Product Management for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers, where he is responsible for leading product strategy and management.