Organizations Eye Security Service Edge

January 11, 2023

Industry-first data with its 2023 Security Service Edge (SSE) Adoption report distills insights from 355 cybersecurity professionals on the migration from legacy access solutions such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in light of the new hybrid workplace and the rapidly growing SSE market.

With 88% of organizations supporting a hybrid or remote work model, it’s clear that the way people work has changed, thus organizations are realizing that the means in which secure access is achieved must also adapt.

SSE is crowned queen when it comes to securing the modern workplace

In just under two years since the term was first introduced, SSE has become immensely popular, with nearly three out of four cybersecurity professionals (71%) now familiar with the category. The study found that SSE now ranks as more critical than SSO, MFA, endpoint security, and SIEM when it comes to zero trust. Furthermore, 65% of organizations plan to adopt an SSE platform in the next 24 months, with 43% planning on implementing before the end of 2023.

This year the industry will see SSE quickly become a top strategic initiative for organizations as it plays a major role in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) adoption, and successful Zero Trust implementation. 67% state that they will start their SASE strategy with an SSE platform, compared to 33% with SD-WAN. One bonus statistic that was uncovered was regards to single-vendor SASE vs. multi-vendor SASE preference. The audience was split (~50% for each).

The benefits of SSE for cost reduction and productivity are clear drivers of business adoption

The impact of remote and hybrid work has led to the proliferation of security solutions for organizations. The research found that 63% of enterprises have 3 or more security solutions in use to enable access, while nearly a quarter leverage 6 or more. This contributes to an increase in costs to the business, and complexity in management. Respondents stated that complexity in access management ranked second, right behind the fact legacy access solutions grant too much inherent trust to users – when it came to top challenges.

SSE services provide a means of reducing costs and reliance on the internal appliance stack and external appliance stack in a new macroeconomic climate. The top two legacy solutions that enterprise security teams will look to replace with SSE will be VPN Concentrators (63%) for VPN, SSL inspection services (50%) and DDoS (44%) with data loss prevention services (42%) being a very close fourth place.

Cost reduction, high availability, and reliability, have long been benefits of cloud services. Hence, it was not surprising that 60% of respondents said that they prefer SSE services built on a public cloud backbone. In addition, there was overwhelming agreement that including Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) is important for any SSE platform (90%). As teams evaluate SSE, they are prioritizing platforms with DEM capabilities.

As teams contemplate where they should begin utilizing SSE for their business, nearly 50% of organizations have decided to start by securing access for their remote and hybrid employees. And, given the mass adoption of hybrid work, this a logical starting point for the businesses.

“Uncovering this data shines light on the truth about SSE adoption in the context of SASE, the criticality of SSE compared to other zero trust ecosystem technologies, and the positive impact SSE has on business as they transform” said Dor Knafo, Co-founder and CEO of Axis. “We are even more excited to continue to build on our Atmos SSE platform for our customers, and deliver on the promise of SSE and SASE, as we continue our mission of harmonizing secure access for the modern workplace.”

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