SASE for Retail: Growing the Bottom Line

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Retail and hospitality businesses prioritize delivering exceptional customer service and growing revenue. Just as their mission relies on a service-oriented staff and quality products, it also requires secure and reliable connectivity. A high performing and secure network enables retailers to offer consistent and positive consumer interactions across online and physical stores around the world. This includes offering services such as e-commerce platforms, secure online payment processing, and digital customer support, while ensuring the protection of customer data and compliance with global privacy standards.

Networking and Security Challenges Retailers are Facing

Until recently, MPLS and VPNs were popular solutions of choice for many retailers. However, modern needs and threats require a new approach. Some of the new challenges retailers are dealing with include:

  • Unstable Connectivity Across Locations – Retailers require fast, secure connections across various global locations. This includes stores, branches, data centers, headquarters, and more. A high-performing network enables them to communicate, check inventory status, and process credit card transactions, among other activities. However, traditional MPLS or VPNs are costly, with limitations in reliability and security, lacking the scalable model necessary for modern retailer growth.
  • Security Threats and Risks – Retailers are dealing with organized threat actors and insider threats. According to the Verizon DBIR 2023, retailers are susceptible to ransomware, use of stolen credentials and even attackers embedding malicious code in checkout pages. In 2021, the average cost of a retail data breach was $3.27 million, per the IBM Cost of a Data Breach report.
  • High Costs, Low Productivity – Retailers need to reduce expenses while improving efficiency. However, MPLS is pricey, VPNs are complex, and using the public Internet often leads to performance issues due to ISPs prioritizing cost over quality.
  • Complex Tech and Administrative Management –  Retailers need high-performing and secure systems, to support business platforms and customer-facing needs like self-checkout. However, handling the tech stack—procurement, management, updates—is complicated, and transferring services to the cloud can be as well.

The Solution to Retail Challenges: SASE

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is a network architecture that converges security services and networking capabilities into a single cloud service. SASE represents a shift in the way enterprises handle networking and security, moving away from traditional, hardware-based models to a cloud-native, as-a-service model. This provides organizations with more high-performing, scalable and secure networking solutions, which are simpler to use and manage.

SASE as a Gradual Deployment: The Various Paths to SASE | Get it Now

SASE answer retails challenges by providing:

Reliable Global Connectivity

Rather than using MPLS or other networking solutions, SASE provides built-in SD-WAN. SD-WAN ensures reliable connectivity via commodity broadband links and 4G/5G wireless connectivity. Globally, traffic is routed over a global private backbone with QoS bandwidth prioritization policies, TCP acceleration and packet-loss mitigation, to reduce latency, packet loss, and jitter.

Enhanced and Comprehensive Security

SASE provides holistic, full-stack security including FWaaS, CASB, DLP, SWG and ZTNA, within a unified, cloud-native service. This ensures access policies are applied, wi-fi is filtered, and retailers maintain data sovereignty and PCI compliance.

Cost-effective and Productivity Boosting

SASE offers an alternative to the costly, inflexible, and capacity-limited MPLS networks, as well as the unreliable Internet, reducing the cost per megabit. In addition, performance is enhanced, ensuring data flow to both on-site and cloud-based applications is optimized to its fullest potential. From a business standpoint, fast and effective communication allows operations to run more smoothly, enhancing sales.

Quick and Simple Deployment

SASE simplifies the process of linking multiple sites, regardless of their size, through a straightforward, single client or socket that’s effortless to set up. This eliminates the necessity for numerous devices and, consequently, makes managing the network easier.

In addition, traffic flows directly to a network of cloud-native PoPs within the SASE framework, which can easily integrate with public cloud services in just a few steps. This network grants IT departments visibility into the flow of network traffic. Moreover, the whole setup is designed to scale effectively while remaining economically viable. For ongoing operations, an easy-to-understand UI and single management portal allow for easy and efficient management.


SASE provides retailers with connectivity and security that doesn’t add to complexity, administrative burdens, or expenses. On the contrary, SASE allows retailers to reduce disruptions and offer a positive customer experience that will boost sales. This is achieved through the cloud’s agility and flexibility, advanced security features and management simplicity across sites and locations.

Learn more here.

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