Key Criteria for Evaluating Secure Service Access (SSA)v1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Secure Service Access Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Specific Security Capabilities
  7. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. About Ivan McPhee

1. Summary

Secure Service Access (SSA) is a broad collection of technologies that attempt to address the security concerns of organizations adapting to today’s remote workforces and cloud-native applications.

Focusing on securing access to business-critical systems at all levels of the enterprise technology stack, SSA works across data, device, and user systems to create an integrated security mesh that deals with the challenges of securing the perimeter of the network, and monitors the behavior of authenticated bad actors from within.

The SSA landscape encompasses a range of frameworks, protocols, and point solutions, including Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Extended Detection, and Response (XDR) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). The sector caters to a wide range of end users, from small businesses pursuing an externally managed, hands-off approach to large enterprises looking to integrate potentially hundreds of security products into a single system in order to maximize visibility into their systems and minimize gaps in their security strategies.

This report aims to give the reader a fundamental understanding of the SSA market, helping to guide them through the complex process of evaluating and balancing security needs against resource and budget constraints. Beginning with a primer on the development of SSA and the ways in which it has evolved frameworks such as SD-WAN, the report sets out the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to security in today’s remote-user, cloud-first environments.

Utilizing the GigaOm Key Criteria methodology, the report calls out the expectations for all players within the SSA marketplace before exploring and evaluating the feature sets of different offerings, analyzing those features against the needs of a variety of end-user organization scales and deployment models.

Looking to the long term, the Emerging Technologies section sets out the areas of innovation we believe will be critical to the continued success of any platform in the next 18-36 months, such as the management of IoT devices and the implementation of machine learning to help security teams to stay ahead of the game in the ever-changing threat landscape.

Read the full report to:

  • Explore how SSA platforms can reduce ongoing business costs by building on the efficiency of SD-WAN.
  • Learn how choosing the correct deployment model enables your organization to gain maximum security benefits from implementing SSA.
  • Discover how machine learning is driving advanced data analysis, to authenticate users based on behavior as well as identity.
  • Understand the breadth of specific security capabilities that differentiate SSA solutions and the ways in which your organization can optimize its security approach to deliver the best value for the money.

Chris Grundemann holds eight network technology patents and has written two books, an IETF RFC, and countless articles and research papers on security and networking. Ivan McPhee leverages his background in enterprise architecture and management consulting to address the needs of businesses, with a primary focus on optimizing strategies for implementing emerging technologies and minimizing time-to-value for businesses from start-ups to multinationals.

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