Secure access service edge, or SASE (pronounced “sassy”), is an emerging cybersecurity concept. This approach allows organizations to apply secure access no matter where their users, applications or devices are located.

MEF has announced its work to define Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services. SASE is a developing market that combines network connectivity and security functions with subscriber policies to meet a higher level of performance and assurance required by the modern enterprise. This is the next step in MEF’s mission to enable digital transformation through dynamic, assured, and certified MEF 3.0 network services. As the leading authority defining network services, MEF’s goal is to achieve industry consensus on a standardized, converged software-defined networking, security, and policy framework that can be used by enterprises and service providers to transform consumption of cloud services and applications in the form of SASE services.

MEF work underpinning the type of consensus needed to standardize SASE services is well underway and gaining momentum against a backdrop of accelerated change at the network edge. MEF has just published a groundbreaking MEF SASE Services Framework white paper that outlines a framework to standardize SASE services based on existing SD-WAN, security, automation, and other standardization work within MEF. MEF also has launched the SASE Services Definition (MEF W117) project that will leverage this standardization work, including:

•           SD-WAN Service Attributes & Service Framework (MEF 70 and MEF W70.1)

•           Application Security for SD-WAN Services (MEF W88)

•           Zero Trust Framework and Service Attributes (MEF W118) - new

•           Universal SD-WAN Edge (MEF W119) - new

•           Performance Monitoring and Service Readiness Testing for SD-WAN Services (MEF W105)

•           MEF Services Model: Information Model for SD-WAN Services (MEF 82)

•           LSO Legato Service Specification - SD-WAN (MEF W100)

•           Intent Based Orchestration (MEF W71)

•           Policy Driven Orchestration (MEF W95)


“MEF has a proven track record of standardizing abstract constructs, attributes, and architectures for network services such as SD-WAN, Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, and IP,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “By achieving consensus on what a converged networking and security framework and associated SASE services should look like, MEF can empower technology and service providers to focus on providing a core set of common capabilities and then building their own innovative, differentiated offerings beyond those core features.”

“The SASE concept adjusts for a fundamental change in how enterprise users access business systems and the associated increased demand for lower-latency edge compute capabilities closer to the user,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “The well-defined and static network edge of the past is being replaced by more users working outside corporate walls and accessing business systems beyond corporate data centers. SASE shifts the focus from site-centric to user-centric security. The user can be anything (human, IoT, etc.) and anywhere, and security and network functions can be distributed away from the enterprise data center to maximize the availability of high- performance edges (e.g. PoPs) and security clouds.”

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