Network Security

Top 10 Security Service Edge (SSE) Solutions

The top security service edge solutions to secure enterprise networks. Compare key features including web security controls, firewalls, and admin policies.

The Top SSE Solutions include:
  • 1. NordLayer
  • 2. Twingate
  • 3. Cisco Secure Access
  • 4. Forcepoint ONE
  • 5. Skyhigh Security Service Edge
  • 6. Netskope Security Service Edge
  • 7. Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access
  • 8. iboss Zero Trust SSE
  • 9. Lookout
  • 10. Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange

A security service edge (SSE) is type of enterprise cybersecurity that allows organizations to enable secure end user access to the web, cloud services, and private applications. Then, once access has been authorized, SSE solutions monitor behavior and interactions, helping IT and security teams to quickly identify and remediate web-, cloud-, access-, and application-based threats. 

To achieve this, SSE solutions combine four key capabilities: zero trust network access (ZTNA), a secure web gateway (SWG), a cloud access security broker (CASB), and a cloud firewall or firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS). These capabilities are typically delivered via a single, purpose-built cloud platform that admins can manage via a central management portal. This removes the need to manage multiple disparate or siloed tools, helping to streamline threat detection and policy configuration, and minimizing the risk of an attack slipping in between any gaps. 

By delivering these core security capabilities at the network edge, SSE solutions extend protection not only across an organization’s main headquarters, but also across branch offices and remote users. In other words, SSE solutions allow admins to implement and enforce universal security policies across the entire network—rather than just focusing on data centers or the network perimeter, like legacy security architectures. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 SSE solutions designed to help you secure your network against some of today’s most prevalent cyberthreats. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including secure remote access, web traffic monitoring, application protection, continuous monitoring, and alerting.

NordLayer logo

NordLayer is a remote access solution offered by Nord Security, a leading security and privacy provider based in Lithuania. The cloud-based solution provides zero trust access to all areas of a network, with user authentication, network segmentation, and traffic encryption, to help prevent threat actors gaining access to corporate data and applications.

NordLayer Features:

  • The NordLynx VPN protocol provides a constant, immediate connection between the user and the network, which is protected with AES 256-bit encryption
  • Robust cloud firewall, combining packet inspection with stateful network traffic analysis, intrusion prevention, and threat intelligence
  • Device posture security feature monitors all devices connected to your network and prevents non-compliant device access
  • The Kill Switch feature automatically cuts off internet traffic if the connection to the server breaks
  • Network segmentation ensures users can only access the areas of the network they need to do their jobs, in line with the principles of zero trust and least privilege
  • Automatic restriction of access to untrusted or potentially malicious websites prevents users from accidentally downloading malware onto their devices, or visiting phishing pages
  • Intuitive, streamlined management via a centralized console, from which admins can manage user accounts, permissions, and gateways
  • Support for third-party MFA and single sign-on via Azure AD, Google Workspace, Okta and OneLogin

Plans And Pricing: NordLayer is available via four plans: Lite, Core, Premium and Custom. Pricing starts at $8 per user, per month for the Lite plan.

Expert Insights’ Comments: NordLayer is a powerful zero trust network access solution that enables businesses to secure user access to all areas of the network. Delivered as-a-Service, NordLayer is highly scalable and is easy to deploy and integrate alongside other third-party security tools. This makes it suitable to larger enterprises. However, the platform’s extensive technical support options and inclusion of a dedicated account manager for ongoing support also make NordLayer accessible for, and well suited to, SMBs.

Twingate Logo

Twingate, based in Redwood City, CA, has developed a secure network access platform that unifies access, authentication, and controls in a single streamlined solution. Rather than using a VPN to ensure secure access, Twingate establishes direct peer-to-peer connections between devices, ensuring that data is protected before it is shared. The platform ensures compliance with CPRA, GDPR, PCI DSS, and SOC 2 regulations.

