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IBM Rolls Out New SASE Services to Modernize Network Security

August 25, 2021

IBM has developed new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services designed to help accelerate organizations' adoption of cloud-delivered security at the edge, closer to the users and devices that access corporate resources. The new services combine expertise and methods from IBM Security with technology from Zscaler, to help deliver a fully managed transformation to a cloud-based SASE architecture, a key element of a zero trust security posture.

According to a new commissioned study from IBM, conducted by Forrester Consulting, 78% of organizations surveyed are either interested in, or plan to, implement SASE in the next 12 months.1 SASE helps bring together software defined networking and network security technologies into a single, cloud-based service. SASE is a new architecture model designed to address the requirements of organizations who are digitally transforming, adopting cloud and SaaS applications, and providing services to a hybrid workforce and customer base.

"Traditional approaches to network security are not as viable in a digital world where users and applications are distributed. We're seeing this transformation happen right before our eyes as many organizations plan to operate in a hybrid model for the foreseeable future," said Mary O'Brien, General Manager, IBM Security. "This new approach requires a shift in culture, processes and collaboration across teams alongside a new technology architecture. By focusing on business needs, our zero trust approach can help accelerate this transformation for clients thanks to the skills, methods and capabilities brought together via our alliance partnership with Zscaler."

Announcing IBM Security Services for SASE
For many organizations, the transformation to SASE is a shift in how security is structured today. Security and IT teams are challenged with effectively implementing a SASE solution in a non-disruptive way, changing the processes and culture to accommodate the transformation and realize a quick time-to-value. IBM Security Services for SASE is designed to help organizations transform their network security, applying an approach tailored to their unique needs. This approach can help clients to support key business drivers, including hybrid workforce, seamless third-party access, merger & acquisition execution, and network transformation for the hybrid cloud, 5G, and IoT.

IBM offers a programmatic approach to SASE led by security and cloud specialists who work with clients to create SASE adoption plans while also managing the related services for clients to optimize the environment. This is based on IBM Security's five-step maturity model, helping clients identify a target maturity that focuses on business outcomes. IBM uses a zero trust strategy, best practices and methods to implement Zscaler's market-leading SASE capabilities including the creation of governing processes and policies that facilitate a SASE transformation. The transformation is supported by certified deployment and integration expertise by Zscaler at a pace that suits digital business. Finally, customers can benefit from best-in class IBM Managed Security Services, the market-leading managed security services provider globally. Services can include around-the-clock security monitoring, management, and continuous improvement of the SASE solution to evolving threats.

The resulting SASE program is designed to help organizations protect their priority business drivers with a zero trust approach:

Hybrid Workforce Access: IBM can provide a network access solution based on zero trust methods which can replace traditional VPN connectivity, help increase protection and support faster, seamless user experiences. This can provide organizations with a flexible and scalable cloud-delivered access solution that can adapt to employees alternating between working in and out of the office.

Third-Party Access: IBM can develop a solution that allows organizations to define and extend internal workforce policies to contractor and third-party users. This includes requiring an equivalent level of authentication and offers visibility and control over who can see sensitive data and resources. Organizations can also gain the ability to set up individual policies by type of user, group, and application.

Mergers and Acquisitions: IBM can design integrated access management using an organization's existing identity provider solutions with the other companies involved in a merger or acquisition, which can help speed up access and transition for employees from both sides.

Network Transformation: IBM can help organizations transform their network from a traditional model to a cloud-based framework as part of their overall SASE implementation strategy. This approach could help provide lower latency, cost savings and is supported by a cloud-delivered network security structure.

5G, Edge and IoT Protection and Support: IBM can help enable edge computing to receive branch-to-cloud protection and organizations can use integrated edge computing security from the complete SASE solution, enabling additional IoT business drivers. All these items can also strategically help in cloud transformation.

"Implementing a zero trust architecture is an important step for organizations adopting SASE to effectively secure new distributed working models and safeguard mission-critical services that have now moved to the cloud," said Jay Chaudhry, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Zscaler. "Through our expanded alliance partnership with IBM, as part of the Zscaler Zero Trust Ecosystem, customers can confidently expedite their secure digital transformation journey to support essential initiatives from ensuring secure employee productivity from anywhere to accelerating M&A transactions."

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