First ever SASE product and services certification launched by 16 tech and service providers
MEF has partnered with CyberRatings.org (CyberRatings), to launch its beta program for certification of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) products and services.
“Cybersecurity is a black box. SASE is a black box in a black box,” said Vikram Phatak, CEO of CyberRatings.org. “Nobody really knows if it’s working. A robust testing and certification program is essential to provide customers with visibility into what they’re buying.”
MEF is a global industry association of network, cloud, security, and technology providers accelerating enterprise digital transformation, and is currently running its first global network as a service event in Dallas, Texas, where the certification was launched.
MEF’s partner, CyberRatings says it is dedicated to providing confidence in cybersecurity products and services through its research and testing programs.
The SASE certification program is based upon CyberRatings’ methodologies and test programs. It will issue a rating on product and service effectiveness of Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), Security Service Edge (SSE Threat Protection), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and SASE.
Pascal Menezes, MEF’s CTO, told media and analysts at the event the he hoped there would be a race to the top to score the highest score among the participants.
Participants in the beta program include MEF technology advisory board member companies Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Versa Networks, VMware, and Palo Alto Networks.
The SASE certification program is supported by MEF’s Board of Directors which includes senior executives from AT&T Business, Colt Technology Services, Comcast Business, Liberty Latin America, Lumen, Microsoft, PCCW Global, Orange, Sparkle and Verizon Business.
Certification will ensure compliance to MEF SD-WAN (MEF 70.1) standard, and industry first standards for SASE (MEF 117) and Zero Trust (MEF 118).
However Menezes was keen to stress the program was not confined to simply testing around MEF standards, but was open to all industry players.
Once the beta program is completed later this year, certification will be available to MEF membership at large in the first half of 2024.
"MEF's SASE certification program represents a significant step towards enhancing market confidence in cybersecurity products and services,” said Nan Chen, president, MEF.
“This Beta program, with participation from MEF’s TAB and the support of our Board of Directors, underscores our commitment to delivering trusted, standardised solutions that empower enterprises on their digital transformation journey".
MEF believe that SASE services will be a crucial component of Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings. NaaS enables service providers to bundle standardised services including a combination of on-demand connectivity, application assurance, cybersecurity, and multi-cloud-based services that enable enterprises to achieve business outcomes without having to build or maintain their own infrastructure.
Including certified SASE services as part of a provider’s NaaS offerings means enterprises can evaluate the effectiveness of their cybersecurity solution.