Netskope and VMware Partnership Tackles Remote Work Crisis

MSSPs have another tool for protecting enterprises from increased security threats as people worldwide work from home.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

June 10, 2020

4 Min Read
COVID-19 remote work elements

One of the latest solutions to help MSSPs keep enterprises safe comes from Netskope and VMware.

Even amid COVID-19, or perhaps especially because of it, cloud deployments remain a top priority for enterprises. Research firm IDC recently revised its outlook for 2020, noting that while organizations will spend less on other areas of IT, they will continue to invest in infrastructure that supports cloud services for remote work. This puts extra pressure on managed security service providers. After all, the more potential points of leakage, the greater the chances of a breach. With employees connecting to confidential data from across the country, and even the world, organizations need more cybersecurity protections than ever.

Netskope and VMware have developed ways to address the security challenges inherent to a remote-first workforce. Their respective software platforms work together to oversee cloud, web and private applications, endpoints and SD-WAN networks.

Accelerated Need for Security


Netskope’s Dave Rogers

To be clear, Netskope and VMware were working on the endeavor before the coronavirus pandemic hit. That’s according to Dave Rogers, vice president of global alliances and channel sales for Netskope, in comments to Channel Futures.

“Now [the partnership] has accelerated as remote working has become the norm, and the majority of people, devices, data and applications are outside the traditional network and security perimeter,” he said.

Further, Rogers explained, the Netskope-VMware collaboration differs those of other vendors, namely in that it is not “marketing-driven.”

Rather, he said, “Netskope and VMware have together developed highly functional technical integrations that deliver holistic workforce enablement and security solutions to users anywhere in the world, regardless of device, cloud, web or private application,” he said. “It’s also important to note that Netskope and VMware have complementary, not overlapping or competing, products. This creates less friction in our mutual channels, including Dell Technologies, and facilitates simpler, deeper engagement with our MSSP partners.”

Sharing and Pairing Technologies

Here’s how Netskope and VMware are pairing their cloud security technologies, so MSSPs understand the benefits for clients:

  • Sharing threat indicators. In this scenario, Netskope coordinates with VMware’s Carbon Black cloud-native endpoint protection platform; then the companies combine their capabilities to remediate the threats. Netskope’s platform also can classify devices and increase or decrease access privileges depending on characteristics. For example, if VMware Carbon Black does not reside on the endpoint, Netskope makes note and restricts the device’s activities.

  • Providing visibility, governance over use of devices and the cloud. Netskope and VMware’s Workspace ONE work together, in this instance. Security experts can automatically deploy the Netskope client onto Workspace ONE-managed devices to govern cloud services. Administrators also can set specific access controls or security policies based on whether a device is managed or unmanaged. Coverage encompasses all access methods, including native mobile apps and sync clients. Finally, VMware Workspace ONE can use Netskope discoveries to oversee manual or automated workflows for reestablishing acceptable use from managed devices.

  • Improving network performance. Here, Netskope and VMware’s VeloCloud SD-WAN controls monitor traffic so real-time apps (think VoIP, video conferencing, etc.) work as they should, no matter where employees are accessing them.


Netskope’s Sanjay Beri

Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope, called the Netskope-VMware collaboration “very timely and important” as enterprises prioritize work-from-home efforts for the foreseeable future, due to COVID-19.


VMware’s Patrick Morley

Patrick Morley, general manager and senior vice president for VMware’s security business unit, agreed.

“The shift to a largely remote workforce has put a burden on organizations and employees, who are determining the optimal way to work while staying more secure,” Morley said in a press release. “One such consideration is how to extend IT and security best practices outside of the traditional office. Our collaboration with Netskope simplifies how organizations can more securely and effectively run their business and do their jobs from anywhere, whether…

…in the cloud, on the web or on personal devices.”

Training and Workshops

The Netskope-VMware pairing lets MSSPs sell, support and manage a more complete security solution, Rogers said. Through its Evolve partner program, Netskope provides MSSPs with online and in-person training. Rogers said Netskope and VMware are producing a workshop that will guide MSSPs in implementation and integration of their combined solution.

Netskope’s platform combines secure web gateways with cloud access security broker software and zero-trust secure access, as well as machine learning that detects unauthorized data exfiltration. The company delivers its security services through global infrastructure it calls NewEdge.

The VMware partnership comes just a few months after Netskope secured $340 million in funding from private investors, bringing its total to around $740 million.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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