SASE scaling: Logicalis accelerates adoption in Asia


Lim Tsu Pheng (Logicalis)

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Logicalis ignites a spark in the SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) market in Asia, helping customers overcome initial adoption challenges with a managed security approach to protection.

At the heart of these efforts is a service offering designed to address ongoing security strategy and skills issues as cyber attackers step up their efforts to destabilize the region.

“In the increasingly hostile world we live in, security attacks are more frequent, more sophisticated and more creative,” said Lim Tsu Pheng, CTO at Logicalis Asia. “But the fact is that small businesses are subject to the same threats as large businesses.

“However, these companies lack the resources to explore, assess, design, monitor and manage all the necessary security technologies and controls. SASE and in particular Managed SASE require all necessary security controls to be on a single platform, managed through a single pane.

Another key trend impacting the security and SASE market in Asia is the scarcity of security talent.

To put this into context, the number of job vacancies in cybersecurity has increased 350% between 2013 and 2021, from one million to 3.5 million worldwide. In 2022 and beyond, this gap is expected to widen.

“This talent shortage is a huge threat to organizations, individuals and governments around the world,” said Tsu Pheng.

In response, customers are turning to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to fill this skills gap, ramping up outsourcing programs to bolster protection levels.

“Companies can tap into a pool of security professionals and expertise to mitigate this lack of resources,” Tsu Pheng added. “I think these trends will definitely drive the managed SASE market higher over the next six months.”

Assess market maturity levels

First coined by Gartner in 2019the concept of SASE is now entering the lexicon of IT managers and following an adoption process similar to previous “new” technologies in the network space.

“Most networking people are familiar with SD-WAN,” commented Andrew Lerner, research vice president at Gartner, when referring to SASE almost three years ago.

“And of course, just when everyone is up to speed and comfortable with a technology, and it’s (relatively) stable with over 25,000 paying customers, and we can start absorbing it. … then boom. Things change. And we absolutely see the market changing. And the new “thing” is SASE. »

Fast forward three years – plus a global pandemic, a debilitating supply chain crisis, continued geopolitical unrest and strong economic headwinds – and SASE remains firmly in the “emerging” camp.

“Field adoption in Asia is still in its infancy,” observed Tsu Pheng. “While the fallout from the pandemic, spurring remote working and reliance on the cloud, has accelerated awareness of the benefits of SASE for enterprise digital transformation initiatives, maturity levels are still nascent in the region. “

As Tsu Pheng noted, such a low SASE adoption rate could be attributed to two underlying factors.

“First, the SASE framework requires various networking and security functions to reside on a single platform,” he noted. “Companies are therefore faced with a dilemma of whether to opt for a single-vendor solution or consider the best solutions from multiple vendors.

“The second hurdle is that often large companies have already made critical investments in hardware and software. With contracts still in place and staff trained in networking and security, it’s difficult for these companies to switch to a newer solution like SASE. »

But despite the need for increased market awareness, Tsu Pheng stressed the importance for organizations to adopt SASE in the short and long term – in response to the increased “severity and complexity” of security attacks in the region. .

“With threats and challenges looming, new offerings like SASE enable enterprises to consolidate both network and security tools into a single management platform – a cost-effective, location-independent platform” , he pointed out.

Triggered by COVID-19 and supported by the “new normal,” the massive shift to hybrid working has led to an explosion of apps, increased use of mobile devices, and accelerated adoption of cloud services.

As a result, the attack surface continues to expand as organizations adopt new digital technologies, while increasing exposure levels in the process.

“SASE is a compelling response to the challenges of this new perimeter-less frontier,” said Tsu Pheng. “With the SASE framework, regardless of where the data goes and who the user is, security policy enforcement remains consistent – a far cry from the traditional method of security protection where data was returned to data center from remote locations via VPN connectivity for security verification.

“Organizational IT teams need to deploy SASE frameworks and rethink centralizing network and security access in any multi-cloud environment, with consistent application access management across the cycle. of life.”

Customers continue security consolidation

According to research from Gartner, 75% of customers are pursuing security vendor consolidation in 2022, up from 29% in 2020.

Notably, 57% of organizations currently work with fewer than 10 vendors in the security space, seeking to leverage fewer partners in the key areas of SASE and extended detection and response (XDR).

“Security and risk managers are increasingly dissatisfied with the operational inefficiencies and lack of integration of a heterogeneous security stack,” noted John Watts, vice president of Gartner. “As a result, they are consolidating the number of security vendors they use.”

Companies primarily want to consolidate security vendors to “reduce complexity and improve risk management,” as opposed to saving money or improving procurement. Specifically, 65% of companies expect to improve their overall risk position internally, while only 29% expect a reduction in licensing spend.

“Cost optimization shouldn’t be the primary driver of vendor consolidation,” Watts advised. “Organizations looking to optimize costs must reduce products, licenses and features, or ultimately renegotiate contracts.”

As part of vendor consolidation, 41.5% of customers expect to have SASE adopted by the end of 2022.

“Adopting a SASE framework can be challenging for most companies,” said Tsu Pheng. “The biggest hurdle for enterprises is moving their existing security protection model to a different architecture.

“Most enterprises currently deploy network-centric security, where once the network is secured, it is assumed that everyone on that particular network is secure. Therefore, all traffic must be redirected to this aggregation point before going to the internet and the clouds. »

However, SASE applies security where the traffic is – at user and application endpoints.

“So wherever the users are, wherever the apps reside, and whatever devices they’re using, the same consistent policy enforcement and access control will apply everywhere,” Tsu Pheng explained. “It can be daunting for companies to choose to switch from one model to another, which is where ‘managed’ play comes in.”

Maximize Managed SASE

To help accelerate SASE adoption – while recognizing customer demand for consolidated vendors and offerings – Logicalis is taking on the role of MSSP to help customers proactively address ongoing security challenges.

Under Tsu Pheng’s leadership, the specialist vendor helps manage solution complexity throughout the lifecycle, in addition to guiding customers through the “assess, design, deploy, monitor and manage” stages of SASE deployment. .

“Enterprises can close the skills gap by leveraging our existing security and networking prowess for their own needs,” he added.

“Organizations that take advantage of managed SASE offerings will benefit from a proven adoption plan with a structured change management process to integrate SASE Zero Trust and additionally gain access to proven best practices. Companies can then refocus their existing teams towards more strategic IT and security practices.

Along with SASE lifecycle management, Tsu Pheng also referenced Logicalis’ global MSSP security team that provides round-the-clock support to customers in Asia.

“By monitoring the network security environment through the SASE platform, our MSSP team members can help reduce the alert fatigue that security and IT teams face by sifting through incidents and ‘raising only the most critical alerts that deserve our attention,’ he noted.

One such example is a fintech client in Singapore who needed a solution that contained end-to-end security controls, which would enable compliance with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Technology Risk Management (TRM) regulations.

“We aligned their risk requirements and priorities with a zero-trust framework approach that allowed us to deploy a SASE solution and manage threat detection and response for them,” Tsu Pheng explained. “It shortened their time to market by six months, which they wouldn’t have achieved if they had taken a DIY approach instead.

“Ultimately, a partnership approach with an established MSSP is key to ensuring organizations can leverage industry best practices.”

Tags Managed ServicesLogicalisSASEcybersecurity


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