Digital transformation, remote work, and cybersecurity risks are driving a move away from legacy technologies like VPNs and toward SASE. When choosing a SASE provider, look for one that converges networking functions and security capabilities, lowering costs and eliminating complexity.
In an increasingly digitized and remote work economy, workers are exposed to more advanced cyber threats than ever before. As such, they need to be able to access the data and applications they require securely. The traditional WAN model relies on VPNs and firewalls at the edge, or endpoint devices, to authenticate and secure access. This legacy architecture is outdated and unscalable in the face of today’s cybersecurity threats.
Fortunately, SASE provides a better alternative system for more robust cybersecurity for smart factories. As a cloud-native solution, SASE combines networking and security services into one unified service. This enables organizations to consolidate vendors, minimize management complexity, and lower costs without sacrificing security or performance.
In addition, SASE solutions offer a global SD-WAN backbone for increased agility and performance. As a result, traffic rarely touches the internet, and users experience less latency than legacy connectivity models. SASE also provides enhanced security with a zero-trust approach that authenticates connections based on users, devices, and applications rather than network location. This helps businesses protect networks from sophisticated attacks that normally evade conventional security models.
Using a single SASE solution, enterprises can prioritize application traffic and optimize network performance to avoid wasting resources and deliver superior user experiences. This eliminates redundant steps and complexity, reducing latency and leading to poor performance.
SASE also offers a flexible architecture that scales easily with business demands. Its cloud-delivered model allows security to move closer to the edge, enabling remote teams to access enterprise applications without sacrificing data protection. In addition, SASE eliminates the need for multiple-point solutions with its integrated networking and security capabilities. Its unified software architecture is based on a zero-trust policy and focuses on entities, not devices, to help simplify management and improve security posture.
Its global Points of Presence (PoP) ensures that if you need to expand your business into new markets, you can do so quickly and seamlessly without investing in additional infrastructure or going through lengthy evaluations and contracts. This flexibility is essential to future-proofing your industrial network.
In a smart factory, systems are always adapting to new data. This creates a complex network, raising system vulnerabilities and requiring more advanced security to protect against various potential attacks. To address these threats, companies need a simpler networking and security solution. Fortunately, the converged SASE model is an ideal solution. But it won’t work unless you first address key architectural requirements. Traditional management solutions for OT and IT networks aren’t designed to handle this complex, hybrid architecture. They may require multiple administrative consoles, complicated policies that make it hard to manage, and a reliance on hardware appliances for scalability.
Choose a cloud-native SASE solution that delivers all functions over the air to reduce complexity, save time, improve efficiency, and deliver on its promise of future-proofing your network. Then, you can achieve the real-time data-driven decision-making required to become a Smart Factory. Ultimately, this will help you capture ROI faster and better meet customer and employee demands. This is how to win in the modern era of manufacturing.
Getting to Level 5 Smart Factory capability opens doors for a whole new range of services, including tracking and live feeds. Data that can be captured and used across the entire organization.
But, implementing those technologies requires changing the company’s network architecture. A change that brings unified security with a Zero Trust approach to secure the edge and maintain connectivity flexibility. A true SASE solution must support a private global backbone of PoPs with route optimization and dynamic path selection to deliver low latency. Otherwise, the performance and availability required to future-proof your factory will be compromised. A robust SASE solution will support cloud-scale SSL/TLS inspection, which is necessary to combat attacks evading traditional network security controls. And it must have a single management interface to simplify IT security operations.
The factory’s digitization and digitalization is an opportunity to make more informed decisions based on data and improve efficiency. However, each new technique incorporated in these Smart Factories has additional security threats and risks that must be mitigated.
With a SASE architecture, networking, and security are combined in one solution that can be deployed as a cloud service. This eliminates hardware appliances at the network edge, reduces security management complexity and costs by consolidating the tool stack, improves performance for latency-sensitive applications, and allows IT to accelerate new technology adoption.
A converged SASE approach can also support users who access cloud applications from outside the factory, including remote employees and branch offices. This is done by establishing secure and encrypted connections from individual employees, first to the SASE platform and then to their chosen cloud application over the direct internet using SD-WAN technologies. This eliminates the need to reroute cloud traffic through your corporate networks, which results in significant cost savings.