Secure Access Service Edge Is Essential For Supporting NOC/SOC Collaboration

Secure Access Service Edge

September 23rd, 2021   |   Updated on October 6th, 2021

Many enterprises have distinct network and security teams. The role of the Network Operations Center (NOC) is to ensure that the network is resilient and meets the needs of the business in the face of disruptive events such as power outages, network outages, and extreme weather. Before we explain what is SASE, let’s understand the difference between NOCs and SOCs.

The SOC is tasked with protecting the company against cyber threats and their impacts on the network.

NOCs and SOCs have a common goal – ensuring the usability of the corporate network – but they often work independently (and occasionally at cross purposes).

Bridging the gap between networking and security is essential and requires deploying solutions that support both of their efforts and encourage collaboration, such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Corporate Networks Are Evolving Rapidly

In recent years, corporate networks have been changing quickly. The adoption of cloud infrastructure has dramatically expanded network footprints, replacing the corporate LAN with the corporate WAN.

Additionally, the adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) policies and the uptick in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic have distributed enterprise IT assets even further.

With these expanded networks, the tasks of monitoring them and ensuring their performance and security is more difficult than before.

NOCs and SOCs require tools designed to work in a variety of different environments and to address use cases and threats that did not exist previously. With expanding responsibilities and limited resources and teams, NOC and SOC teams are increasingly overwhelmed.

NOC/SOC Collaboration Is Vital For Enterprise

At a high level, the core objectives of the NOC and the SOC are the same. Both of their responsibilities are to ensure that the corporate network continues to meet the needs of the business in the face of potential disruptions.

The main difference between the two is the type of disruptions that they handle and the tools and techniques that they use to achieve their goals.

NOCs and SOCs commonly work independently of one another and are siloed within an organization. However, the problems that they face often cross these silos, requiring communication and collaboration between the teams.

In over a third of cases (35%), security systems problems have caused issues for the NOC in the form of hard-to-fix performance problems.

On the other side, the same percentage of complex service performance problems have required collaboration between the network and security teams to correct.

Network and security teams use many of the same tools and techniques to do their work and often need to cooperate to solve complex challenges.

Building a foundation for communication and collaboration between these teams can help boost their efficiency and the productivity of the company as a whole.

Common Barriers to Networking and Security Cross-Silo Cooperation

Collaboration between the network and security teams is unquestionably good for the enterprise. However, many companies’ NOCs and SOCs work in siloed environments and struggle to work together. This can be true for a few different reasons, including:

  • Differing Roles: The corporate NOC and SOC have different prime areas of focus: optimizing the performance of the corporate network vs. keeping it secure. Often, these priorities are seen as operating at cross purposes, which inhibits cooperation and collaboration between the network and security teams.
  • No Common Source of Truth: Network and security teams have different roles within the organization and may use different tools and techniques to achieve their purposes. As a result, it can be difficult for NOCs and SOCs to agree on a single source of truth for a problem since they may be viewing the same issue from different angles.
  • Competing Priorities: In the modern enterprise, NOC and SOC teams have a variety of different duties and are often overwhelmed. Collaboration requires a coordinated effort by both teams, which can be difficult if each assigns a different priority to the issue.

What is SASE? How Does It Enhance Performance?

NOCs and SOCs will increasingly need to collaborate as security issues impact network performance and the expanding corporate network creates new security challenges.

However, as things stand today, these two teams are commonly siloed and only interact when it becomes necessary.

Enterprises benefit from collaboration between their NOC and SOC, and one of the best ways to encourage this collaboration is to make it as seamless as possible.

Currently, both network and security teams suffer from workload overload and a lack of a shared source of truth to base collaboration on.

SASE presents a potential solution to both of these issues. With SASE, network performance and security capabilities are converged into a single solution, allowing network and security teams to work with a common toolset and source of ground truth when investigating a potential issue.

Additionally, the design of SASE allows security and network optimization to be consistently applied across the entire corporate IT environment, making NOC and SOC teams more efficient and able to collaborate with one another.