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The Seven Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting an SSE Vendor

March 02, 2022 - 3 min read

As seen in Gartner’s recent Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE), all SSE vendors are not created equal. Undertaking a network and security transformation requires careful thought and consideration. It requires carefully avoiding common pitfalls during the selection process. 

As a refresher, the Security service edge (SSE) is the convergence of security services like cloud access security broker (CASB), secure web gateway (SWG), and zero trust network access (ZTNA) into one cloud platform delivered at the edge. It is the security component of Gartner’s secure access service edge (SASE) model.

Given the complexities in navigating this new Gartner market segment, we have compiled the ‘Seven Pitfalls to Avoid when Selecting an SSE Vendor.’ where we provide real-world guidance for SSE decision-makers to ensure they are making the right decisions for their network and security transformation. 

This guidance encourages SSE decision-makers to consider SSE solutions that are:

  1. Born in the cloud with best-in-class resilience, infrastructure, geographic diversity, functional capabilities and optimal user experience. This allows SSE services to be delivered in-line at carrier-neutral data centers.
  2. Built on the foundation of Zero Trust, which only allows access for contextually validated identities, regardless of location/network. This least-privileged path is for all services, not just users. By connecting authorized sources through the correct SSE controls to valid destinations and nothing more, enterprises remove lateral movement, which is often exploited by threat actors.
  3. Provide SSL/TLS inspection of traffic at production scale with minimal impact on performance, which requires a scalable proxy architecture. The deep insights gained from inspection apply advanced threat protection for encrypted traffic and advanced data classification policies for data loss prevention.
  4. Offer flexible deployment models for protecting users and applications wherever the application is hosted, and these protections are extended to third-parties and workload-to-workload communications within the same or across multiple clouds.
  5. Transparent, easy to authenticate, and always on, ensuring that end users on their SSE platform are having a great user experience using objective measures. Degradations in user experiences should be monitored and diagnosed.
  6. Able to integrate via robust APIs with other best-of-breed ecosystem players to ensure optimal protection and user experience.
  7. Able to seamlessly pilot their solution with a single unified agent, access to a global set of service edges (close to the user), with a centralized and easy-to-use UI.

During the critical SSE selection process, remember that the ability to: manage a global cloud at scale, provide a holistic Zero Trust architecture, inspect encrypted traffic at scale, provide the best user experience, allow flexible deployment modes and support an ecosystem of best-in-class partners are all critical factors to consider.

Zscaler offers the ideal SSE solution to round out a SASE architecture with an all-in-one security platform built on the world’s largest security cloud. Zscaler SSE:

  • Eliminates the attack surface by hiding apps behind the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange™
  • Prevents compromise by securing all user-to-app, app-to-app, and machine-to-machine communications
  • Stops lateral movement by connecting users to apps and not the network, isolating threats
  • Minimizes cost and complexity while maximizing user experience and performance

To learn more about how SSE can transform your security strategy, read our new ebook that details the pitfalls and challenges organizations should avoid.

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