AT&T teams with Cisco to create new managed SASE offering

[ This article was originally published here ]

Whether organizations call it digital transformation or just using technology to create opportunities for new, easier ways to work, one thing is certain.

Businesses increasingly need to find simpler ways to securely build and manage new kinds of connections that support an era of:

  • frustration-free hybrid work;
  • meaningful collaboration;
  • anywhere, anytime access to application data; and
  • superior user experiences.

This is exactly the drive behind the latest collaboration between the cybersecurity and networking experts at AT&T and Cisco. They teamed up to provide a global managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) offering that streamlines the way businesses deliver highly secure, anywhere, anytime access to any application. Named AT&T SASE with Cisco, the service converges network and security management into a single cloud-delivered, integrated service.

AT&T SASE with Cisco: Connect, control, converge

AT&T SASE with Cisco weaves together some of the most important threads necessary for supporting and protecting the branch offices, labs, manufacturing facilities, and remote workers that make up the tapestry of the modern, distributed workforce. The platform that powers the service integrates  SD-WAN, secure remote access, and secure web gateway technology into a single set of consolidated levers and controls for IT and security. Each component offers up crucial functions to enable users to connect to resources while controlling cyber risk along the way:

AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco

Improves network visibility, performance and resilience

AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco is a cloud-delivered overlay WAN architecture that connects branches to headquarters, data centers, and multi-cloud environments. It makes it simpler to build, scale, and extend security and access policies across connections.

AT&T Secure Remote Access with Cisco

Grants prescriptive access to applications and data based on identity.

AT&T Secure Remote Access with Cisco is a comprehensive zero trust network access (ZTNA) solution that verifies user identity and device health before allowing connection to company resources. It provides granular access to specific applications, wherever they are hosted, to users at any location.

AT&T Secure Web Gateway with Cisco

Restricts access to websites, cloud applications, and data sharing based on risk policies

AT&T Secure Web Gateway with Cisco provides integrated cloud-native security that unifies protection against web-based threats through firewall, domain name server (DNS) security, cloud access broker (CASB) and threat intelligence in a single platform.

The biggest value of the offering is the convergence of these components into a SASE framework. SASE is different because it provides a single lens for understanding opportunities to optimize network traffic while managing user access based on risk, no matter the location.

As my colleague from Cisco, Shaila Shankar explains, a SASE platform future-proofs organizations for digital transformation:

Today’s businesses are planning for a cloud-oriented organizational transformation by consolidating vendors and adopting integrated, cloud-first solutions. This consolidation is fully realized through a SASE platform. With SASE, businesses gain better control over every user and any application, over any network – without a degradation in performance or user experience.

AT&T SASE with Cisco takes those advantages to another level by layering in the  skilled resources of AT&T’s networking and cybersecurity professionals into the solution. They help maximize the power of the SASE technology by providing expert SASE planning and deployment, policy design, and 24/7 network monitoring and help desk support. The AT&T SASE with Cisco solution is flexible, with managed and co-managed options available.

Use cases supported by AT&T SASE with Cisco

The unique combination of technology and know-how from AT&T and Cisco makes AT&T SASE with Cisco particularly suited to support some very important use cases for forward-looking organizations.

Secure Connected Edge

This solution is designed to help organizations struggling with inconsistent user experiences with the ability to manage security policies across users depending on the location or cloud service accessed. The optimized WAN architecture connects users to the internet and cloud applications across highest performing links while centralizing the view of health of all network circuits. Meantime, cloud delivered security follows users wherever and however they connect.

Secure Connected Branch

This service helps organizations with distributed branch offices keep up with rising bandwidth requirements by optimizing the network on a site-by-site basis, while at the same time tracking and protecting sensitive data across the network. The solution provides highly secure, direct connections to the web and SaaS applications whether users are working at the branch or from a coffee shop. Regardless of location, security policies are consistently applied across users without the performance problems of VPN connections.

Zero Trust Enabler

This solution is a cornerstone for supporting broader zero-trust security strategies. It provides precise, identity-based permissions to validate the health of devices for every session. The unified security controls, including behavior checks and monitoring, consistently enforce security policy across users and devices. This provides the infrastructure and skilled support to roll out zero-trust security measures within and outside corporate boundaries.

Learn more about how AT&T SASE with Cisco can help your organization continue your transformative journey toward superior user experience and better protection.

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