Masergy goes deeper with SASE to strengthen SD-WAN security

Digital enterprise software-defined network and cloud platform provider Masergy has announced that it is strengthening its software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) Secure products to offer secure access service edge (SASE) capabilities.

Masergy said a recent IDG study had found that 91% of companies are interested in SASE, which is no surprise given how Covid-19 has reshaped the business arena. Gartner coined the term secure access service edge in August 2019 when it published The future of network security is in the cloud, detailing how SASE is the natural evolution of two trends – network as a service and network security as a service.

SASE has begun to disrupt the networking and security markets. As incumbent suppliers make strategic moves to build SASE offerings, the nascent technology has the potential to upend traditional networking and security, especially now as IT departments have had to deal with vastly increased amounts of remote working since the onset of the Covd-19 outbreak.

A summer 2020 investigation into the attitudes of IT leaders in the post-Covid-19 environment found that despite the emergence and rapid take-up of SD-WAN, one-third of organisations have no plans to deploy SD-WAN, with 55% favouring the emerging single cloud service model of SASE, which converges SD-WAN features with cloud-based security services for remote workers and devices.

Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, says each company is implementing SASE differently, and the converged tech stack is a marquee moment. “Right now, IT leaders are trying to make a judgement call on whether they can trust one SASE provider with their own homegrown technologies to span five disparate industries, giving them a world-class experience across all arenas,” he said.

In July 2020, Masergy launched the next generation of its SD-WAN portfolio based on Gartner’s SASE tenets. The technology was claimed to address the needs of multicloud businesses of all sizes, uniting network and security functions into a single system, coupling SD-WAN with security bundles that include unified threat management, threat monitoring and response, or complete managed security services.

Looking at the beefed-up SD-WAN proposition, Kerravala described it as “compelling” because it demonstrates how one cloud platform and one portal can “converge a constellation of technologies from many big-name brands all in one service that minimises daisy chains”.

Masergy says it is combining security technologies from leaders in their respective Gartner Magic Quadrants to deliver a converged network and security solution. With a portfolio of what it claims are “best-of-breed technologies from leaders in their respective markets”, the company is bolstering interoperability across key components and expanding its global infrastructure to meet the needs of the enterprise.

SASE enhancements and differentiators include: cloud firewalls expanding to all global points of presence; a cloud access security broker from Bitglass, which Masergy regards as an industry leader; zero-trust network access; high-performance SD-WAN built on 20 years’ experience; and a secure web gateway from Fortinet, recognised as a leader in Gartner’s November 2020 Magic Quadrant for network firewalls.

Masergy said it was giving clients the advantage of more SASE capabilities from trusted brands, and has standardised its cloud platform around Fortinet’s secure web gateway.

The company is also integrating its AIOps system so that it interoperates effectively across its SASE capabilities. Masergy AIOps acts as a virtual network engineer, automatically evaluating the network and making recommendations to optimise performance. Masergy aims to deliver AI-driven SASE and autonomous networking.

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