According to the Fortinet Work-from-Anywhere Global Study, 60% of respondents continue to accommodate employees who work from home and 55% have a hybrid work strategy. It’s clear that most organizations will continue to operate a hybrid network that combines a traditional infrastructure with a cloud-based system well into the future. But this increase in work-from-anywhere has also introduced new risks. According to the study, over the past 2 to 3 years, 62% of companies had a breach that was at least partially attributable to vulnerabilities related to work-from-anywhere. Threat actors continue to exploit security gaps arising from remote work.
The high rate of breaches highlights the fact that security gaps are being exploited by threat actors to access sensitive data. When solutions aren’t integrated across on-premises and in the cloud, consistent security for all users is almost impossible. And the larger and more distributed the network, the more pervasive these issues can be.
Break Down Siloes with Vendor Consolidation
The traditional approach to solving networking and security problems has been to find the best solution for a specific issue or problem and then deploy it at the point where it is needed. And then do the same for the next issue. The problem is that while each solution may work as advertised, they were never designed to work with the other solutions around them, which makes the network vulnerable to security gaps that arise between isolated solutions.
The fact that traditional networks generally are made up of multiple products from multiple vendors presents challenges in itself, but those issues are compounded as organizations adopt new technologies or expand their networks over time. Vendor sprawl within these environments reduces visibility and control. Security and networking components that operate in siloes cannot be automated, and solutions that don’t work with the rest of the network mean that IT teams can’t see what is happening end to end.
The advantages of consolidating products and reducing the number of vendors range from reducing the overall footprint of vendors inside the network to reducing the overhead associated with deploying, managing, optimizing, and maintaining a wide variety of solutions. Not surprisingly, reducing products and vendors saves money, but convergence can as well.
Networking and Security Convergence
Converging infrastructure and security allows an organization to put security anywhere on any edge. Security then functions as a fully integrated element of the network, and the integration of deployment, management, configuration, and orchestration ensure that all elements work together seamlessly across the entire network as a single framework.
A Secure Access Services Edge (SASE) architecture converges networking and security, enabling secure access and high-performance connectivity to users anywhere. It has quickly become a vital tool in the arsenal of IT teams needing a more reliable solution for their now permanent hybrid, work-from-anywhere (WFA) model.
SASE solutions need to go beyond just being a cloud solution. They must have full stack of integrated security that can function consistently in any cloud, on-premises, across the WAN, and in branch and home offices. They should be able to adapt to connection changes, ensure the integrity of applications and data, see and correlate threat intelligence, and respond to threats anywhere across the network.
Not all SASE solutions are alike. Many cloud-delivered security solutions fail to provide enterprise-grade security to all remote users. They are also unable to seamlessly integrate with the range of physical and virtual network and security tools deployed at the network edge. Application performance, access, and security can vary widely among solutions. And for those organizations with a dynamic and evolving hybrid network, adding yet another set of technologies to manage can overwhelm limited IT resources.
Why a Single-vendor SASE Approach Matters
Multi-vendor SASE solutions often come with implementation and management challenges. The manual controls, scripts, and limited threat intelligence used by most SASE vendors cannot keep up with today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape, leaving organizations vulnerable.
A better option is a single-vendor SASE solution that converges networking and security and can seamlessly hand off connections between the cloud and on-premises devices. With a single-vendor approach, access and security policies follow the user rather than terminating at the edge of the network. Only by converging networking and security end to end can organizations implement a comprehensive zero-trust architecture.
It’s clear that to reduce complexity and provide consistent security to a global hybrid workforce working both on-premises and off, organizations require a single-vendor SASE approach.
Learn more about FortiSASE and how Fortinet can deliver SASE solutions that provide consistent security and experience no matter where users and applications are located.
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