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CF20: 2023's Top SASE Providers You Should Know

Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Cato Networks and Fortinet all made the list. See who else did and why.

Edward Gately

July 25, 2023

20 Slides

Secure access service edge (SASE) providers have experienced increasing adoption over the past two years with the rise of hybrid working models and the surge in cloud migration among enterprises.

SD-WAN is an overlay network that backhauls traffic to data centers. SASE is a cloud platform that inspects data at various points of presence (PoPs) at the edge. As remote work remains a part of everyday life, architectures like SASE are better suited for remote access than SD-WAN.

This is our second annual “CF20” focused on top SASE providers. Analysts share their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes a new list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

SASE Providers Face Strengthening Market

Frost & Sullivan’s Voice of Customer report 2023, which surveyed 2,360 CISOs and C-level leaders globally, showed 56% of the organizations have adopted SASE, and 38% of them plan on doing so by 2024.

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Frost & Sullivan’s Vivien Pua

Vivien Pua, senior industry analyst of cybersecurity at Frost & Sullivan, said with the arrival of hybrid workforces and an increasing reliance on cloud-based SaaS applications, her firm expects demand for SASE will continue to increase in the next five years as companies become more digitalized, which requires them to adopt SASE architecture for more agility. Moving forward, SASE providers will see an acceleration of the technology among most organizations that are looking to achieve consistency, flexibility and high performance for both their security and networking needs.

“Vendors with different backgrounds take different approaches to SASE,” she said. “Frost & Sullivan observed more companies, including network and security vendors, and security startups, aggressively promoting SASE architecture over the last two years. SASE vendors continue to move towards unified/converged SASE platforms by developing and buying networking or security capabilities, integrating them into their existing solutions to strengthen their converged SASE offering. The convergence of point products into platforms is expected to increase, with established vendors filling gaps in their existing offerings with internal R&D, and larger vendors acquiring smaller point‐product companies. This can be observed in the recent M&A activities in the market.”

Addressing Aging Infrastructure, Supporting Digital Transformation

Fernando Montenegro, senior principal analyst with Omdia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa), said interest in SASE adoption is high, not so much just to address remote worker needs, which was a thing during the first few years of the pandemic, but also aging infrastructure and support digital transformation.

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Omdia’s Fernando Montenegro

“We think there is a clear interest from customers to optimize their security spend,” he said. “The basic [SASE] requirements – providing strong networking and security functionality as a service – remain. We definitely see more vendors supporting additional use cases — remote browser isolation (RBI) is a good example. We think customers expect SASE offerings to be comprehensive (both networking and security needs), but depending on the specific needs of the buyer at that point in time, they may be OK with just a security component — security service edge (SSE) or just the networking functionality (mostly SD-WAN).”

Growing, Evolving Market for SASE Providers

Eric Hanselman, principal research analyst at 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the market for SASE providers continues to grow and evolve.

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S&P Global Intelligence’s Eric Hanselman

“The market demands that fueled rapid early growth have expanded as the deployment models have adapted to enterprise needs,” he said. “The split off of SSE was rationalization that addressed different enterprise requirements. The need for the SD-WAN capability that SASE offers is still critical for the modern, distributed organization.”

In the last year, the SASE marketplace has seen a buttressing of existing product offerings, Hanselman said.

“M&A activity has shifted to the managed services arena, where consolidation across providers has seen more activity,” he said. “As later SASE adopters make the transition, service-delivered options are particularly attractive. Ongoing security staff and skill shortages will continue to maintain focus on managed offerings.”

We’ve compiled a list in the slideshow above, in no particular order, of 20 top SASE providers. It’s based on feedback from analysts and recent news reports. The providers are making the most of the ongoing competitive landscape and charting success.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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