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What is SASE and What are the Differences Between SASE and SD-WAN?

July 22nd, 2022 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

A graphic of a  person holding up an image of a security lock in front of face

Cyber security is very important today. If cyber security is not taken seriously or implemented correctly, your data could be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Cyber security has not changed in almost 20 years even though technology especially cloud-based applications has become more popular as technology evolves.

With that being said, there is a gap between technology and security. If this gap is not solved it can lead to cyber-attacks.

According to the International College for Security Studies, the average cost of a data breach in 2021 is roughly $4.24 million. On top of security, companies need a solid network connection they can rely on.

Here at Coeo, we specialize in all things telecommunications and we’re here to educate our audience on the ins and outs of the industry.

In this article, we will explain what SASE is, the advantages and disadvantages of SASE, as well as the differences between SASE and SD-WAN.

What is SASE?

Secure Access Service Edge, or SASE, is a cybersecurity network that combines a WAN or wide area network and a security system into one cloud-based system.

SASE is an emerging cybersecurity concept that surfaced back in 2019. SASE is a new concept that came about due to the recognition that controlling access to resources is not the same as it used to be.

Existing network approaches and technologies like firewalls, no longer provide the needed levels of security in today’s network services.

Even though remote work and cloud-based applications have become so popular, our network structure has not changed fundamentally in more than 20 years.

Continuing to rely on these same approaches to security has consequences.

The backhauling of data to a data center for security checks slow down the user. Additionally, because data and the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, this creates an inconsistency in security.

The increase in remote users and increased data movement to the cloud have created a need for better security.

SASE identifies users and devices moving within the cloud network and applies policy-based security resulting in secure access to data.

Because SASE allows for constant security across a network, data can be delivered straight to a connection source instead of having to be sent to a data center to be monitored.

SASE integrates multiple services all into one network:

  • Security
    SASE offers flexibility when it comes to security. Security can be applied whenever and wherever the customer desires. 
  • SD-WAN
    As part of SASE, SD-WAN offers a secure connection to the cloud and includes multiple different features that benefit the user.
  • Analytics
    SASE also tracks analytics on client data and gives the customer the ability to track their data as well.

Advantages of SASE

Since SASE is a new way of securing data, there are a lot of advantages to implementing it because of the new problems it solves when it comes to securing a network. These advantages include:


Because SASE is a cloud-based system, you can be flexible with it and add your own security services if you choose.

Threat prevention, web filtering, and data loss prevention can all be implemented into your SASE system should you choose to do so.


Since SASE integrates security, WAN connectivity, and other services into one system, there isn't a need to purchase these services separately. This will help save you money from buying different services.


SASE consolidates security into one cloud-based system simplifying your IT infrastructure and therefore minimizing the products an IT team would otherwise have to manage and update.

Better performance

With cloud infrastructure, connecting to the internet or cloud-based apps is easier to do from across the globe.

Since you're able to connect from just about anywhere on any device you can ensure that you will have more reliability and speed. 

Higher security

SASE gives full visibility into your network so you can see and control your security functions. You can restrict certain access to specific data by putting data protection policies in place.

Disadvantages of SASE

Just like with most everything, where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. Some disadvantages of SASE include:

Unknown risks

SASE is a new technology and there hasn't been a whole lot of experience with it. This unfamiliarity with a new service is its greatest weakness.

Market confusion

Since SASE is so new, there is a lot of confusion as to what exactly a SASE service is and what it provides.

There are a lot of companies that claim they offer a SASE service when in reality they are only offering a piece of the service.

What are the differences between SASE and a regular SD-WAN connection?

You may be cleared up on what the idea of SASE is but if you know anything about SD-WAN, they may sound very similar. So what is the difference between SASE and SD-WAN?

Since SD-WAN is often specified as a part of SASE and SASE is often described as an evolution of SD-WAN, it is very easy to see how they are both very similar. However, there are a few main differences between the two services.


SASE has a bigger focus on security and combines security and network connection in the same service. SD-WAN on the other hand wasn’t developed with security as the main priority initially.


Another key difference between the two services is the way organizations deploy them. SD-WAN can be deployed through software or cloud connection whereas SASE is strictly cloud-based.

If you would like to learn more about SD-WAN, you can check out the SD-WAN guide:SD-WAN BUYER'S GUIDE

Is SASE right for your business?

Today’s remote work culture has brought a need for better connection and better security all across the globe.

However, as seen in this article, failing to improve security with today’s new technology can lead to cyber-attacks and network vulnerabilities.

Now that you have learned all about SASE, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as the differences between it and SD-WAN, you can figure out if SASE is right for you and your business.

One thing you can determine as an organization is whether or not security is the main priority when looking for what kind of network connection is right for you. If security is a priority, then you should look into a possible SASE product.

Some questions you can ask yourself to figure out if you should invest in SASE would be:

  • Do I have an IT team that already monitors my network security?

  • Do I have a managed firewall that keeps my data secure?

If you answered yes to these questions then you may not need SASE, however, if you answered no to these questions, SASE would be something you should look into.

If you would like to speak with our team to talk about SASE or SD-WAN or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

Now you know what SASE is and the differences between SASE and SD-WAN. Read this article to learn about Coeo's SASE solution to determine if it is the right fit for your organization:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.