What is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity leaders of small-medium organisations are constantly seeking innovative solutions to protect their networks and data. The Security Service Edge (SSE) has emerged as a pivotal concept in this quest. But what exactly is SSE, and why is it becoming indispensable for modern businesses? Let’s delve deeper.

Recent data has shown a significant shift in the approach of organisations towards security vendor consolidation. A staggering 75% of organisations are currently pursuing this strategy, up from just 29% in 2020. The primary goal isn’t merely budgetary savings but to improve the organisational risk posture and security capabilities. This consolidation trend is evident in the rising adoption of both SSE and SASE.

Primary Benefits for Pursuing Consolidation as part of SSE

What is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

SSE is an emerging framework that combines wide area networking capabilities with cloud-native security functions. It’s designed to offer secure and streamlined access to online resources, irrespective of where users or applications are located.

Key Capabilities of SSE

  • Cloud-native Architecture: Built for the cloud, SSE solutions are scalable and can be swiftly deployed.
  • Integrated Security Functions: From secure web gateways to firewall-as-a-service, SSE offers a plethora of integrated security functions.
  • Policy Enforcement: SSE solutions ensure consistent policy enforcement across all users and devices.
  • Real-time Threat Intelligence: Organisations benefit from real-time threat intelligence with SSE, ensuring proactive protection against emerging threats.

By 2026, 85% of organizations seeking to procure cloud access security broker (CASB), secure web gateway (SWG) or ZTNA access offerings will obtain these from a converged solution. Gartner

SSE vs. SASE: What’s the Difference?

While SSE focuses on the integration of network and security solutions, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) emphasises the convergence of these solutions into a unified cloud service. Essentially, while both concepts aim to provide enhanced security in a cloud-centric world, SASE encapsulates a broader range of network and security functionalities.

Security Service Edge (SSE) and SASE diagram shows a cloud-based security platform that consolidates multiple security capabilities including SWG, ZTNA, cloud access security broker (CASB), data protection, and remote browser isolation

Excerpt taken from IT Managers Guide to SASE

Benefits of SSE Over Traditional Network Security:

  • Unified Protection: SSE offers a single platform integrating various security functions, eliminating the need for multiple standalone solutions.
  • Cost Efficiency: Consolidating security services leads to better cost efficiency and simplified management.
  • Adaptability: SSE solutions can swiftly adapt to changing network conditions and security threats, ensuring continuous protection.

Use Cases for SSE

Facilitating Remote Work

In the modern era, the traditional office environment has been transformed. With an increasing number of employees working remotely, the challenge of ensuring secure access to company resources has grown exponentially. SSE emerges as a solution to this challenge. It ensures that employees, regardless of their geographical location, can securely access company data and applications. This not only enhances productivity but also ensures that the security integrity of the organisation is maintained. With SSE, remote work becomes both efficient and secure, catering to the dynamic needs of today’s workforce.

Streamlining Branch Office Connectivity

Organisations with multiple branch offices often grapple with the complexities of ensuring seamless and secure connectivity between these locations. Traditional network security solutions can be cumbersome, leading to inefficiencies and potential security vulnerabilities. SSE provides a unified security solution that’s tailored for such scenarios. By integrating various security functions into a single platform, branch offices can communicate and share data securely. This not only simplifies the IT infrastructure but also ensures that data integrity and security are maintained across all locations.

Safeguarding Cloud Application Access

The digital transformation wave has seen businesses increasingly rely on cloud applications. While these applications offer unparalleled convenience and scalability, they also introduce new security challenges. Traditional security solutions often fall short in providing comprehensive protection for cloud-based resources. SSE steps in to bridge this gap. It offers a secure gateway for accessing cloud applications, ensuring that data remains protected while in transit and at rest. With SSE, organisations can leverage the benefits of cloud applications without compromising on security, ensuring that their digital assets remain shielded from potential threats.

Embracing the Future with SSE

Security challenges are ever-evolving, necessitating innovative solutions. The Security Service Edge represents the future of network security, offering a holistic approach tailored to the unique needs of today’s businesses. For cybersecurity leaders in small-medium organisations, understanding and leveraging SSE is paramount.

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