Netskope, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler Top Gartner’s SSE Magic Quadrant For 2024

Gartner recognizes 10 security service edge (SSE) vendors in its latest Magic Quadrant ranking for the cybersecurity category.

Netskope, Palo Alto Networks and Zscaler once again appeared in the sought-after “Leaders” quadrant in the 2024 Gartner Magic Quadrant for security service edge (SSE) vendors, according to the report released Thursday.

The three vendors in the “Leaders” quadrant had previously appeared there in Gartner’s 2023 Magic Quadrant for SSE.

[Related: Netskope CEO Sanjay Beri: We Are ‘World’s Largest Cloud Network’ For Security]

SSE is a set of integrated, cloud-delivered technologies that can provide a modern way to secure access to the web, applications and cloud services across hybrid and distributed workforces.

In the SSE ranking released Thursday, a total of 10 vendors were recognized by Gartner. Two vendors, Fortinet and Versa Networks, appeared on the Magic Quadrant ranking for the SSE category for the first time.

Two vendors that appeared in the 2023 SSE Magic Quadrant ranking, Cisco and Forcepoint, were excluded from the 2024 ranking but were given “honorable mentions” by Gartner. The research firm said it excluded the vendors on account of not meeting certain requirements such as around capabilities or scale.

Notably, Microsoft, which is the cybersecurity industry’s largest vendor by revenue, also did not appear in the Magic Quadrant ranking and was instead given an honorable mention. Microsoft was excluded for not providing URL filtering or advanced threat defense as of Oct. 15, 2023, Gartner analysts wrote in the report.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant ranking is a highly influential and closely watched indicator of how key players compare in numerous segments of the tech industry.

Netskope Gets Top Ranking

Gartner ranked Netskope at No. 1 for both vision and execution in the 2024 SSE Magic Quadrant, repeating the top ranking for the company in the 2023 edition of the report.

The research firm pointed to several strengths at Netskope including a “strong set of controls across all supported traffic channels, with particular strength in data security.”

Additionally, “Netskope shows excellent understanding of the market’s direction and has a leading roadmap,” Gartner analysts said.

Robert Arandjelovic, director of product marketing at Netskope, told CRN Thursday that the ranking highlights the fact that the company has long shown an “understanding primacy of the data protection challenge” involved in delivering SSE.

In the past, “threat protection was always the topic du jour,” Arandjelovic said. However, bringing threat protection as a focus in SSE “kind of misses the point” — which is that what customers ultimately care about is securing their data from exposure, he said.

Netskope, however, has been focused on tackling the data protection problem “from the beginning,” Arandjelovic said. And the company has continued to do so — as illustrated by its quick response to offer capabilities to protect against data exposure through generative AI applications such as ChatGPT, he said.

More Rankings

Within the “Leaders” quadrant, Palo Alto Networks was ranked at No. 2 for both vision and execution while Zscaler came in third overall on both measures.

In the “Visionaries” quadrant, Gartner included Skyhigh Security and Lookout.

Fortinet was named a “Challenger,” appearing on the SSE Magic Quadrant for the first time. The company last year had received an “honorable mention.”

Gartner also included four vendors in the “Niche Players” quadrant — Cloudflare, iboss, Versa Networks and Broadcom.

Platform Debate

The top ranking for Netskope follows the company’s debut in January of a new version of its secure access service edge (SASE) offering, which the vendor said caters more effectively to the needs of midmarket customers. SASE includes SSE capabilities as well as SD-WAN networking functionality.

While Netskope has been seeking to build the “preeminent” SASE platform that offers a set of truly integrated capabilities, Co-Founder and CEO Sanjay Beri said recently that he doesn’t believe the notion of a single platform for meeting all security needs is realistic.

“There is no ‘one platform’ for networking and security,” Beri said in a recent interview with CRN. “And it’s my belief that in the future, there never will be one.”