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A quick guide to SASE vs SSE

By Chandraduth Bullywon, Senior Technical Product Manager, Cloud and SDWAN Security

Bell experts assess which security  option is better suited for a company’s cloud transformation

Chandraduth Bullywon, Senior Technical Product Manager, Cloud and SDWAN SecuritySecure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Security Service Edge (SSE) are both solutions for organizations on a cloud transformation journey. As their names imply, they are closely related, but they do have some key differences. In this overview you’ll find out all you need to know about the two concepts. 

What is the difference between SASE & SSE?

SASE is a complete security framework that brings together network security functions, network edge and cloud security features. It enables you to manage all workloads, applications, and data protection from a single pane of glass, without the need for on-premises hardware. For more details on what SASE is, how it works, and how it can benefit your business, check out our recent blog: Let’s get SASE

SSE is a subset of SASE that focuses exclusively on cloud security features. It does not include enterprise data networks. SSE includes secure web gateway (SWG), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), firewall as a service (FWaaS), and cloud access security broker (CASB). 

If both networking and security are integral to SASE, why even have SSE?

SASE was originally conceived as a holistic framework encompassing connectivity and security. Because both are required to effectively run a business, it makes sense to manage them together. 

However, some vendors were providing just one part of the framework, and this caused confusion in the market. For instance, some vendors were implementing only the security aspects of the SASE model without delivering the elements of a full SASE offering. That made it hard for people to understand what they needed and what they were getting. So a new term, SSE, was coined by Gartner to make the offering clearer. 

What's the business case for implementing SSE on its own? 

Bell recommends full SASE implementation for optimal performance and security, and for most companies, full SASE is the ultimate goal.  

However, SSE on its own usually comes at a lower cost and is often an interim step as a business embarks on its cloud transformation journey. Even without the connectivity piece, SSE still provides all the benefits of CASB, FWaaS, SWG and ZTNA, so your business and your users can remain secure and protected from threats. 

If you’re not in a position to implement full SASE right away, it’s a good idea to look for an expert vendor who can provide a complete SASE solution. They can work with you to develop an SSE solution to start and design a plan to get you to full SASE on a timeline that makes sense for you and your business. Visit our SASE Solution page (Managed Cloud Security Gateway) to find out more. You are not alone on your transformation journey. For guidance on how to best implement SASE to suit your business needs, reach out to Bell; one of our security experts will help you plan your next steps.