SASE Certification Beta Program by MEF and CyberRatings Fosters Trust in Cybersecurity Solutions

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  October 04, 2023

The global SASE market size is projected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2023 to $5.9 billion by 2028, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets Research. What is SASE though? Well, when I think of SASE, I think of it simplifying and streamlining connectivity while providing robust security measures.

To be more specific, though, SASE is a cloud-based network security and connectivity framework that combines WAN capabilities with security services. It aims to simplify and secure the modern enterprise network by shifting the focus from traditional hardware-based network security models to a software-defined approach.

SASE integrates features such as firewall-as-a-service, secure web gateways, data loss prevention and zero-trust network access into a single, cohesive platform delivered from the cloud. This convergence of networking and security services allows organizations to provide secure and scalable access to applications and resources for remote and branch office users while reducing complexity and enhancing overall network performance and security.

Still, there is this mysterious aura around SASE. Vikram Phatak, CEO of, describes it well.

“Cybersecurity is a black box. SASE is a black box in a black box. Nobody really knows if it’s working,” said Phatak.

To increase market confidence, CyberRatings, dedicated to providing confidence in cybersecurity products and services through its research and testing programs, and MEF (News - Alert), a global industry association of network, cloud, security and technology providers accelerating enterprise digital transformation, announced the kick-off of its beta program for certification of SASE products and services.

The SASE certification program, developed in alignment with CyberRatings' methodologies and testing protocols, is set to provide evaluations of the effectiveness of SD-WAN, SSE Threat Protection, ZTNA and SASE products and services. This certification program will ensure adherence to the MEF SD-WAN standard and introduce pioneering standards for SASE (MEF 117) and Zero Trust (MEF 118) within the industry.

And, including certified SASE services as part of a provider’s NaaS offerings, this means enterprises can evaluate the effectiveness of their cybersecurity solution.

"MEF's SASE certification program represents a significant step toward enhancing market confidence in cybersecurity products and services,” said Nan Chen, President of MEF. “This beta program, with participation from MEF’s TAB and the support of our Board of Directors, underscores our commitment to delivering trusted, standardized solutions that empower enterprises on their digital transformation journey."

Participants in the beta program include MEF Technology Advisory Board member companies Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto (News - Alert) Networks, Versa Networks and VMware.

As Chen said, 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 (News - Alert), Sparkle and Verizon Business.

Following the anticipated completion of the beta program later this year, certification will become accessible to the broader MEF membership in the first half of 2024.

Edited by Alex Passett
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]