SASE vs SD-WAN: Achieving Cloud Native WAN Security

SASE is a modern security framework that essentially uses the cloud to secure private networks. It has effectively proven itself to be an incredibly effective and easy-to-use security framework. That’s why it is usually referred to as the “future of WAN technology.” 

But, how does it differ from the SD-WAN we know? Why is it more capable in terms of security and also connectivity? You can find the answers to these questions by following along with this article. Let’s start by defining both of them.

What is SD-WAN?

Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is a network connectivity technology that is usually used to connect the different offices of a company to each other so they can work cooperatively. 

This technology connects users in remote offices to business applications, services, and resources via multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), wireless, broadband, virtual private networks (VPNs), and the internet, allowing them to work from anywhere.

By doing so, companies that operate in different locations with several branches or campuses can communicate with each other. In general, technologies like encryption of online communications are used to protect the networks that are connected to each other.

Unlike traditional wide-area networking, SD-WAN utilizes software so they don’t have to rely on hardware-based users. It is also better than the conventional ones because now you can deploy using the software within minutes. 

What is SASE? 

SASE is a modern cybersecurity framework that uses SD-WAN but also utilizes network security services such as CASB or ZTNA. This way, SASE can create a holistic cybersecurity structure that both provides network connectivity and security within the same architecture. 

However, a SASE architecture connects the network based on individual endpoints to create edge-to-edge security. It is completely oriented toward the cloud and can be operated fully without using any hardware. 

SASE is the abbreviation of Secure Access Service Edge, which indicated that this framework is focused on security while connecting the networks. The main idea behind this framework is to simplify network management and also security. 

The “Edge” of SASE consists of any points-of-presence (PoPs). Edges transfer their traffic to the nearest PoP of the SASE global network, where it is secure and properly routed to its destination.

It is also worth mentioning that all of these procedures are governed by services in the cloud. All the things you need for a great SASE architecture such as ZTNA, CASB, or FWaaS can be provided by your vendors using the cloud. 

SASE vs SD-WAN: Cloud Native WAN Security 

Now we know both of them and how they work. We also need to understand the differences between the two as it may seem like both provide network connectivity. There is a nuance between them and you should take the next step by adopting SASE instead of just SD-WAN to maximize security on your network. 

1-) Use of public cloud services

In its nature, SD-WAN is oriented towards itself and the network it creates. This may cause efficiency issues when you think about how many cloud services an average company uses today. Your WAN structure should be more open to using private databases and the public cloud. 

But SASE can utilize the public cloud services to provide efficiency as the PoPs of a SASE architecture are usually placed in public cloud services, making it much easier to route. This framework can decide on the best route traffic can be directed, increasing the effectiveness of using the cloud.  

2-) Cloud-native WAN Security

SD-WAN is more focused on connecting networks, security is usually taken as a separate practice. However, in a world full of end-users connecting to private networks from different places and with different connection sources, you need to combine the two. 

In order to make your WAN security cloud-native, you need to take the next step and adopt SASE. In its essence, SASE is directly designed to combine network security and connectivity so organizations can manage both from a single, cloud-native structure. This allows them to be safer, spend less on security, and deliver their network everywhere. 

3-) Delivering better performance to users 

Unlike SD-WAN, which can both be deployed using physical routers or software, a SASE architecture only uses the cloud. Traditional WAN services connect networks but they are not usually known for fast or user-friendly connections.

However, a SASE architecture delivers the security to the doorsteps of the end-users which increases performance and decreases network latency. A SASE architecture always prefers the closest way to deliver a secure connection. 

This local connection ability eliminate any annoying network latency that is usually experienced with a traditional WAN. SASE also uses WAN to connect the networks, but it can create a global WAN that makes it much easier to connect. 


SD-WAN is a great step to connect the different branches of a company, however, the future of the WAN is definitely SASE. A SASE architecture can also handle network connectivity while adding security to the equation. 

If you want to maximize security on your private networks by making it cloud-native, SASE is a great choice. Keep in mind that the cloud is the future, and so does SASE regarding network security. 

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