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Study: SASE Solutions Exceed Expectations

June 30, 2022

Results of a new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) research study from CIO show recent trends are accelerating investments in SASE solutions with recognized benefits exceeding expectations across five key categories — most notably remote work connectivity and security performance.

“An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) believe convergence of network and security is critical or very important,” said Franz Chavez, Vice President, Solutions Engineering at Masergy, now part of Comcast Business. “We know that building intelligence across disciplines is essential in a world where work is no longer defined by location. Network and security teams require new ways of working together — across all domains and resources with shared visibility to drive actionable insights. That’s where SASE is gaining steam.”

Other notable findings from the CIO 2022 SASE Market Trends study include:

  • 94% of respondents say their adoption of SASE solutions has accelerated due to the need to make digital services and/or remote/hybrid work sustainable for the long term
  • The top four challenges driving interest in SASE solutions are:
    • Cloud security, including visibility and control into cloud environments (52%);
    • Innovation, including cloud application migration and artificial intelligence (44%);
    • Security strategy, including implementing Zero Trust (41%); and
    • Network security, including removing connectivity barriers without jeopardizing security (36%)
  • In comparing anticipated benefits against experienced benefits, SASE solutions exceed user expectations in the areas of:
    • Remote work connectivity (38% anticipated vs. 59% experienced)
    • Security performance (55% anticipated vs. 69% experienced)
    • Cost savings (33% anticipated vs. 45% experienced)
    • Visibility into the IT environment (33% anticipated vs. 43% experienced)
    • User experience (44% anticipated vs. 52% experienced)
  • In selecting solutions, respondents prioritize:
    • SD-WAN: SD-WAN came in as the most important core capability with Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) in second place and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) in third
    • Network, Cloud, and Endpoint Security: When it comes to value-added features, respondents highly rate:
      • Network security (91%)
      • Flexibility to deploy security in the cloud or on-premise (91%)
      • Endpoint security protections (91%)
    • Unified Platform: 95% want a common operating system for their SASE solution
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI): 91% consider it highly important that their SASE solution includes AI tools and features
    • Vendor Consolidation: 87% prefer solutions manufactured by three or fewer vendors
    • Managed Services: Nearly all respondents point to the need for help with SASE, including six in ten (63%) using a managed services provider for deployment and even more (75%) leaning on providers for ongoing SASE management

“As employees return to the office and organizations adopt a more hybrid work model to enable employees to work from anywhere, we see more IT teams finding that, for SASE to be deployed effectively, a Secure SD-WAN platform must be at its foundation and consistent across on-premises and in the cloud,” said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Vice President, Global Field CISO, Fortinet. “Above all, organizations that choose solutions rooted in Security-Driven Networking principles will ultimately be the most successful in ensuring optimal security and connectivity between data centers, branches, edges, and a remote workforce.“

Michael Wood, Versa Networks CMO added, “Versa SASE includes multiple fully integrated services such as Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), SD-WAN, NGFWaaS, DLP, UEBA, RBI, etc. Each of these services can be deployed via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both. Enterprises and service providers are able to enable a few to all of these services within the same software stack, via the cloud or on-premises. Versa SASE gives organizations one solution which delivers consistent policies across all security and networking services, all with single pane of glass management.

Unlike other SASE solutions, Versa SASE was designed from the beginning as a single software image utilizing a single-pass parallel processing multi-tenant architecture with every Versa SASE service integrated within that architecture. This differentiated architecture allows Versa SASE to apply consistent policies across all security and networking services whether delivered in the cloud or on-premises. Versa is also the only vendor to deliver all of this via a single software image via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both while enabling customers to implement Versa within their own cloud.”

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