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What is Secure Service Edge (SSE)? Enhancing Data Protection in the Cloud Era

by Robbie Araiza on Thursday April 18, 2024

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Cybersecurity has become more critical than ever, with data protection being at the top of organizations' minds. Enter Secure Service Edge (SSE). Read on to learn more about the fundamentals of SSE, its key components, and how it can enhance organizations' data protection strategies.

What is Secure Service Edge (SSE)?

SSE represents a paradigm shift in cybersecurity, offering a comprehensive suite of integrated security capabilities delivered from a cloud platform. These capabilities include a Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Firewall as-a-service (FWaaS). SSE aims to secure access to the web, cloud services, and private applications, irrespective of user location or device, benefitting hybrid and remote workforces.
Components of SSE

  1. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): Acts as an intermediary between users and cloud services, extending security policies and providing visibility over security and compliance issues.
  2. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Provides secure remote access to applications and services, enforcing least-privileged access based on identity and risk status.
  3. Secure Web Gateway (SWG): Protects users from web-based threats by filtering malicious content and sites.
  4. Firewall as a Service (FWaaS): Delivers next-generation firewall capabilities from the cloud, aggregating traffic and enforcing security policies across all locations and users.

Understanding the Difference: SSE vs. SASE

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), another term coined by Gartner back in 2019, is a holistic approach to cloud transformation that combines network and security capabilities at the WAN edge and SSE, respectively. SSE focuses exclusively on unifying the aforementioned security services (CASB, ZTNA, SWG, and FWaaS), providing end-to-end protection for users and applications. In other words, SSE is one of the two major components of the SASE framework along with the WAN edge. As a whole, SASE architecture aims to support hybrid and remote workforces while simultaneously simplifying management, reducing complexity, and generally improving the user-to-cloud application experience.

Importance of SSE in Today's Landscape

The rise of hybrid work environments and cloud adoption has underscored the need for robust cybersecurity solutions. SSE addresses these challenges by providing secure connectivity to applications and simplifying monitoring of user behavior and application performance. By placing critical security controls close to applications and users, SSE helps organizations mitigate risks associated with remote work and digital transformation. Moreover, SSE's Zero Trust approach to security enables more comprehensive data protection in comparison to traditional network security while also delivering a more streamlined experience at a lower cost and without unnecessary complexities.

Key Benefits of SSE

  • Increased Visibility: SSE offers deep visibility into user and application behavior, enabling proactive threat detection and response.
  • Enhanced Security: Leveraging a zero-trust approach, SSE minimizes the attack surface and protects against internal and external threats.
  • Cost Savings: Consolidating multiple security services into a single platform reduces complexity and controls security costs.
  • Improved User Experience: SSE minimizes latency and enhances performance, ensuring fast and secure access to applications and data.

Digital Guardian's Secure Service Edge Solution

Digital Guardian offers a Secure Service Edge (SSE) solution powered by Lookout, providing comprehensive security coverage from endpoint to cloud. Integrated with a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Digital Guardian's SSE ensures complete visibility and control across all web, SaaS, and private applications. With unified policy management, enhanced visibility, and granular access controls, our SSE solution simplifies security management while safeguarding sensitive data and empowering organizations to adapt to the evolving landscape of remote and hybrid work environments. To read more about our comprehensive SSE offering, download our datasheet for more information.


Tags:  Data Protection Data Protection 101

Robbie Araiza

Robbie Araiza

Robbie is a Content Creator for the Data Protection team at Fortra. Prior to joining the organization, he studied psychology and social work at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

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