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Zscaler Extends Cloud Security With New Private Service Edge

‘What is interesting about what Zscaler is doing is they are consolidating a lot of the tools that ordinarily were used to improve security posture into a single platform,’ says Presidio Vice President of Cybersecurity Sales Jon Jensen. ‘That allows us to accelerate (cloud) growth.’

Zscaler Tuesday extended its popular zero trust cloud security platform with a new private service edge software offering that for the first time brings its game changing Zscaler cloud platform on premises.

Zscaler said the new Zscaler ZPA Private Edge software – which is hosted by the company- is designed to stop in its tracks infected managed or unmanaged devices from spreading malware or ransomware. The new subscription based private edge software is sure to turn up the heat on legacy VPN and network firewall security offerings.

“The reason we developed it was because we did not want people after COVID bringing users back to the office and placing them on the network (without zero trust on premises protection),” said Chris Hines, director of product and solutions marketing at Zscaler.

The ZPA Private Edge Software ensures that zero trust goes well beyond just the VPN to 100 percent of users – not just work-at-home users- but branch office and remote locations as well, said Hines.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for Zscaler’s zero trust Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) offering, said Jon Jensen, vice president of cybersecurity sales at Presidio, No. 22 on the CRN SP500.“Our SASE business is growing greater than 2x year over year,” he said.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, customers were racing to upgrade their VPN capacity and it didn’t take them long to figure out there was a better way to do that, that’s where SASE comes into play,” Jensen (pictured above) said. “What happened in the last six months is adoption of SASE grew exponentially. Not everybody is going to come back to the office so it is going to continue. What is interesting about what Zscaler is doing is they are consolidating a lot of the tools that ordinarily were used to improve security posture into a single platform. That allows us to accelerate (cloud) growth. Are we robbing from Peter to pay Paul? We are robbing from the VPN business to focus on SASE but the market is dictating the terms.”

With private service edge, Zscaler has “extended the forcing function for zero trust down to the end user and up to the application they are accessing,” said Jensen.

In fact, Jensen said, Zscaler’s software is extending cloud security “end to end” from the end user to the cloud, collapsing a lot of the current security tools that are in place, he said.

Zscaler is effectively helping customers overcome what is referred to as “tech debt”- a large collection of cybersecurity tools combined with constant churn of in house cybersecurity talent, said Jensen.

The kind of zero trust security that Zscalar is providing with private service edge is ultimately going to accelerate cloud adoption, said Jensen.“It accelerates cloud adoption because customers right now are fearful of taking crown jewel applications and pushing them out to a cloud provider,” he said.

With private service edge, the “Zscaler cloud is getting pushed out to the edge – which is not just the endpoint and the end user – it is the branch office and the data center, this allows clarification for the security team to say ‘I’ve got a solution as I lift my applications and shift them to the cloud. As a result of that I think this technology will help accelerate cloud adoption,” said Jensen.

The new service edge software ultimately “ensures security between the end user and the application regardless of where the application resides,” said Jensen. “By extending out the Zscaler cloud to the edge it is providing neutrality between the end node, end user access and the application itself with zero trust in mind.”

The service edge software – which brokers remote users to the fastest internet connection- securely brokers users to private applications, replacing the need for on premise network firewall segmentation, said Zscaler.

The service edge software synchs with the global Zscaler cloud, pulling down policy and updates even without an internet connection. “It will still cache policies and enforce them in real time for multiple weeks even without internet connectivity,” said Hines.

The Zscaler private service provides a new opportunity for Presidio to have compelling conversations with customers around zero trust, said Jensen. “Customers are looking for reasons to consolidate different tools and spend,” he said. “If we can consult around that that’s a win for us.”

Jensen praised Zscaler’s ability to work with other vendors like idendity management software provider Okta to provide comprehensive protection to customers. “That API integration between the two allows us to solve multiple problems for the customer,” he said. “If we can put together multiple vendor solutions and take those solutions to market jointly that is good for us. That provides incremental services opportunities for us and helps strengthen our overarching zero trust consulting services.”

Presidio’s independent cloud security assessment service is driving the tech-debt reduction for customers, said Jensen. “We are assessing the risk for customers around application migration to the cloud and around people, process and technologies,” said Jensen.

Presidio also has managed detection and response (MDR) security services and managed cloud security services, said Jensen. “As applications move into the cloud and get accelerated you have to pin down your security policies in the cloud,” he said. “At Presidio we are providing oversight on security policies and posture.”

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