What is security service edge? What differentiates this from the other security technologies today? And should your company use this?
What Is Security Service Edge?
A security service edge (SSE) refers to a security service that is deployed on a network before it is reached by the cloud or Internet. An SSE refers to a network security device that is deployed on a network before it reaches the cloud or Internet.
Moreover, these devices are also known as the first-hop security gateway. The security service edge can be part of an enterprise firewall, or it can be a stand-alone device that is deployed in front of the enterprise firewall. So, the SSE is used to add extra protection from cyber attacks and malware as data leaves the internal network and goes into the external world.
Further, an SSE should not be confused with a traditional firewall. A firewall does not inspect data in transit to determine if it is malicious or not. But rather simply blocks all traffic that isn’t allowed according to a predefined set of rules. With an SSW device, however, data is inspected, and malicious code (including malware) is blocked before it has a chance to enter the corporate network.
Advantages of Security Service Edge
There are several advantages to deploying SSE instead of just using a traditional firewall:
- A single device will provide all of your network protection. It will protect against malware and viruses, as well as controls against attacks on your organization’s applications. As well as access controls for your data. Then, all of these functions are included with the security service edge solution from Cisco. If you have separate devices for each of these functions, then you will have duplicated management systems. And then processes to manage them all.
- Security services are performed inline. This means that all of your traffic will be inspected by the solution instead of just packets selected for inspection by rules on the firewall. Each packet on every port is inspected for malicious content and behavior. This is to protect your organization from cyber threats and attacks as they occur in real-time. Additionally, this reduces the load on other devices such as IPS/IDS devices or antivirus servers. This is to scan traffic that has already passed through the firewall.
- A single device offers multiple levels of protection. The traditional firewall only provides one level of protection at Layer 3 of the OSI model. This means that all traffic is blocked or allowed. But, an SSE device can inspect packets at Layer 3, Layer 4, and Layer 7. This is to block malicious content in real-time before it has a chance to reach your internal network.
So, Ann SSE offers high availability and reliability. It offers a hardware-based failover solution that is highly reliable. Also, if one component fails or goes offline, then the rest of the SSE functions continue to work as expected.
An SSE is scalable as you require more capacity from it in the future. If you need more capacity from the device down the road, then Cisco vPath technology can be used to scale capacity on the device easily and quickly with no downtime required.