Two significant changes over the past two years have transformed what we once knew as an on-premises ecosystem into a global system accessible from anywhere.
One is remote working, which started as a temporary measure to help us through the early days of the pandemic and has since become the norm. According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work report, 72% of respondents said their company plans to have a permanent remote work option, up from 46% in the 2021 survey.
The other is cloud adoption, which was common even before the pandemic, but has seen another bump in the past couple of years. According to an O’Reilly survey, approximately 90% of respondents now use the cloud.
At the same time, 5G and fiber have become widely available and have enabled a revolution in the way we work. As a result, the Internet has become the new corporate network.
Over the next 10 years, we will see companies continue to replace their on-premises network and security devices with a secure corporate network on the Internet. It has already started with modern, cloud-centric, mobile-first enterprises and will continue to expand into legacy enterprises.
Demand for remote access solutions like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Zero Trust Network Access Tools (ZTNAs) took off early in the pandemic and is here to stay. With users connecting from anywhere and applications no longer necessarily inside the office, the concept of the corporate network has fundamentally changed, extending beyond the buildings the company owns or leases. . It is now available wherever there is an internet connection. Remote control is the new standard.
This change had a ripple effect on the concept of cybersecurity known as Secure Access Server Edge (SASE). This model is software-based rather than hardware-based and allows companies to secure all networks and users in their organization in an agile, cost-effective, and scalable way.
SASE has three primary use cases: remote access using ZTNA, Internet security through Secure Web Gateways (SWGs) and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs), and interconnectivity using software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).
Let’s explore this third use case and how it evolves as the Internet emerges as the new corporate network.
New infrastructure changes the game
Fiber-optic broadband and 5G are coming of age, bringing the fastest internet speeds to more places and making it easier for employees to work from anywhere.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), fiber infrastructure accounts for 32% of fixed broadband subscriptions in the 38 OECD member countries, up from 12% a decade ago. According to the Fiber Broadband Association, fiber is available in 43% of US homes and 60% of Canadian homes. And 5G is rolling out so quickly that the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) says the networks should cover a third of the world’s population by 2025.
This infrastructure supports the public Internet and enables the growth and adoption of enterprise networks as they branch out to be available anywhere. As a result, we will see a decreasing need for SD-WAN solutions that provide optimization and quality of service to efficiently connect branch offices and offices.
As the Internet matures and the need to optimize network traffic decreases, enterprises will be able to use standard and simplified edge devices to create interconnectivity between offices or branch offices over the Internet. Since remote work is here to stay, there are fewer people in these branches to start with, so companies don’t need to invest in quality of service because there’s no band problem. passing.
We’ve already seen efficiency as a business driver for cloud decision makers. According to the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report survey, cost savings was ranked as the top metric (74%) that organizations use to measure cloud progress. The same motivation will be at the heart of internal connectivity in the future.
What this means for SASE
ZTNA is a common starting point for building the SASE architecture. It supports remote working and introduces a new level of security that was not possible with a VPN.
Remote access and Internet security use cases will dominate the evolution of SASE as the need for interconnectivity decreases. The table is already set by the trends established over the past two years.
Cybersecurity has become a top priority for most organizations — 77% plan to increase investment this year, according to ConnectWise’s State Of SMB Cybersecurity report. As the corporate network is very different from what it once was, security will have to adapt accordingly.
SASE may be key to business success as their operations become increasingly remote, but interconnectivity will not be part of that equation. SASE’s future is to secure enterprise networks on the Internet.