Protecting your organisation with SSE/SASE platforms

Businesses have begun to look at new technologies and platforms to better protect their assets. Initially published by my friend Jaye Tillson on May 23, 2023, online at

Over the last few years, technology has exploded like never before and with it, the security perimeters we all knew and relied on have become a distant memory.

Now, much to the chagrin of security teams, we are all living in the digital age where employees are accessing enterprise resources from everywhere and cyber threats have skyrocketed.

Statistics show that businesses of all shapes and sizes have seen a surge in attacks which can lead to data loss, reputational damage, and financial loss. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime damage costs to grow by 15% per year over the next three years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015.

With figures like this, it’s no surprise that businesses have begun to look at new technologies and platforms to better protect their assets. There are multiple options to choose from including Security Service Edge (SSE) or Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Future of Connectivity

If you’re not family with these, here’s a little background. SASE is a security framework that is designed to do two things. First, it allows businesses to deploy cloud services quickly and securely. Next, it makes sure employees and their devices have secure cloud access to applications, data, and services.

SSE has been heralded by many to be the future of security connectivity because it extends secure connectivity to employees wherever they use cloud services. The key is it never connects a person to the corporate network, which ensures that applications and IT infrastructure remain secure and no complex network segmentation is necessary.

While SASE and SSE are distinctly different they do share some things in common. Both terms were coined by Gartner and both are in high demand. Late last year, Gartner reported that just over 41% of respondents plan to have adopted SASE within their organizations by the end of 2022.

As for SSE, our AXIS team announced research earlier this year which found that 65% of organizations plan to adopt an SSE platform in the next 24 months.

There are many reasons for this interest. One big one is that SSE/SASE platforms provide much more granular control and extensive reporting about security policy and posture.

This is made possible through a combination of technologies such as SD-WAN, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), and Secure Web Gateway (SWG) to enforce security policies following zero trust philosophies and to also monitor and give visibility into usage and data flows. 

Define and Enforce

The benefits for businesses are significant. First and foremost, it allows companies to define and enforce policies at a granular level, such as by user, device, application, location and even behaviour.

For example, your security team can set policies that restrict access to sensitive data to only authorized users. But not just any authorized user: the security team can set it so only those users connecting from corporate devices, and doing so from specific locations, can access the data.

Using features such as advanced threat detection, you can also prevent threats like malware and phishing in real-time.

These platforms also deliver a complete view of a business’s security posture. This makes it easy for the security team to quickly identify threats and then mitigate them before any damage is incurred. And it’s not just about the security teams.

SSE/SASE platforms can also be an essential tool for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), who face unprecedented challenges providing peers with updates on the current threat environment.

CISOs can use these platforms when reporting to their C-suite peers by measuring and reporting risk over time. These reports can include details such as the number of incidents detected and prevented, the severity level of those incidents, and the business’s overall security posture.

These executives can also present this information in several formats, including dashboards, reports, and alerts.

CISOs can also leverage these platforms to access metrics that can help them understand the effectiveness of their security programs. This is critical today as regulators are forcing boards to take a more active role in overseeing cybersecurity programs in the face of relentless attacks.

A New Reality

A final and critical reason for businesses to move to consider an SSE/SASE platform is that companies today are operating in a new reality.

As I touched on earlier, employees, devices and applications are no longer protected by perimeter firewalls which means the tools of the past (five years ago!) no longer work and businesses must adapt.

These legacy tools were often difficult to integrate, which made collecting data and providing accurate and reliable reports very difficult. Many of these tools were also hardware-based, meaning you had to feed and water them. They needed to be constantly patched and updated, which added to the costs and the potential for human error.

This is not the case with SSE/SASE platforms, which represent the future of secure enterprise access. They are not only designed to be flexible and scalable but they are also built for our evolving hyperconnected, distributed world — which demands secure access solutions that are more agile and responsive and can quickly adapt to changing business requirements and threats. This can also reduce costs and complexity by consolidating multiple different products into a single unified platform. 

The developments from the past few years have introduced critical new business challenges for businesses. As they become more decentralized, businesses must simultaneously simplify their security infrastructure, reduce the number of point solutions they need to manage, lighten the load on overworked teams, AND gain more granular controls, better reporting and increased scalability. 

While all of this may seem like a tall order, SSE/SASE platforms may be exactly what you need to bring security to a world operating beyond traditional firewalls.

Jaye Tillson is a director of strategy at Axis Security and has more than 20 years of experience implementing strategic global technology programs, helping organizations achieve digital transformation and guiding businesses through their zero-trust journey.