The evolution of cybersecurity: SASE and zero trust

| By:
Jay Ryerse

In this age of remote, hybrid, and flexible work environments, customers increasingly rely on managed service providers (MSPs) to protect their network devices from anywhere in the world and at any time. MSPs are responsible for securing every endpoint—from servers and laptops to mobile devices, workstations, cloud services, and every network device in between. And with so much at stake, it’s no surprise that many MSPs are turning to zero trust security.

What is zero trust?

Zero trust is a vital cybersecurity concept that focuses on only allowing trusted users and devices to connect to trusted data sources. It means that no matter who tries to access the information, they must have the proper credentials and tools to gain entry. This concept is especially relevant for MSPs, who can no longer rely on traditional cybersecurity approaches to mitigate the ever-evolving threat landscape that their clients face.

Clients expect zero trust from MSPs

An important part of the zero trust concept is that it protects every in-network device. When your client hired you as their MSP, it’s likely that they did so under the assumption that you would be securing their every endpoint, regardless of location, at all times—unless, of course, it was specified otherwise. Because your clients rely on you to secure their assets to the fullest extent possible, one-off solutions, like throwing a “ring-fence” on a specific application on a laptop, are no longer adequate cybersecurity measures.

In 2023, it’s no longer enough for MSPs to offer partial cybersecurity for their clients. Small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are looking for comprehensive protection against cyberthreats, and they’re looking for (and expect) MSPs to do that for them. In fact, according to our research, 94% of SMBs would consider using or moving to a new MSP if they offered the “right” cybersecurity solution.

Zero trust and SASE give MSPs the ability to consolidate tools

A typical MSP might use anywhere from 7 to 25 tools to protect their clients, often including multiple brands of similar technology, such as various firewalls, endpoint cybersecurity, and backups. Using so many different tools that offer similar functions is inefficient and can make it harder to scale your services to drive best-in-class margins. Some other arguments for consolidating the tools your MSP uses include the following:

  • Too much to learn. Teaching not only yourself but your entire team as well to use each individual tool is a long and potentially arduous task. It would be much easier to learn one tool that combines the functions you’re looking for rather than many individual tools that each perform a single function.
  • Too many tools to keep up to date. Different tools require different update processes, and if you’re supporting multiple tools that perform similar, or even vastly different, functions, ensuring you’re keeping all of the necessary certifications up to date can be challenging.
  • Too much to lose. Oftentimes, when multiple tools are in use, only one or two engineers truly know each tool inside and out. Should either or both engineers who are experts in that tool leave the company, your MSP will be left with a substantive knowledge gap.
  • Too much wasted time. When you have a lot of overlap in the tools your business uses, it creates less streamlined service delivery, which then impacts margins.

Modern MSPs are facing more considerable challenges and threats than ever and thus require evolving, streamlined solutions to best protect their clients. That’s where zero trust and service access secure edge (SASE) come in.

SASE is a term initially coined by Gartner but has been adopted industry wide. It’s a cybersecurity service that enables organizations to securely access networks from any location while protecting against unauthorized access. It also offers zero trust access to cloud-based networks without installing hardware or software at each endpoint, making it easy for you and other MSPs to provide the comprehensive, round-the-clock, global cybersecurity your clients are looking for.

ConnectWise is here to bring SASE to your MSP

ConnectWise has partnered with Exium to make SASE more accessible to the market. We know your clients are leveraging the cloud for more and more essential business operations, and it’s important that as they move through this digital transformation, their cybersecurity solutions evolve with them.

Not only is SASE by ConnectWise and Exium the fastest way to streamline service delivery and improve your margins, but it’s also multi-tenant right out of the gate, making it easy to perform the independent functions you need, but all within the same space. SASE consolidates many of the most common tools into one easy-to-manage console, including, but not limited to, tools such as:

  • DNS security
  • VPN
  • IDS
  • IPS
  • CASB
  • Secure access
  • Cloud security
  • Cloud firewall

SASE by ConnectWise and Exium also works great with best-in-class MDR, SIEM, and email solutions to provide well-rounded, secure networks for businesses of any size. So, if your MSP is looking to streamline your cybersecurity offerings and move towards a zero trust architecture, SASE is the tool to do it.