Securing your network: SD-WAN or SASE?


You can use SD-WAN to modernise your company network and prepare for a successful digital transformation. This presents a choice in terms of security: do you use the built-in security of your SD-WAN or do you opt for SASE?

The traditional centralised network model is no longer sufficient. Corporate networks are using ever more cloud applications, and data traffic on those networks has increased significantly. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation for many companies, resulting in hybrid working and a distributed network infrastructure.

A Software-Defined Wide Area Network or SD-WAN offers an answer to these new challenges. It uses different internet connections at each site and enables optimal connection for each application. Many SD-WAN solutions have built-in security functionality, but you can also use new technology – Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE – to complement your SD-WAN. SASE offers a network architecture that combines security features and SD-WAN in a cloud solution. So which technology suits your business best: SD-WAN or SASE? Let’s take a look at the main differences.


1. Cloud

SASE has a cloud-native architecture: it combines SD-WAN and security functionalities in a cloud service.

SD-WAN always gives you complete control of your network architecture, but you can also choose to buy an SD-WAN solution from a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP model offers you many benefits similar to those of an SASE cloud model in terms of scalability, reliability and outsourcing.


2. Security

You can complement an SD-WAN solution that positions itself purely as a network solution with security solutions such as a firewall or VPN. SASE is one way to implement the security side of SD-WAN. It combines the SD-WAN functionality with additional security options in a cloud service.

However, there are already SD-WAN solutions on the market that use a single product to manage the network and security functionalities, including a next-generation firewall, for example. Some were originally security solutions that have included the SD-WAN functionality. Others started as SD-WAN products and added the security functionality. If you don’t need an SASE cloud model, an integrated SD-WAN solution is sufficient.


3. Roadmap for a modern network

Whether you choose SD-WAN or SASE, the roadmap for transforming your network is as follows:

  1. Make a business case.

  2. Create synergy between your network and security teams.

  3. Examine the operational and organisational impact of the migration on your network and security.

  4. Begin your digital transformation by modernising your network.



If you want to digitally transform your business in a secure way and you need help choosing between SD-WAN and SASE, contact your Account Manager so we can work together to determine the best solution for you.

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