What is SSE and Why Do You Need It?

Security Service Edge (SSE) is a combination of security features integrated at the edge of a network for secure connectivity and a consistent work experience.

What is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

Security Service Edge (SSE) refers to an architectural approach that integrates a collection of cloud-based security functionalities at the edge of a network. Traditionally, network security has been implemented using firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), and other security appliances deployed within the network infrastructure. 

With the increasing adoption of cloud services, mobile devices, and distributed workforces, the traditional approach faces scalability, performance, and complexity challenges. SSE aims to address these challenges by implementing security measures closer to the data source and the users rather than relying solely on a centralized solution.

What Does SSE Include?

Vendors and service providers offer varied SSE features and functionalities, but these are some common elements:

  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA):  ZTNA operates on the “never trust, always verify” principle. It validates user identities, devices, and context before granting access to network resources at the edge.
  • Secure access: In addition to ZTNA, features like virtual private networks (VPNs) and a software-defined perimeter (SDP) ensure secure connectivity for remote users and branch offices.
  • Firewall as a service (FaaS): SSE vendors provide firewall functionality as a cloud-based service, delivering network traffic filtering and access control at the network edge.
  • Cloud secure web gateway (SWG): A cloud-based SWG can sit at cloud service access points to analyze, filter, and protect against web-based threats.
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB): A CASB acts as an intermediary between cloud service consumers (users or devices) and cloud service providers, enforcing security policies.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS): Cloud-based IDPS solutions monitor network traffic for suspicious activity, providing alerts or taking preventative actions to mitigate threats.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP): DLP services help identify and prevent the unauthorized transmission of sensitive data, protecting against data breaches and compliance violations.
  • Security analytics and incident response capabilities: Advanced analytics help detect anomalies and potential security incidents and provide tools for incident response and investigation.

What is a SWG?

A Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a network security solution that can be deployed on-premises or as a cloud-based service. SWGs control and monitor web traffic and protect organizations from web-based threats like malware, phishing attempts, and data leakage. They typically include features like URL filtering, web application control, malware detection, SSL inspection, and data loss prevention (DLP). 

Looking for an SSE Solution?

Why Do You Need SSE?

Security Service Edge (SSE) is beneficial for several reasons, as it addresses the evolving security challenges organizations face today. Here are some key reasons why SSE is important:

  • Enhanced Security: By implementing security services at the network edge, organizations can detect and mitigate threats in real-time, reducing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, malware infections, and other security incidents.
  • Improved Performance: SSE reduces the latency associated with routing traffic to centralized security appliances, ensuring fast and reliable access to applications and services.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: SSE allows growing organizations to scale their security measures more easily, offering elastic capacity which enables organizations to adjust resources based on demand. This scalability benefits organizations with distributed networks, remote offices, and dynamic workloads.
  • Simplified Management: SSE simplifies security management by centralizing security services in the cloud, making it easier to deploy, configure, and monitor multiple security appliances across different locations. 
  • Consistent Security Policies: SSE enables organizations to enforce consistent security policies across different locations, including remote offices, branches, and cloud environments. 
  • Support for Distributed Workforces: SSE caters to the needs of remote and mobile workforces, accommodates bring-your-own-device policies, and provides secure connectivity and access controls for remote workers.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Cloud-based security services often offer built-in compliance features and provide organizations with audit logs and reporting functionalities for regulatory compliance purposes.
  • Future-Proofing: SSE aligns with the growing adoption of cloud services, edge computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). It provides a security framework to help organizations as they embrace emerging technologies.

SSE offers a comprehensive approach to network security, combining advanced security services with network functionality at the network edge. It helps organizations protect their assets, maintain performance, adapt to evolving threats, and support modern work environments.


Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Security Service Edge (SSE) both provide architectural security frameworks, but SASE is really a specialization within the broader SASE design.

SASE combines network and security services into a unified and scalable cloud-based solution to deliver secure access to network resources and cloud applications regardless of user location or device. 

SSE also integrates security services at the network edge but doesn’t address networking. Instead, SSE focuses on users, devices, and data, bringing security closer to the point of access.  

SASE is typically deployed as a cloud-native, as-a-service offering by a SASE provider. SSE can be deployed using a combination of on-premises security appliances and cloud-based security services. 

Advantages of Security Service Edge

By bringing security services closer to the point of access than traditional network security, SSE can provide several benefits, including:

Lower Risk

By integrating security services at the network edge, SSE brings security measures closer to users, devices, and data, reducing the attack surface, minimizing exposure to potential threats, and allowing for immediate response to security incidents.

Zero Trust Access

SSE enforces strong zero-trust authentication mechanisms and verifies user identities, devices, and contextual factors before granting access, ensuring that only authorized and authenticated users can access resources.

Better User Experience

SSE reduces latency, network congestion, and the need for backhauling traffic to centralized security appliances, resulting in faster and more efficient network connectivity with a smooth and secure experience.

Cybersecurity Consolidation

SSE combines various security services, such as firewalls, SWGs, and DLPs, into a unified framework that simplifies security management, reduces complexity, and eliminates the need for disparate security solutions.

Looking for an SSE Solution?

Best Use Cases for SSE

SSE enhances security controls by integrating security services at the network edge, reducing risks for organizations and their users in several critical areas.

Secure Cloud Service and Web Usage

SSE’s proximity to the point of access enhances security for cloud and web usage, ensuring all web traffic to and from the cloud is inspected and protected — safeguarding against web-based threats, unauthorized access, and data breaches.

Identifying & Protecting Sensitive Data

By integrating data loss prevention capabilities, SSE identifies and protects sensitive data within an organization’s network. SSE can analyze and monitor data traffic in real-time, preventing unauthorized disclosure or exfiltration and enforcing regulatory requirements.

Detecting and Mitigating Threats

SSE enables efficient threat detection and mitigation by implementing advanced threat detection mechanisms. SSE’s integration with threat intelligence feeds, machine learning, and behavioral analytics enhances the ability to promptly detect and respond to emerging threats. 

Secure Remote Work

SSE is particularly valuable for organizations with a remote workforce, ensuring that remote users are authenticated, authorized, and have controlled access to resources and a consistent and protected remote work experience.

Is SSE the Right Solution for Your Network Edge?

SSE provides the security service elements of a comprehensive SASE strategy and is delivered from a purpose-built cloud platform that offers scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. 

If you want to learn more about how an SSE solution can help you secure your network and data in the cloud era, contact Perimeter 81 and book a demo


What are the 3 Pillars of SSE?
Three pillars form the foundation of SSE and represent the core components of the SSE architecture:
Connectivity focuses on providing secure and reliable data flow and performance for users and devices, regardless of location.
– Security emphasizes integrating robust security measures into the network architecture.
– Services encompass the range of value-added features and functionalities offered by SSE providers
What’s the Difference between Security Service Edge and CASB?
SSE is an architectural approach that can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. SSE integrates security services at the network edge and covers a broad range of security needs beyond cloud services. CASB, however, is a specialized cloud-based security solution that focuses on securing and controlling access to cloud services and applications.
What’s the Difference between Security Edge vs Cloud?
SSE integrates security services at the network edge and covers a wide range of security needs beyond cloud services, including network security, threat detection, and secure remote access.

On the other hand, Cloud refers to delivering computing resources, applications, and storage over the internet. While SE secures the network edge and provides comprehensive security measures, Cloud primarily focuses on enabling flexible and scalable computing resources and services over the Internet.

Looking for an SSE Solution?

Supercharge your network security today with Perimeter 81.