SASE vs VPN – What You Need To Know Before Making a Decision

SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) and VPN (Virtual Private Network) are one of the most popular security solutions available these days. Both of them are great options if you want to keep your data safe and protected, but each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. If you are deciding to choose between the two, it is important to know and understand the differences before opting to settle with one. This article will try to explain the key aspects of each solution and may help you with your selection.

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What is SASE?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud-based security framework that provides an integrated set of tools to secure and manage the flow of traffic between users, applications, and services. It is an architecture that works at the edge of the cloud to deliver optimal security, performance, and scalability.


The SASE framework includes a combination of cloud-based technologies such as the ones listed below.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
⦁ CASB provides visibility into user activities from any location or device, ensuring data security in the cloud. It also helps organizations identify potential threats and enforce its security policy throughout the entire system.


Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA),
⦁ ZTNA is used to create segmented networks that allow users to access corporate applications securely from any endpoint without requiring a VPN connection.


Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN)
⦁ SD-WAN optimizes network performance by routing traffic through multiple service providers for both private and public cloud environments.


Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
⦁ SWG filters out malicious web traffic while allowing legitimate access to business applications and content.
Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)


⦁ FWaaS allows organizations to set up firewalls with powerful features such as deep packet inspection, anomaly detection and intrusion prevention systems in order to protect their applications from cyber attacks.
Centralized & Unified Management.


⦁ Finally, Centralized & Unified Management enables IT teams to manage all of these components via a single console with intuitive user interface.


In short, SASE brings together various tools at the edge of the cloud infrastructure in order to facilitate secure access while delivering high performance and scalability across different locations or devices. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses looking for enhanced data protection and network optimization capabilities in the age of digital transformation.

Now let’s talk about VPN.

What is VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure, private network connection that can be used to protect communication and data traveling between two or more devices. It uses a variety of encryption techniques to protect data from unauthorized access, interception, and other malicious activities. A VPN also provides access to geographically-restricted content, websites, and services by allowing users to change their online IP address so they can appear to be in another country or region.


A VPN is typically made up of several technologies that work together to secure data passing between endpoints. These include tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), authentication methods such as usernames, passwords, certificates and token-based systems, as well as encryption algorithms such as AES 256-bit encryption and SHA256 hashing algorithms. In addition, a VPN may use virtual private servers (VPSs) for increased scalability and reliability.


Once connected to a VPN server, all of the user’s traffic is securely encrypted before it leaves their device. This means that if anyone were to intercept the unencrypted traffic sent over the internet from their device, they would not be able to read or view the information contained within it. Furthermore, even if someone managed to gain access to the encrypted data packets sent over the internet from their device, they still wouldn’t be able to decrypt them without having access to the user’s unique encryption key stored on the remote VPN server.

Key Differences between VPN and SASE

• The main difference between VPN and SASE is that while VPNs provide encrypted connections over the public internet infrastructure, SASE offers more secure access to applications and resources hosted in any cloud environment or data center. Additionally, VPNs are typically limited to providing user access to internal networks while SASE can provide secure access from anywhere on any device. Furthermore, SASE provides more advanced threat protection than VPNs including next-generation firewalls, anti-malware scanning and URL filtering.

• Another key difference between the two technologies lies in their scalability: while VPNs require manual configuration of each device or user account for every new connection,SASE is designed for rapid deployment across large organizations with multiple sites — enabling users to be added easily through automated processes. It also enables organizations to define granular policies based on user identity and context.

• Finally, another advantage of using SASE instead of a traditional VPN is that it allows admins to monitor user activity more closely without compromising privacy. This includes real-time monitoring of user behavior as well as static analysis of logs generated by the system which can help administrators detect threats before they have an opportunity to cause damage.

In conclusion, selecting between SASE and VPN can be a challenging decision. Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages. SASE provides comprehensive security, while VPN is more capable of providing a secure connection over a public network. However, it is also possible to utilize both VPN and SASE together. By combining the two, organizations can benefit from the comprehensive security of SASE as well as the ability to extend private networks to external users via VPN technology. Furthermore, with both solutions working together, businesses can enjoy secure access to applications regardless of user location or device type. Ultimately, it is important for organizations to understand their specific needs and choose the option that best suits their environment in order to maximize security without sacrificing performance or user experience.

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