SSE: Security Service Edge

How Do I Choose the Right SSE Vendor?

When it comes to SSE vendor selection, not all vendors are alike. SSE (Security Service Edge) is a relatively new market category of network security convergence, created by Gartner in 2021. And while SSE combines SWG, CASB and ZTNA into one, unified, cloud-native service, that’s where the similarities end. SSE vendors vary greatly in terms of their architecture, scope of convergence, ease of management, threat protection and detection, and resiliency. So, when it comes to SSE vendor selection, how do you decide which vendors to shortlist? In this article, we understand the five key considerations to remember when selecting the right SSE service for your enterprise. 

Total Visibility and Control Across All Edges and All Traffic 

SSE solutions must be able to see all traffic between all “edges” (sites, remote users, and cloud resources) across all ports and protocols, and in all directions (WAN and Internet). Total visibility enables SSE to enforce one set of security policies for the complete enterprise. Yet, some SSE solutions are built to secure access to web applications only or are unable to inspect private application traffic, creating visibility and control gaps.  

Global Footprint with High-Performance Security  

The SSE cloud service must be available globally and within 25ms of most users and applications. Cloud service points of presence (PoPs) should be built for intense compute to ensure high performance and low-latency security inspection including decrypting and re-encrypting TLS encrypted traffic. Leading SSE providers rely on physical PoPs to reduce overhead and maintain tight control over routing and service availability. A global private backbone further extends SSE’s ability to optimize global traffic over the “middle mile” to WAN and cloud destinations.  

Converged Management and Analytics in a Single Pane of Glass 

All SSE policies, events, and analytics must be accessed through a single pane of glass. A truly converged SSE platform allows the creation of a granular set of policies that leverage the full context available to the SSE platform across device, identity, network, application, and data. All events across users, threats, data, and application access should be accessible through a common set of analytics dashboards.  

Future-proof and Resilient SSE Service 

The SSE cloud service should seamlessly evolve to deliver new capabilities and optimize security posture. A converged, single-pass architecture creates the basis for new inline capabilities that extend the current offering to address emerging requirements within the same architecture. The cloud service itself should scale to support customer growth in both users and bandwidth without structural changes to the deployment. Resiliency must be built-in to ensure continuous inspection even if PoPs become unavailable or their performance degraded.  

Seamless Path to SASE Convergence  

SASE is the convergence of networking, specifically SD-WAN and WAN optimization, and a cloud-based security service, which is SSE. A single-vendor SASE platform that provides both SD-WAN and SSE maximizes the benefits of infrastructure convergence by eliminating edge appliances like routers, firewalls, and third-party SD-WAN appliances and places visibility into and management of the end-to-end connection under a single application. SSE that can be easily and gradually converged with SD-WAN and WAN optimization will let the organization reap the benefits of SASE, if and when the organization is ready, without disrupting IT processes or the business. And SSE that can be migrated to a full Single Vendor SASE solution with native support for services such as endpoint security and XDR, will give the best possible security posture.

Cato SSE 360 vs. SSE: Choosing the Right Solution  

When it comes to selecting between SSE vendors, make sure you’re selecting the right solution. Traditional SSE services offer some combination of converged SWG, CASB / DLP, and ZTNA, delivered as a cloud-native service. But they only provide secure access to internet applications, leaving your WAN traffic unprotected. Cato SSE 360 moves past the limitations of traditional SSE’s blind spots, providing you with full visibility and control over all traffic: including internet, WAN and cloud traffic. Find out what separates Cato SSE 360 from the pack, and why not all SSE vendors are alike.