With SASE, customers need more than just secure access to their applications.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

June 21, 2022

20 Slides

The increasing shift of business operations to the cloud has expanded the perimeter drastically, accelerating demand among secure access service edge (SASE) providers.

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 first annual “CF List” 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 Core Features

Garrett Bekker is a senior research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 451 Research.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.


S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Garrett Bekker

“To me, the five core features of a SASE are firewall-as-a-service/NGFW, SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA) and cloud access security broker (CASB),” he said. “There are other ancillary features of SASE also, such as data loss prevention (DLP), encryption or remote browser isolation (RBI). Few vendors actually have all the pieces. So one criterion for success is completeness of solution, and how tightly integrated the various pieces are. Or are they just cobbled together?”

Ying Ting Neoh is a security research analyst at Frost & Sullivan.


Frost & Sullivan’s Ying Ting Neoh

“SASE has gained popularity even though the adoption of a single-vendor SASE providing a converged, full SASE-stack approach has been slow,” she said. “However, with more organizations looking to streamline their management of networking and security functions to avoid complex management, it is expected that customers increasingly favor vendors providing converged and cloud-native SASE architecture tightly integrating both SD-WAN and security capabilities. On top of that, the need for more advanced security protection capabilities … is increasing.”

More than Just Secure Access

Customers need more than just secure access to their applications, Neoh said.

“With the array of capabilities to be integrated into the SASE architecture, great user experience has also become one of the key deciding factors of a successful SASE provider,” she said. “Customers increasingly prefer SASE providers providing a single-pass processing architecture whereby inspection processes and services are done simultaneously. Customers are looking for SASE architecture which provides good visibility into the network traffic, user behavior and threats, driving the need for SASE-native threat intelligence to be integrated into the architecture to provide better actionable information to the security team. Hence, a cloud-agnostic SASE provider that can provide secure, consistent, converged networking and security services with expanded global coverage to multiple cloud service platforms and great user experience is foreseen to be the upcoming successful SASE provider customers need.”

Early Days for SASE Market

Rik Turner is principal analyst at Omdia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa).


Omdia’s Rik Turner

“I still think it’s early days in the development of the SASE market, so I’m not sure customer expectations have even had time to mature very much, though obviously the basic premise of WAN connectivity over the internet instead of MPLS, network security, and secure remote access, all delivered as a service from a single provider, remains a compelling one,” he said.

Fernando Montenegro is senior principal analyst also with Omdia.


Omdia’s Fernando Montenegro

“We’ve seen acquisitions in the underlying technologies that are interesting in that they reflect a growing number of competitors,” he said. “Absolute acquired NetMotion, Lookout acquired CipherCloud, Forcepoint acquired Bitglass and many others. SASE has usually been an offering that requires a larger footprint, both in terms of tech and presence. So it’s a little bit skewed to larger vendors.”

We’ve compiled a list, 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.

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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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