We had the opportunity this week to sit with Jim Finnerty from Perimeter 81 and discuss SASE and more specifically SSE (Security Service Edge). Jim is the Director of Channel at Perimeter 81 with more than a decade of channel sales experience and over six years selling cyber security solutions. 

During the conversation, Jim explained the importance of the SSE solution to protect companies’ data and systems in a cloud environment and how it works. Check it out below! 

Why should companies consider yet another solution such as a SASE/SSE? 

Company assets “have left the building”.  By that I mean applications and employees are no longer operating from a premise location and legacy network security solutions weren’t designed for these new working conditions.   

If you have remote workers or any web or cloud-based applications you should be considering modern network security, SSE, that was specifically designed for your modern workplace. 

We hear about SASE, SD-WAN. How does SSE fit in? 

In our industry we love acronyms, it’s like an alphabet soup of solutions.  Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a good way of replacing more costly MPLS networks and I would say it primarily serves as a performance solution for connecting HQ and branch offices.   

Secure Service Edge (SSE) serves organizations as a security solution that combines components like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).   

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a combination of SD-WAN and SSE.  Perimeter 81 is a SASE vendor, but our most common use cases serve remote users so the site-to-site connectivity has become less relevant.    

Please explain SASE vs Firewalls.  Do we still need a firewall? 

To answer this question, we need to know what we’re trying to protect.  If all company assets are being served out of a cloud-based environment or the web, then all the perimeter security can be delivered from the edge using a SASE/SSE service.  However, many organizations have not moved completely to the cloud yet and may require some network protection of a physical environment.  For a lot of our clients this means we are replacing the firewalls at their branch locations, but they are still using a firewall at their headquarters.   

How does SWG also prevent data loss? 

The internet is a dangerous place, and more and more company assets are accessed over the web.  SWG is like a seatbelt that protects employees on their web journey.  SWG prevents data loss by inspecting and filtering web traffic, blocking access to malicious sites that may try to infect endpoints or steal company information.  Perimeter 81’s SWG solution also inspects web traffic for malicious files (malware) and blocks those files in transit, before they reach the users endpoint.   

Why the importance of being Cloud Native? 

Being cloud native allows us to abstract away layers of complexity inherent in physical appliance-based solutions.  The implications are most commonly felt in the performance and manageability of these solutions.  For example, being cloud native allows us to easily add network access nodes in different parts of the world, so users have a low latency experience.  The alternative would be managing infrastructure in different parts of the world in order to deliver a similar experience.  Cloud native services are also more easily integrated with different technologies so companies can achieve a more holistic solution with different components like EDR and SIEM working seamlessly with network security components.  

Major vendors with tradition in Security and/or Networking state having solutions to secure remote access. Why not just use theirs? In other words, why Perimeter 81? 

Perimeter 81 offers a cloud-native and user-centric approach to network security that is designed to be easy to use and deploy. Our solution is specifically designed to meet the needs of modern businesses that operate in a cloud-first environment.  

Our platform is built on top of the latest technologies, and it is designed to be flexible and scalable. Additionally, our solution provides an integrated security platform that includes SWG, SD-WAN, and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions. 

Who does P81 see as potential customers? 

Perimeter 81 sees potential customers in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, finance, legal, technology, and more.  

Our solution is designed to meet the needs of any organization that requires secure, easy-to-use, and flexible network security solutions. That ease of use has made us particularly useful in small to medium sized businesses where resources are limited to deploy complex security solutions but having a scalable cloud native approach allows us to serve large scale enterprises for their relevant use cases too. 

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