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One vendor joined the top quartile; another left it.
April 14, 2023
The second Gartner second magic quadrant for security service edge (SSE) shows the impact of M&A on the market.
Netskope, Zscaler and Palo Alto Networks occupied the “leaders” quadrant of Gartner’s annual assessment of the SSE market. Gartner introduced the term SSE as a way to emphasize companies that only offered the advanced cybersecurity capabilities associated with secure access service edge (SASE).
Netskope landed at the very far right of the quadrant. The provider has expanded its technological capabilities in the last year, having bought Infiot. It has also leaned into its indirect sales channel, giving its partners more financial incentives for selling its offering.
Zscaler and Palo Alto also landed among the leaders. Palo Alto moved from “challenger” to “leader,” having expanded its Prisma Access solution and acquired Crusoe Security.
Cloudflare appeared on the quadrant for the first time, landing in the “niche players” region. Gartner pointed to the vendor’s 2022 acquisition of Vectrix as a move that gave it cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality and, therefore, SSE status. Cloudflare’s channel program expansion no doubt played a role in helping it establish itself. The company has formed partnerships in the tech services distribution space, including with Avant.
For comparison, check out the 2022 leaderboard. Zscaler and Netskope have retained their spots in the leaders quadrant. However, McAfee – whose purchaser Symphony Technology Group split into Trellix and SkyHigh Security – no longer resides in the top quadrant. Skyhigh now sits in the visionary quadrant, not far away.
Gartner noted that the split “has disrupted Skyhigh’s sales motion and has had an impact on its growth in this evaluation cycle, especially in this rapidly growing market.”
Cisco remained on the challengers list. The company has been fine-tuning its cybersecurity platform and seeking to bring more of its partners into the action.
In addition, Forcepoint moved from “niche player” to visionary. Gartner contributed the rise in part to Forcepoint acquiring Bitglass.
Versa is no longer on the list. Gartner said it did not land in the research firm’s top 20 based on its market momentum index (MMI) criteria.
Gartner defines SSE as containing, at minimum, cloud-delivered secure access to the internet through a proxy, remote access to private applications and the respective support of authorized users on endpoints. It may or may not connect to SD-WAN functionality, although SD-WAN and SSE are generally seen as the networking and cybersecurity components of SASE.
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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