Twingate Features:

  • Enforce security and privacy standards across BYOD policies
  • Gain visibility and control over network traffic
  • Rapid connection – lower latency than a VPN
  • Lightweight deployment – the solution does not demand much space on endpoints
  • Use Admin API, Terraform, and Pulumi to automate access controls
  • Set granular permissions for specific groups
  • Ability to access multiple clouds or other environments simultaneously

Plans And Pricing: In addition to a Free plan, Twingate offers two subscription plans: $5/user/month and $10/user/month. The $5 plan is designed for up to 100 users with up to 3 admins, working across 20 remote networks. The $10 plan is for up to 500 users with 10 admins and up to 100 remote networks.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Twingate is a robust and powerful zero trust network access solution. The platform is easy to deploy and integrates well within your existing technology stack. Admins and providers can configure specific policies with granular controls to be deployed across specific network areas, ensuring that your organization is protected as necessary. We would recommend Twingate for small- to medium-sized organizations that require an effective, robust, and secure network access solution.

Cisco Logo

Based in San Jose, California, Cisco is a global provider of digital communications, software-defined network, and security solutions that enable help businesses to embrace digital transformation. Cisco Secure Access is their cloud-delivered SSE solution, designed to deliver seamless, secure access between remote users and network resources, whilst mitigating cyber risk.

Cisco Secure Access Features:

  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA) enables least privileged, remote access to network resources, using contextual insights and client or client-less methods
  • No-touch VPN-as-a-Service enables remote access for apps that aren’t ZTNA-enabled
  • Secure web gateway (SWG) monitors encrypted and unencrypted web traffic (including file downloads) for malicious activity, and sandboxes or blocks unknown files and threats
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB) discovers cloud apps and reports on their compliance, reputation, and risk level to prevent unauthorized app use and data exfiltration
  • Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) with intrusion prevention monitors non-web traffic across all ports and protocols and automatically blocks unwanted traffic and unsafe packets
  • Digital experience monitoring tracks the heath and performance of endpoints, network connections, and core SaaS apps to ensure a streamlined end user experience

Plans And Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Cisco Secure Access offers all of the capabilities you’d expect from a full-featured SSE solution, plus a cloud firewall to block non-web threats and digital experience monitoring to ensure that various components across the network are operating optimally. This enables the platform to not only secure the network against cyber threats, but also help streamline network connectivity and improve user experiences. Overall, we recommend Cisco Secure Access as a strong SSE solution for any organization prioritizing security and performance optimization.

Forcepoint logo

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Forcepoint is a software provider that specializes in cybersecurity and data protection. Forcepoint ONE is their cloud-native, consolidated SSE/SASE platform that delivers a secure web gateway (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA), and a cloud access security broker (CASB) within a zero trust framework.

Forcepoint ONE Features:

  • SWG monitors web traffic, automatically blocking malware downloads, access to malicious websites based on category and risk score, and other risky behavior
  • ZTNA enables end users to securely, remotely access the network resources they need, without exposing the network to the internet
  • CASB provides visibility into cloud application security
  • Library of pre-defined data loss prevention policies, based on data sourced from threat intelligence feeds
  • Granular, identity-based access controls that enable implementation of the least privileged access
  • Real-time analysis of security posture with live telemetry from the platform’s SWG, ZTNA, and CASB tools

Pricing: Forcepoint ONE is available via four plans: CASB Edition, ZTNA Edition, Web Edition, and All-in-one Edition. Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights Comments: Forcepoint ONE collates multiple powerful security tools into a single, flexible platform; organizations can deploy the modules that they need to meet their specific use case, and then manage each of those modules centrally. This allows them to simplify their security infrastructure and management. The platform’s focus on behavioral analytics, combined with its integrations with threat intelligence feeds, ensures that organizations are protected in real-time against unknown threats, as well as the most current known threats. Overall, we recommend Forcepoint ONE as a strong SSE solution for larger enterprises.

Skyhigh Security logo

Skyhigh Security is a cloud security company based in San Jose, California, that offers a range of cloud, web, data, and network security solutions for the enterprise. Skyhigh Security Service Edge is their cloud-native SSE solution designed to secure data across the web, cloud, email, and private apps, whilst enabling connectivity for end users—all via a single, centrally-managed platform.

