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Hybrid Work Fuels Demand for SASE, Zero-Trust Security


The modern workplace is no longer confined to the four walls of an office. The rise of hybrid work models, where employees split their time between on-site and remote locations, has fundamentally transformed how businesses operate.

While this flexibility offers numerous benefits, it also presents a complex challenge for IT leaders. They must often fight with managing a geographically dispersed workforce by securing access to cloud-based applications and staying vigilant against a constantly evolving threat landscape.

This intricate web of demands is explored in a new report by Aryaka, a provider of SASE solutions. The report, titled "Secure Network Transformation Report 2024," surveyed IT, security and network professionals in director-level positions or above across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia.

The report highlights key trends shaping the industry.

The rise of hybrid work arrangements, along with the need for adaptable and secure network solutions, fuels demand for SASE and zero-trust networking. Eighty-one percent of respondents said hybrid work is driving the need for these technologies.

Therefore, a growing majority view SASE and SD-WAN as essential tools. Over 80% of respondents believe SASE is either mature or somewhat mature, with an even higher number saying the same about SD-WAN.

Let’s take a close look at what SASE typically offers.

By consolidating security functions like firewalls and secure web gateways into a cloud-based service, SASE reduces the need for on-premise hardware and simplifies management for IT teams. SASE also enforces consistent access policies regardless of location, and it integrates security features directly into the network to enable real-time threat detection and prevention across all access points.

And, to the second point mentioned in the stat above, SD-WAN complements SASE. SD-WAN allows organizations to leverage multiple internet connections, simplifies the management of complex network infrastructures across diverse locations and routes traffic based on application requirements.

By combining SASE and SD-WAN, organizations achieve a more secure, adaptable and efficient network environment that meets the demands of the hybrid work era.

And almost three-fourths of respondents see value in converging SASE and SD-WAN solutions. The primary benefits cited include more robust network operations and security, reduced operational burden and vendor consolidation.

As more organizations embrace hybrid work, securing access points is essentially a must.  The survey found that 64% of respondents consider zero-trust security a crucial component of SASE for hybrid work deployments.

The report also explores the impact of cloud-based applications and services, including AI, on traditional network architectures. The need to manage these applications securely is driving a shift toward managed services and SASE solutions, according to 67% of respondents.

And finally, the report finds a move away from legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching services. Seventy-six percent of respondents plan to eliminate MPLS in the near future or within the next two to three years, with 10% already having done so.

"Our report shows that the IT and network security landscape is undergoing a major transformation driven by the rise of hybrid work models and the ever-increasing adoption of AI and cloud-based applications and services," said Pete Harteveld, chief revenue officer at Aryaka. "Aryaka is listening to its customers and the IT industry at large to deliver innovative solutions that address businesses' most pressing needs.”

Aryaka has a Unified SASE as a Service solution that “combines a unified single-pass architecture, global private network backbone, and security, observability and application performance capabilities into a single platform,” says Harteveld. “That alone is unprecedented, but we also deliver it as a service, providing the security as well as the flexibility and affordability today's IT leaders require."

Aryaka's Secure Network Transformation Report 2024 offers a comprehensive analysis of the findings and explores the implications for IT, network and security leaders.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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