MEF, the global industry association of network, cloud, and technology providers, has published the industry’s first Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) standard defining SASE service attributes, a framework and common definitions, and a zero trust framework that together allow organizations to implement dynamic policy-based actions to secure network resources for faster decision-making and implementation for enterprises.
The MEF SASE service standard and zero trust framework have been developed by the industry’s top managed security and service providers to make it easier to bring to market robust, easy-to-understand, easy-to-manage SASE services for the enterprise. The new standards include the following:
MEF’s SASE provides enterprises and providers with common terminology and service attributes to help them when buying, selling, and delivering SASE services. The group says this makes it easier to interface policy with security functions for cloud-based cybersecurity from anywhere. Additionally, MEF’s Zero Trust framework defines service attributes to enable service providers to implement and deliver a broad range of services that comply with zero-trust principles.
Filling an enterprise need
Today, the edge is more than just the demarcation point between on-premises and public connectivity services. The edge extends into each user’s home and to every device (e.g., consumer smart appliances, industrial IoT devices, and more). And as such, securing the edge is harder than ever before. Specifically, the challenge in protecting the enterprise today is that the edge, which must be defended, is nebulous.
In today’s network-connected devices and work-from-anywhere world, users and devices move between on-premises locations, interconnected branch locations, home offices, and temporary locations during travel. So, enterprises are looking for solutions that integrate networking and security. Many are adopting new technologies that include zero trust, SD-WAN, and SASE. These security approaches shift the focal point of security to the user or device.
SASE Service Attributes and Service Framework Standard
This standard specifies service attributes to be agreed upon between a service provider and a subscriber for SASE services, including security functions, policies, and connectivity services. The standard defines the behaviors of the SASE service that are externally visible to the subscriber irrespective of the implementation of the service. A SASE service based upon the framework defined in the standard enables secure access and secure connectivity of users, devices, or applications to resources for the subscriber. MEF’s SASE standard (MEF 117) includes SASE service attributes and a SASE service framework.
Zero Trust framework for MEF services
The new Zero Trust Framework for MEF Services (MEF 118) defines a framework and requirements of identity, authentication, policy management, and access control processes that are continuously and properly constituted, protected, and free from vulnerabilities when implemented and deployed. This framework also defines service attributes, which are agreed upon between a subscriber and service provider, to enable service providers to implement and deliver a broad range of services that comply with Zero Trust principles.