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10 Hot SASE Companies To Watch In 2023

Kyle Alspach

These companies are helping to boost security, visibility and agility for businesses that need to provide their workforce with secure remote access to applications.

The SASE Convergence

The parallel worlds of networking and cybersecurity have each had their share of innovation, disruption and reinvention throughout the decades-long history of IT. But with the arrival of SASE, the two worlds have converged, and simultaneously begun to undergo a massive reinvention. Accelerated by the distribution of the workforce amid the pandemic, SASE, which stands for “secure access service edge,” has gotten huge interest from businesses in recent years thanks to its promise of providing secure remote access to applications. In tandem with the interest, the number of companies with SASE offerings on the market has surged. And so have the opportunities for solution provider partners of those vendors, which include Cloudflare, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, VMware and Cisco.

At ePlus Technology, No. 30 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, “we’re working with customers to help to understand what the future of work looks like and how to properly secure users’ traffic to applications,” said Lee Waskevich, vice president of security at the Herndon, Va.-based company. With the arrival of multi-cloud computing and an increasing reliance on cloud-based SaaS applications, SASE “naturally lends itself to being that intermediary layer, the same way that the next-gen firewalls from before were at that perimeter,” Waskevich said. “SASE becomes that new perimeter, that new layer, where you can connect from anywhere, secure access to your applications, whether they’re on-prem or in the cloud.” Given that VPN technologies have been around for decades, “it was time for a change,” he said.

While the definitions of SASE can vary, Gartner — whose analysts coined the term in 2019 — points to five key capabilities: SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), next-gen firewall (NGFW) and zero trust network access (ZTNA). Together, those capabilities enable “zero trust access based on the identity of the device or entity, combined with real-time context and security and compliance policies,” and can provide this secure access whether workers are in the office or working remotely, according to Gartner, which has pegged the market at growing an average growth rate of 32% a year to reach nearly $15 billion by 2025. In addition to improved security and compliance, SASE can boost visibility and agility for businesses while also simplifying the management of both security and network services, Gartner analysts have noted.

In the coming years, SASE will also able to reduce the number of vendors needed to enable secure access to just one or two vendors, according to Gartner analysts. In part, that’s because the companies with SASE offerings are continually working to build out a complete platform for secure access service edge — integrating all of five of the solutions mentioned above, and often with additional capabilities as well. Some vendors are more accurately classified as falling into the category of “security service edge,” or SSE, on account of their focus on the security-oriented solutions such as ZTNA, SWG and CASB, according to Gartner, which last year released a Magic Quadrant report for SSE vendors as well as a separate Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN vendors.

To help give a sense of some of the vendors in this space that are on our radar at CRN, what follows are our picks for 10 hot SASE companies to watch in 2023.

 
Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at kalspach@thechannelcompany.com.

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