Why SASE is more important to your organization than ever

Australia and New Zealand are seeing a huge increase in cyberattacks fueled by accelerated digital transformation, the hybrid working model and the proliferation of collaboration tools. Cybersecurity is about risk management, and this is where the strength of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) lies in minimizing costly and damaging security incidents.
A recent Australian government report noted that cybercrime reports went up 23% from 2022-2023, with an average report every six minutes. The average cost of cybercrime per report for a large company went up 14% to A$71,600 Australian dollars. Financial scams have also seen New Zealand’s cybercrime rate go up by 66% in the same timeframe, according to government agency CertNZ, with financial losses hitting NZ$6 million. Phishing and credential harvesting are now the most reported incidents.

Cyber threats surge in the region

Australia and New Zealand have become targets for cyberattacks primarily due to rapid digital transformation. Organizations have scrambled to adopt new technologies and digital platforms without appropriate security in place. Only 46% of Australia and New Zealand’s organizations have a cloud security strategy in place, for example. At the same time, digitization has significantly widened the threat vista. New technologies are new avenues of attack for malicious actors.

The increase in hybrid working has created challenges for IT teams, balancing user experience and security. Recent figures from real estate agents Savills, for example, showed that 80% of office workers are engaged in hybrid working in Sydney, Australia, compared to 15% working back in the office full-time. In New Zealand, hybrid working stood at 41.7% in December 2023, up from 28.4% in June 2023, according to Massey University research. In New Zealand, hybrid working is being slowed by more employers stipulating days to work in the office and demanding face-to-face meetings.

The move to remote working has increased the reliance on digital communications and collaboration tools. The latter includes cloud file sharing and video, which have created a new attack surface for cybercriminals.

Streamlining and fortifying cloud security

Hybrid working and the move to multi-cloud have distributed organizations in the region in unparalleled ways. Once clearly defined, network parameters are blurred between internal and external, causing disparate boundaries.

As a result, according to Gartner, 87% of CIOs in Australia and New Zealand have revealed that cybersecurity will receive the largest increase in technology spending this year, driven by greater regulation and an expanding threat landscape.

Users working in the office, from home and on the move have necessitated the change to how users and data are secured. No matter where end users connect, they must be consistently protected. This has helped drive the deployment of a centralized cloud security approach based on SASE.

SASE is a framework that merges elements of SD-WAN with network security capabilities, including secure web gateways (SWGs), firewall as a service (FWaaS), cloud security brokers (CASBs) and Zero Trust access controls, all delivered via centralized managed cloud services. This streamlines and fortifies an organization’s cloud security, significantly enhancing security posture. While it isn’t imperative to adopt all SASE components immediately, the ultimate goal is to deploy them all eventually.

In our experience, organizations in Australia and New Zealand have been aggressively deploying SD-WAN solutions across their branch locations as part of their transformation initiatives. Many are already advanced on their SASE journey. Other multinationals are deploying Security Service Edge (SSE), a subset of SASE focused on unifying security services, as a starting point to move away from traditional regional network security. Why? Because the larger the organization, the harder the transformation becomes, and it’s easier to accomplish it in stages based on regions.

Keeping your business flexible and competitive

SASE protects traditional network connections, users and data in the cloud and ensures that people accessing your data are who they say they are. This is done via Zero Trust, a framework based on least-privilege principles. This means that no user or device should be given access to resources based solely on their location on the network.

SASE’s cloud-native approach provides the scalability necessary to support business growth across regions. It also eliminates the need for physical infrastructure updates, optimizes network traffic flow and simplifies network management. In addition, SASE provides centrally-managed security policies for the entire network, simplifying enforcement, updates and configuration.

There is, however, no cookie-cutter approach to adopting SASE. Every organization is unique and needs its own customized strategy based on an audit to see what tools are already in place. This can be daunting, but an experienced solutions integrator like Orange Business can help you get the most from your SASE investment.

Orange Business works with market-leading partners that each have their own expertise feeding into the different business needs. This ensures that our customers receive the best outcome when adopting the solution for their organization to mitigate security risks, minimize complexity and improve application performance.

The team of experts at Orange Business can conduct an extensive audit to identify risks and where improvements need to be made. They can then help you formulate a strategy for your SASE implementation, choose the best components for your requirements, carry out a manageable migration and provide a fully managed service.

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage a migration, we can provide a walk-in and take-over (WITO) service. This is where our experts will take over your existing infrastructure and prepare the groundwork for transformation. WITO is a service framework that covers the entire infrastructure, designed to reduce complexity and provide greater insight into budgets and end-of-life products.

An Orange Business team recently carried out a WITO for a mining company in Australia, taking over their security environment to accelerate the adoption Zero Trust networking following a decision to change their service provider. The WITO went extremely smoothly, and the customer suffered no downtime, saying the service surpassed their expectations.

A SASE action plan is essential

With remote working and hybrid cloud usage now commonplace, SASE is essential to secure both users and applications. However, implementation will necessitate changes in processes and practices, which is why a robust migration strategy is paramount.

It is essential to assess exactly where you are on the SASE journey and choose an experienced partner. One that can provide flexible offerings that will address your unique challenges, providing efficient and secure access from anywhere.

To learn how SASE can benefit your business, download our brochure: SASE: network and cloud security across your distributed enterprise.


Jamie Pryer, Orange Business

Jamie Pryer is a seasoned technology services professional. He currently leads business development strategy and product innovation in support of the Digital Infrastructure services and Orange Business Australia and New Zealand business. Outside of work, Jamie likes to relax by spending time with his family and gardening.


Graham Allan, Orange Business

Graham Allan is a Digital Solutions Advisor with over 25 years of experience in various IT domains. His expertise lies in guiding businesses through the complexities of digital transformation, ensuring they harness the power of disruption to achieve their objectives. When not immersed in the digital world, Graham finds joy in playing golf and vacationing with his family.