Skyhigh Security Service Edge Features:

  • Security web gateway (SWG) identifies and filters malicious web traffic, preventing users from accessing phishing sites and downloading malware
  • Remote browser isolation (RBI) contains web browsing activity within an isolated cloud to ensure users have a secure browsing experience—without compromising productivity
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB) provides control over cloud app security
  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA) allows end users to securely and remotely access the applications and systems they need to do their work, without enabling access to the entire network
  • Anti-malware engine with real-time threat sandboxing
  • Granular data loss prevention (DLP) policies with adaptive, risk-based enforcement and a guided policy advisor
  • User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) identifies high-risk user behavior that could indicate account compromise

Pricing: Skyhigh Security Service Edge is available via three plans: Essential offers a SWG and CASB; Advanced adds on endpoint DLP; Complete adds on ZTNA and a cloud firewall. Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights Comments: Skyhigh Security Service Edge is a comprehensive, cloud-native solution. It offers complete visibility into all network usage, data, devices, users, and services with extensive security coverage. Overall, we recommend Skyhigh’s SSE platform as a strong solution for any organization looking for robust security designed in the cloud, for the cloud.

Netskope Logo

Netskope is a California-based software company that specializes in cloud, network, and data security. Built on the Netskope Security Cloud, Netskope Intelligent Security Service Edge is their SSE solution that combines a SWG, CASB, ZTNA, cloud firewall, and remote browser isolation to give IT and security teams visibility into activity across their cloud, web, and application infrastructure.

Netskope Intelligent Security Service Edge Features:

  • Single-pass architecture and ability to integrate capabilities across the policy lifecycle enable simplified operations and management, while delivering a seamless user experience
  • Netskope Zero Trust Engine facilitates AI/ML-enabled app discovery and categorization, and risk scoring for apps and users
  • Granular, adaptive data movement policies and access controls across applications, app instances, and app activities help prevent account takeover and data loss
  • Global coverage, efficient traffic processing, low-latency on-ramps and extensive peering powered by Netskope’s private cloud
  • Advanced data loss prevention (DLP) and data protection secure web and cloud activity against data exfiltration and insider threats
  • Continuous monitoring of app risks, unknown data movements, and user behavior anomalies for faster threat detection and remediation

Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights Comments: Netskope’s Intelligent Security Service Edge is a robust SSE solution that offers comprehensive threat detection and analytics capabilities. The platform’s granular policy configurations are a real stand-out feature, enabling organizations to apply consistent practices across the entire network and ensure compliance with data protection standards. Overall, we recommend Netskope’s platform as a strong SSE solution for any enterprise looking for high levels of customization when it comes to DLP and access controls.

Palo Alto Logo

Palo Alto Networks is a California-based cybersecurity company that offers cloud-based, zero trust security solutions for enterprises and development teams. Prisma SASE is their secure access service edge (SASE) solution, which combines SD-WAN with zero trust network access (ZTNA) and AIOps in order to provide connectivity and security for on-prem and remote end users.

Palo Alto Prisma Access Features:

  • ZTNA enables secure remote access to network systems and applications, securing both access and data by ensuring users can only access the areas of the network they need
  • Cloud secure web gateway (SWG) utilizes static analysis and machine learning to identify and block web threats such as phishing sites and web-borne malware
  • Next-gen cloud access security broker (CASB) provides real-time visibility into the security of SaaS applications
  • SD-WAN offers branch transformation and an on-prem controller for securing branch locations without breaking compliance; it also provides always-on monitoring for networks and applications, with integrated IoT security
  • Autonomous digital experience management (ADEM) leverages AI-based problem detection and predictive analytics to automate IT operations, improve productivity, and reduce mean time to respond to threats (MTTR)

Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights Comments: A SASE solution, Prisma SASE extends the capabilities of SSE by enabling connectivity across the network via its SD-WAN, as well as security. The platform provides powerful data protection features, but its AIOps functionality also enables IT teams to streamline their network management, automating repetitive tasks so they can focus on more complex issues. Overall, we recommend Prisma SASE as a strong edge security solution for mid-size and larger enterprises looking for robust security, without demanding too much hands-on operational management from IT/security teams.

iboss Logo

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, iboss is a cybersecurity company that focus on cloud-based, zero trust network security. Zero Trust SSE is iboss’ security service edge solution, which was designed to replace legacy VPN tools, proxy appliances, and virtual desktop infrastructure with a single, unified platform.

