The SSE Forum was developed in collaboration with IT leaders from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. who represent a cross section of industries, including beverage, travel, technology, financial services, automotive, manufacturing, hospitality, state, and local government.
We spoke with Gil Azreilant, CTO and co-founder of Axis Security to discuss the importance of the forum and whe industry can expect from the forum's launch.
What makes securing the service edge a priority for organizations? What challenges do companies face typically?
Today’s modern workplace requires employees and third parties alike to work from anywhere. It also includes UCaaS (Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.) and IaaS platforms (Azure, AWS, etc.) - where private apps like SAP are migrating to. To support this workplace IT leaders are in search of platforms that use identity and policy to broker secure connections between authorized entities and business resources. Traditional network security approaches are becoming obsolete since IT no longer controls the network (now the Internet). Traditional solutions (i.e. VPN and VDI) inherently trust users, which is why they are actively being exploited by sophisticated attacks. They’re also appliance-heavy. This is what has led to the need for cloud-delivered Security Service Edge platforms (SSE) that combine key technologies like ZTNA, SWG and CASB into a single offering. Even with this new interest, many IT leaders struggle to understand what to look for when selecting a SSE platform, key use cases to begin with, and best practices to deploy them. The SSE Forum will help address each.
What was the genesis of the SSE Forum?
We’ve been fortunate, even as the new kids on the block, to have met hundreds of CxOs and IT leaders through our board, our customers, and the conversations we have each day. One commonality we started to notice towards the second half of 2021 was that there was a lot of confusion between SASE vs. SSE. Another was that many leaders knew they needed SSE, but were either struggling to actually find a start point, or found it difficult to articulate the need to their board, and their peers. In some cases, both.
Of course every vendor out there has their perspective, but was really missing was the voice of the actual leaders themselves. We realized that the industry’s voice needed to be heard not only by us, but also by IT and security professionals. There’s a lot to be gained by learning from peers. The SSE needs, challenges, and the designing of the adoption roadmap that leaders could use needed to be captured, developed, and then shared with as many as possible. The question was how. That’s when we decided to partner with some of the brightest IT pioneers in the world, and create the SSE forum. Today the forum includes IT leaders from more than fifteen companies, and the demand to join has been incredible. We’re excited for the discoveries that await.
What are the goals of the forum? How do the members benefit from each other?
The SSE Forum has three key goals:
Create a safe space for leaders to share ideas about SSE, without fear of retribution
Inspire IT leaders to think beyond traditional access methods - and to understand the new technologies they have available to them
Define the SSE adoption roadmap for businesses so that IT can lead the industry’s march towards making the era of cloud and hybrid work more secure - through SSE
Together, the members have the ability to extend their network, share insights, develop SSE best practices in a safe environment, and not only learn about new technologies, but help define how they should be used to power the business. The Forum is also hosted by two industry vets. John Spiegel spent years helping build out the network environment for Columbia Sportswear. Jaye TIllson is the current Head of Architecture at TT Electronics.
What can the industry expect out of the forum?
This is the world’s first, and only, forum focused on SSE, and it’s chock-full of industry pioneers. The insights, and best practices, developed by this cohort of leaders will be pivotal in helping accelerate the transition to securing a modern workplace. Articles on SSE success stories from the perspective of the actual IT leaders themselves, the first SSE architecture guides, thought-provoking webinars and podcasts with forum participants and analysts, new industry research on SSE adoption rate, use cases and challenges. There’s so much opportunity to learn and share. This is a small step for a few IT leaders, but one giant leap for the IT community.