ZTNA vs SASE: How the Two Can Work Together

What is ZTNA?

ZTNA is an acronym for Zero Trust Network Access. It’s a security strategy built on the principle of least privilege, which means that users are only given the bare minimum permissions they need to do their job – no more, no less. 

This approach starkly contrasts traditional security models, which usually rely on perimeter defenses on the premise that blanket access is naturally granted to everyone inside the organization. With ZTNA, there are ZERO trusted insiders or untrusted outsiders – everyone is treated equally, with zero trust. 

What is SASE?

SASE is short for Secure Access Service Edge. It’s a cloud-based security architecture that enables the convergence of network and security functions into a single, integrated, fully comprehensive platform. 

SASE provides secure access to data and applications from any location, on any device, and is fully scalable. In contrast to more traditional security methods, SASE provides a more holistic approach that considers both the network and the security needs of an organization. 

Zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) and secure access service edge (SASE) are two terms often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two.

What is the Difference Between ZTNA and SASE?

SASE is a comprehensive, multi-faceted security framework, while ZTNA is a more focused security model that limits resource access and is a part of SASE. 

ZTNA is a security model that does not require users to have a legacy VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access internal resources and instead relies on authentication and authorization methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify users. 

SASE applies a more holistic approach to security that includes both network and security functions in one platform. The SASE platform can be delivered as a cloud service or as an on-premises application. 

It’s worth noting that ZTNA must run with SASE for optimal security, and here are a few reasons why.

Why ZTNA with SASE

There are many advantages of combining SASE and Zero Trust Network Access. First, the combination allows organizations to move away from the traditional network perimeter model and adopt a more modern, cloud-centric approach. This provides greater security as well as greater flexibility and scalability.

Additionally, by leveraging the strengths of both SASE and Zero Trust Network Access together, businesses can reduce costs associated with managing multiple security solutions and better optimize the security and protection of their data and applications from external threats with not one but two state-of-the-art security systems.

Here’s a quick list of the top eight reasons to combine ZTNA with SASE:

  1. Enhanced security: Create an advanced level of security by including multiple layers of defense in addition to sophisticated analytics to detect, prevent, and respond to threats. 
  1. Improved scalability: Scale your network to meet the demands of increased traffic from mobile users and/or internet-of-things (IoT) devices. 
  1. Robust access control: Attain greater control over user access in all locations—including cloud, hybrid environments, and beyond. This enables you to create a secure environment for your users, no matter where they surf online, or which device they use.
  1. Better performance: Benefit from better overall performance through improved latency times as fewer requests will need to be routed between endpoints on the same network path. 
  1. Higher visibility: Assist IT teams in gaining insight into their networks, enabling them to make more educated decisions on how best to manage them for optimal performance and cost savings.
  1. Reduced complexity Having a single tool that includes both solutions makes things much easier for IT teams who would otherwise waste time and resources on maintaining several different systems simultaneously.
  1. Increased automation: Execute tasks faster, such as troubleshooting, without having to switch back and forth between toolsets. This is not only efficient but also saves a considerable amount of manpower costs across entire organizations/enterprises.
  2. Optimized bandwidth utilization: Decrease your costs with better server consolidation.

Implement a Comprehensive SASE Solution with Perimeter81

Perimeter 81’s fully comprehensive SASE solution revolutionizes how companies secure their data, resources, and users within their network. The company’s Secure Access Service Edge platform combines network and security functionality into a single scalable, cost-efficient, and cloud-based service to provide best-in-class SASE security.

We provide an easy-to-use and robust cloud-based networking and network security platform that connects all users, in the office or remote, to all corporate resources, whether they are in the cloud or on-prem. It employs identity-driven access control to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need to do their job and nothing more. 

  • Identity-driven: enables enforcement of least-privilege access to network segments based on identity, role, device, and more.
  • Cloud-based: a scalable security platform that provides visibility over cloud resources hosted by major cloud providers.
  • Edge-delivered: allows you to secure the network from local hardware to mobile edge endpoints with client-based or agentless access.
  • Global: 50 points of presence worldwide for fast, direct access to the Internet and cloud-based resources.

Enforcing access with a least-privileged strategy and strictly enforced access control, organizations implementing Perimeter81’s SASE can control interactions with resources based on relevant attributes, including application type, user and group identity, and the sensitivity of the data being accessed. 

Additionally, enabling security AND visibility for cloud services and on-prem resources, Perimeter81’s SASE architecture enables businesses to take advantage of key cloud capabilities for an agile, holistic, adaptive, self-updating security posture. This empowers organizations with an efficient and easily adaptable tool for their business needs, no matter where they are located.

Perimeter81’s SASE solution creates a single network for the entire organization’s resources — data centers, branch offices, cloud resources, and mobile and remote users. It also enables fast connection speeds for all workers, whether in the office or remotely, delivering a low-latency service to users across all enterprise edges.

Perimeter81 enables the core benefits, including:

  • Ease of consumption via unifying several critical security technologies into a single SaaS (software as a service) offering.
  • Complete network visibility by integrating local and cloud resources, hardware, software, proprietary, and third-party solutions seamlessly.

So, with Perimeter81’s SASE solution, when users are connected, they’re protected.


SASE is not a VPN. SASE is an innovative networking architecture that combines the security of a VPN with the performance of a direct connection. Unlike a VPN, SASE uses a single, unified platform to provide both security and connectivity. This makes it more efficient and easier to manage than a traditional VPN.
Is ZTNA a part of SASE?
ZTNA is only a part of SASE. 

SASE combines Zero Trust Network Access, Next Generation Firewall, and other security services with network services like SD-WAN, WAN optimization, and bandwidth aggregation into a cloud-native platform. By leveraging SASE architecture, enterprises gain access to Zero Trust Network Access and an entire suite of network and security solutions that benefit from being both highly scalable and easy to manage.
SD-WAN is a software-defined networking approach that abstracts the underlying physical infrastructure and allows for dynamic, policy-based traffic routing. SASE, on the other hand, comprises both network and security functions in a single solution. SD-WAN technology is considered part of SASE, which includes additional security features such as CASB, FWaaS, SWG, and ZTNA. While SD-WAN can be used without these security features, SASE is designed to provide a complete solution for securely connecting users to resources.
What are SASE’s five key components?
The five key components of SASE are: 

1. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN)
A type of WAN that uses software to dynamically route traffic over the best path available, whether that’s a public broadband connection, private leased line, or virtual private network (VPN).

2. Cloud access security broker (Casb)
Software that sits between an organization and its cloud service providers (CSPs), enforcing security policies and ensuring compliance with corporate governance requirements. 

3. NGFW and Firewall as a service (FWaaS)
Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are purpose-built hardware or software systems that combine a traditional firewall with other network security functions to provide a deeper level of protection. Firewall as a service (FWaaS) is a type of NGFW delivered as a cloud-based service. FWaaS provides the same features and benefits as an NGFW appliance but without the need to purchase, deploy, and manage the hardware or software. 

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a security model that doesn’t rely on predefined trust levels. In a zero-trust model, all devices and users are treated in the same manner, with no assumption of trust. This means that all traffic is treated as if it’s coming from an untrusted source, and all devices and users must be verified before they’re allowed access to the network. 

5. Secure web gateways (SWG)
Secure web gateways are devices that function as a proxy between users and the internet, providing a secure connection and ensuring that all traffic is encrypted. SWGs provide several security features, such as content filtering, malware protection, and phishing protection. They can be deployed as hardware appliances, virtual machines, or cloud-based services.

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