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Out with the old, in with the new

The adoption of SASE has skyrocketed over the last 18 months, with 87% of enterprises reviewing their remote connectivity during the pandemic 

The Versa Networks report, Experiences and Attitudes Towards a Post-COVID Workforce, based on a survey of 500 IT and security professionals in the US, UK, France and Germany, highlights numerous security and connectivity problems experienced by workers and growing adoption of SASE to provide seamless security and reliable connectivity across cloud, hybrid and on-premises networks. 

Common complaints include dropped connections when using bandwidth-hungry applications, such as videoconferencing (36%); a lack of real- time tech support (31%); an inability to enforce security policies across a remote workforce (37%); and an inability to spot new threats facing users (34%). 

Faced with these challenges, 34% of businesses surveyed claim to have adopted SASE in the past year, compared to just 23% that have implemented VPNs. An additional 30% are planning to adopt SASE in the next six to 12 months. 

The main reasons for adopting SASE are to improve the security of devices and applications used by remote users (cited by 43%), to prioritise the performance and delivery of business-critical applications in the cloud (31%) and to support more remote workers (31%). 

Four out of five professionals surveyed (84%) said their business had accelerated their digital transformation and moved to the cloud during the pandemic. Almost half (44%) expect employees to continue to work remotely, either full-time or part-time, once pandemic restrictions are lifted. 

Despite the rapid uptake of SASE, more than two thirds (69%) of those surveyed remain confused about its true meaning. Just 31% correctly identified SASE as ‘the convergence of networking and security services like CASB, FWaaS and Zero Trust into a single cloud-native service model’. 

Michael Wood, CMO of Versa Networks, said: “While the survey shows that there is still some work to do in educating IT and security professionals about the true meaning of SASE, the imperative to address both remote security and connectivity issues has led companies away from the old VPN technologies that were riddled with security holes towards SASE, which gives them a compass for the future. While SASE has served them well during lockdown, it will also prove a major asset as they contemplate the move back to the office and towards hybrid working.” 

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2020