iboss Zero Trust SSE Features:

  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA) delivers secure, remote access to network resources without granting access to the entire network to help prevent the lateral spread of attacks
  • Browser isolation enables users to enjoy a native, familiar browsing experience in a sandboxed environment, isolating threats so they can’t impact the network whilst ensuring productivity
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB) provides visibility and control over the security of cloud apps
  • Full traffic inspection with HTTPS decryption that enables the platform to inspect even encrypted connections
  • Continuous, adaptive access controls ensure every access attempt is authorized, or immediately and automatically blocked if a high-risk user is detected or a device is infected with malware
  • Full logging of all user access to resources

Plans And Pricing: iboss Zero Trust SSE is available via three plans: Zero Trust Core delivers resource access, compliance policies, adaptive access, and logging; Zero Trust Advanced adds on access to onsite resources and malware protection; Zero Trust Complete adds on deep content data loss prevention. The platform is delivered via a per user subscription model, and pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Zero Trust SSE is iboss’ flagship security platform. It combines all the capabilities you’d expect of an SSE solution into a single, streamlined platform that’s much easier to deploy and manage than a series of segregated, legacy tools. Zero Trust SSE offers comprehensive security and robust reporting, with lots of customization available in terms of compliance and DLP policy creation. Overall, we recommend iboss Zero Trust SSE as a strong security service edge platform for larger enterprises.

iboss Logo
Lookout Logo

Lookout is a security software company headquartered in Boston. Their flagship, cloud-native security platform delivers zero trust security, enabling businesses to reduce their cyber risk and protect corporate data across all users, endpoints, and locations. Lookout’s platform converges zero trust network access (ZTNA), a secure web gateway (SWG), a cloud access security broker (CASB), and threat intelligence services to facilitate secure access to network resources.

Lookout Features:

  • Secure Cloud Access, Lookout’s CASB, uses API-based security to secure access to cloud apps, protect the data stored within them, and provide deep visibility into app and user access
  • Secure Internet Access, Lookout’s SWG, monitors inbound and outbound web traffic—including encrypted traffic—for malicious content or sensitive data
  • Secure Private Access, Lookout’s ZTNA tool, connects remote users to corporate systems, applications, and resources, securing those connecting and implementing least privileged access
  • Single source, single proxy platform enables a unified, central point of control for cloud security
  • Continuous monitoring and automatic alerting ensure that IT and security teams can identify and remediate any issues quickly and effectively
  • 24/7 technical support

Plans And Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Lookout offers a series of powerful security products that can be combined seamlessly to deliver robust SSE functionality. The platform offers strong monitoring and alerting capabilities that enable IT teams to quickly and accurately identify genuine threats. Thanks to all this, we recommend Lookout as a strong SSE provider.

Lookout Logo
Zscaler logo

Zscaler is a cloud security company headquartered in San Jose, California, that offers enterprise cloud security solutions. Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange is their cloud-native SASE platform that enables businesses to provision network access for their end users, whilst securing the network—including workloads, IoT/OT devices, and business customers—against web threats, data leakage, and unauthorized access.

Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange Features:

  • Secure web gateway (SWG) prevents users from uploading sensitive information to the internet, as well as monitoring all web traffic for threats such as phishing sites and malware
  • Cloud access security broker (CASB) prevents the discovery of applications by unauthorized users, helping to block targeted attacks
  • Zero trust network access (ZTNA) segments applications/app groups and provides end users with secure remote access to them, ensuring connectivity without exposing network identities to the internet
  • Multi-tenant cloud architecture
  • Proxy-based architecture enables full inspection of TLS/SSL encrypted traffic

Plans And Pricing: Pricing is available upon request.

Expert Insights’ Comments: Security is built into the heart of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange platform, with the solution offering powering protection against numerous network threats—including encrypted attacks. The platform also enables fast user connectivity, with its 150 points of presence worldwide enabling optimal bandwidth and low latency. Overall, we recommend Zscaler’s Zero Trust Exchange as a strong solution for any organization looking to secure their network, whilst providing streamlined, secure connectivity across their entire network infrastructure.

Top 9 Security Service Edge (SSE) Solutions