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What Is Security Service Edge (SSE)?

Security Service Edge (SSE) Meaning

What is SSE? Security service edge (SSE) unites different network security services to enable safe access to cloud and web services, as well as private applications. SSE combines several security components, including cloud access security broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and secure web gateway (SWG) solutions. 

For organizations looking to get the most out of their cloud-based architecture, SSE can make sure they do so while minimizing their exposure to threats.

Security Service Edge (SSE) Components

To differentiate SSE vs SASE, take note that SSE is a subset of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and is focused primarily on security services. SSE brings together multiple security technologies, including:

Secure Web Gateway (SWG)

A secure web gateway protects your organization from threats, such as various forms of malware, while enforcing granular use policies across the enterprise. Because it is a security gateway, it inspects web traffic for threats and prevents thieves from exfiltrating your data.

To provide comprehensive protection, you can implement an SWG by using either a cloud proxy or installing it on the end device it is meant to protect. Ideally, an SWG should be able to stop threats in real time.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

A cloud access security broker (CASB) enforces policies to provide threat and data protection in the cloud. It controls shadow IT, prevents data leakage, and can protect a wide range of devices, regardless of where they are.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

A Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) system is based on the principles of least privilege and forces users to verify their legitimacy using identity and access management (IAM) tools. For example, it may incorporate multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well as single sign-on (SSO) to ensure users are who they say they are.

This approach reduces or eliminates threats from malicious actors who are only able to steal usernames and passwords but do not have other essential information to enable the system to allow them access.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP is a security tool that detects and prevents attacks intended to steal, corrupt, or destroy data. It does this using several data protection tools. A DLP system can compare hashes of encrypted data to see if they match. Encryption turns large—or small—amounts of data into strings of code, called hashes. If a DLP tool detects that the hashes do not match, it flags the data as corrupted.

Also, DLP can detect data policy violations using statistical analysis, lexical analysis, or rule-based filters that check for basic elements such as the number of digits a data set is supposed to have.

Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)

Remote browser isolation (RBI) prevents regular browsing activity from infecting computers or devices. With RBI, a web page is processed on a browser hosted within the cloud instead of the user’s computer. This prevents the user from downloading malicious software onto their computer through their browser.

In a way, RBI functions like a Sandbox or virtual machine (VM) because web page processing occurs in an isolated environment in the cloud. Once the page has been processed and deemed safe, the user can start interacting with it—without worrying about malware.

Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)

Firewall-as-a-Service provides organizations with next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities such as advanced threat protection (ATP), web filtering, intrusion prevention, and Domain Name System (DNS) security. FWaaS, in many ways, is a lot like a regular hardware firewall because it filters traffic and limits the kinds of sites users can access. However, it can also scale to fit the needs of your organization, giving you full protection of all your cloud assets.


The difference between SASE vs SSE is fairly straightforward—SSE is a component of SASE. With SASE, you get both wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities and security services for your environment. SSE is the security wing of SASE.

SSE Meaning: Benefits of SSE over Traditional Network Security

Compared with traditional network security, SSE comes with several distinct benefits, particularly due to its flexibility and availability. Here are some of the key advantages you get with SSE:

  1. Consistent security: No matter where people work, they get the security they need, which makes it ideal for securing assets that remote workers need to do their jobs.
  2. Wider coverage: It can protect different kinds of cloud environments and can cover a vast number of assets.
  3. Reduced cost: You get a scalable solution that does not depend on expensive hardware and the maintenance requirements that come with it.
  4. Simple, unified security: Your security controls are all under one central umbrella.

How Can Enterprises Implement SSE?

When deploying an SSE system, you have a couple of options:

  • Single vendor: Find a vendor that can give you both WAN and SSE solutions. In this way, the same provider handles your networking and security needs.
  • Multiple vendors: Another option is to use two different vendors. With this strategy, you have one vendor for SSE and another for WAN. This can result in a streamlined deployment that does not sacrifice functionality.

How Fortinet Can Help

With the Fortinet FortiSASE, you get a large portfolio of integrated tools, including:

  1. FWaaS
  2. Domain Name System (DNS) protection
  3. Secure web gateway (SWG)
  4. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and virtual private network (VPN) systems
  5. Data loss prevention (DLP)
  6. Sandboxing

Further, you get the security intelligence provided by FortiGuard Labs, which allows you to detect and prevent the most recent threats on the landscape.


What is SSE (security service edge)?

Security service edge (SSE) unites several security services to enable safe access to cloud and web services, as well as private applications. It serves as the security component of secure access service edge (SASE).

How does secure access service edge work?

SASE works by providing users with a range of tools, all of which protect a different facet of your cloud infrastructure, including how users and devices access it. SSE, which is a component of SASE, combines technologies such as FWaaS, Domain Name System (DNS) protection, secure web gateway (SWG), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and virtual private network (VPN) systems, data loss prevention (DLP), and sandboxing.

What is SASE vs. SSE?

SSE is a component of SASE. With SASE, you get a combination of networking and security services for your environment. SSE is the security wing of SASE, focusing on the security tools as opposed to the networking capabilities.