Embracing Zero Trust with SASE: Practical Examples and Aligning Principles

April 16, 2024
Reza Afrashteh
Optimising Networks

In the landscape of ever-evolving cyber threats, the Zero Trust security model has become a cornerstone for modern cybersecurity strategies, including in Australia. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is an innovative framework that not only facilitates but also reinforces the principles of Zero Trust. This blog discusses how SASE embodies Zero Trust principles and shares practical examples of their synergy in action.

Understanding Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a security concept centered on the belief that organisations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside their perimeters. Instead, they must verify anything and everything trying to connect to their systems before granting access.

1. Zero Trust Principles in SASE Framework

SASE aligns perfectly with Zero Trust principles by integrating network security services with advanced threat prevention mechanisms in a cloud-based model. The key principles of Zero Trust that align with SASE include:

Never Trust, Always Verify: SASE adopts this mantra by requiring continuous verification of every access request, regardless of the user's location or the network they're using.

Least Privilege Access: SASE ensures that users and devices are granted access only to the resources they need to accomplish their tasks, minimising the attack surface.

Micro-Segmentation: By segmenting the network, SASE limits lateral movement within the network, which is a critical aspect of the Zero Trust model.

2. Example of SASE Facilitating Zero Trust in a Financial Institution

A leading Australian financial institution implemented SASE to enhance its security posture. They leveraged Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) as part of their SASE solution, which involved verifying the identity and context of each user and device before granting access to the network. This approach not only secured remote access for employees but also protected sensitive financial data.

3. Enhancing Security for Cloud Applications

With the widespread adoption of cloud services, ensuring secure access is crucial. SASE, through Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), can enforce Zero Trust policies when accessing cloud applications, ensuring that only authenticated and authorised users can access cloud-based resources.

4. Zero Trust in Remote Working Scenarios

In a remote working scenario, an Australian marketing firm utilised SASE to secure their distributed workforce. The SASE solution provided consistent security policies across all users, regardless of their location, by continuously verifying user identities and assessing the security posture of their devices.

5. Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Policies

SASE solutions offer continuous monitoring and adaptive policies, key aspects of the Zero Trust model. This means that the security posture can dynamically adapt based on ongoing risk assessments and changing user behaviours or threat landscapes.

6. Data Protection and Compliance

For Australian businesses, complying with data protection regulations like the Privacy Act 1988 is essential. SASE helps in this regard by applying Zero Trust principles to data access, ensuring that data is accessed securely and in compliance with regulatory requirements.

7. Simplified Security Management

Implementing Zero Trust can be complex, but SASE simplifies this by integrating various security functions into a single platform. This unified approach makes it easier to manage and enforce Zero Trust policies across the organisation.

8. Scalability and Flexibility

SASE’s cloud-native architecture offers scalability and flexibility, essential for implementing Zero Trust across various environments and user scenarios. This is particularly beneficial for Australian businesses that need to scale their operations up or down rapidly.

9. Overcoming Challenges with SASE and Zero Trust

While transitioning to a SASE-based Zero Trust model offers numerous benefits, it also poses challenges, such as the need for comprehensive planning and potential restructuring of existing network architectures. However, the long-term benefits of enhanced security and compliance are well worth these initial hurdles.


In conclusion, SASE is an effective framework for facilitating a Zero Trust security model. Its principles of continuous verification, least privilege access, and micro-segmentation align seamlessly with the requirements of Zero Trust, offering Australian organisations a robust solution to modern cybersecurity challenges. By adopting a SASE-based Zero Trust approach, businesses can enhance their security posture, ensure compliance, and protect against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

In the digital age, the integration of security and network architecture is no longer optional but a necessity. Embracing SASE and Zero Trust is a proactive step towards a more secure, agile, and resilient IT infrastructure.

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