10 SASE Companies Making Moves: Q1 2023
Competition in the secure access service edge (SASE) market heated up at the start of the year, with major product launches, acquisitions and executive poachings.
Even as the economy experienced further wobbles to start off the year, the activity among cybersecurity companies showed few signs of a slowdown — particularly for those who are considered top vendors in the SASE market, such as Check Point, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler. SASE, or secure access service edge, has continued its surge amid the critical need for many businesses to provide their distributed workforce with secure access to corporate applications and resources.
[Related: Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora On SASE, AI And Why Partners Are ‘More Important’ Than Ever]
Total revenue in the SASE market jumped 34 percent in 2022 to reach $6 billion, according to figures from Dell’Oro Group. It marked the third year in a row when year-over-year growth in SASE revenue surpassed 30 percent, the firm reported. With the arrival of hybrid workforces and an increasing reliance on cloud-based SaaS applications, SASE aims to be a more-secure and more-manageable access solution for today’s businesses. In part, this can enable replacement of VPNs with remote access systems that are based on zero trust principles, which are harder for attackers to exploit.
Gartner — whose analysts coined the term SASE in 2019 — points to five key capabilities that should be a part of any SASE deployment: 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.
While not all SASE vendors have been left unscathed by the economic environment — Zscaler disclosed a 3-percent layoff round early this month, for instance — other SASE providers including Cloudflare and Palo Alto Networks have noted that they haven’t seen a need to shed staff so far. Anecdotally, SASE providers would seem to be among the best examples in the tech industry of companies that are proving resilient through this downturn, thanks to a product set that is still getting customers to open their wallets.
In terms of major moves by SASE companies during the first quarter of 2023, a number of vendors introduced new product capabilities for their SASE platforms, while one vendor announced a big acquisition to expand its offering in the space. And notably, two vendors poached channel executives from rival SASE providers, to serve as their new channel chiefs, during the initial months of the year.
What follows are details on some of the big moves by 10 top SASE companies in Q1 of 2023.