SSE (Security Service Edge): The Complete Guide to Getting Started

Security Service Edge: The Complete Guide to Getting Started

In 2021, Gartner introduced a new security category – SSE (Security Service Edge). In this blog post, we’ll explain what SSE is, how SSE is different from SASE and compare traditional SSE solutions to Cato SSE 360. This blog post is an excerpt from our new Cato SSE 360 whitepaper, but if you’re interested in learning more information, we highly recommend you read the complete whitepaper

What is SSE?

Before we explain SSE, let’s start by giving more context. In 2019, Gartner introduced the new SASE market category. SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is the convergence of SD-WAN and network security as a cloud-native, globally-delivered service. As a result, SASE solutions can provide work from anywhere (WFA users)  with optimized and secure access to any application. From the security side, SASE includes SWG, CASB/DLP, FWaaS and ZTNA. 

Then, in 2021, Gartner introduced another related market category called SSE (Security Service Edge). SSE offers a more limited scope of converged network security than SASE. SSE converges SWG, CASB/DLP and ZTNA security point solutions, into a single, cloud-native service. Therefore, SSE provides secure access to internet and SaaS applications, but does not address the network connectivity and east-west WAN security aspects of that access, which remains as a separate technology stack. 

Cato SSE 360: Finally, SSE with Total Visibility and Control | Whitepaper

SSE vs. SASE

To sum up the comparison: 

 SASE Traditional SSE Services 
Year Introduced 2019 2021 
Technological Pillars Converged Networking and Network Security Limited convergence of network security only 
Key Components SD-WAN, SWG, CASB/DLP, FWaaS, ZTNA, RBI, Unified Management SWG, CASB/DLP and ZTNA
Business Value Resiliency, security, optimization, visibility and control Limited network security 
(secure access to SaaS and web traffic) 

Why Do Businesses Need SSE?  
(Traditional SSE Capabilities and Benefits) 

Optimized and secure global access to internet and SaaS applications and data is essential for businesses’ technical requirements and the evolving threat landscape. But rigid security architectures and disjointed point solutions lower business agility and increase risk. This is where SSE shines. 

SSE provides: 

  • Consistent security policy enforcement – full inspection of traffic between any two edges while enforcing threat prevention and data protection policies 
  • Reduced attack surface with Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) – ensuring users can only access authorized applications 
  • Elastic, high performance security inspection – securing traffic at scale through a global backbone of scalable Points of Presence (PoPs) 
  • Improved security posture – monitoring the threat landscape and deploying mitigations to emerging threats through the SSE provider’s SOC (instead of the IT staff) 
  • Reduced enterprise IT workload without customer involvement – continuously updating the cloud service with new enhancements and fixes, while reducing workload 

As a result of these benefits, SSE offers businesses secure public cloud and web access,  threat detection and prevention capabilities, secure and optimized remote access and sensitive Data Loss Prevention. 

How to Get Started with SSE

Today, many businesses are still using legacy architectures. This impedes digital transformation because: 

  1. Legacy networks are built around physical corporate locations – a digital architecture requires re-architecture of the network 
  1. Centralized (backhauling) security models slow down secure cloud access – direct secure Internet should be available at any location for any user 
  1. Legacy security solutions can’t scale – they can’t support a hybrid workforce working from anywhere 
  1. Disjointed solutions are fragmented and complex to manage – this requires more work from IT and increases the likelihood of manual configuration errors 

To get started with SSE, businesses should choose an SSE vendor that can help them overcome these challenges. Such a vendor will provide total visibility and control across all edges and all traffic, support a global footprint with high performance security, converge management and analytics with a single pane of glass, ensure a future proof and resilient SSE service. 

Introducing Cato SSE 360: Going Beyond Gartner’s SSE

Cato SSE 360 goes beyond Gartner’s scope of SSE, to provide total visibility, optimization and control for all traffic, users, devices, and applications everywhere. Not only does it provide secure and optimized access to the internet and public cloud applications, but also to WAN resources and cloud datacenters, reducing your attack surface and eliminating the need for additional point solutions like firewalls, WAN optimizers and global backbones. And, Cato SSE 360 provides a clear path to single-vendor SASE convergence through gradual migration, if and when your organization requires. Follow the link for more information about Cato SSE 360.

Cato SSE 360 reduces cost and complexity with simple management through a single pane of glass, self-healing architecture and defenses that evolve automatically while mitigating emerging threats. Customers can choose to manage themselves or co-manage with partners. 

Platform overview: 

Cato SSE 360 Components 

Cato SSE 360 provides the following platform components: 

  • Cloud-native security service edge 
  • Cato global private backbone 
  • Cato SDP clients 
  • IPsec-enabled devices and Cato Socket SD-WAN for locations 
  • Comprehensive management application for analytics and policy configuration 

As a result, Cato SSE 360 is ideal for the following use cases: 

  • Scalable hybrid work 
  • Gradual cloud migration 
  • Secure sensitive data 
  • Instant deployment of security capabilities 
  • Future-proofing and ongoing security maintenance 
  • Seamless, single-vendor SASE convergence 

Cato SSE 360 extends SSE by providing full visibility and control across all traffic, optimized global application access and is the only service which supports a seamless path to a complete, single-vendor SASE, if and when required. Read the full Cato SSE 360 whitepaper and get started on your SSE journey today.



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