Cato Networks, provider of the world’s leading single-vendor SASE platform, announced that it was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Zero Trust Edge Solutions Q3 2023 Report. The report’s comprehensive review of Zero Trust Edge (ZTE) solutions, Forrester’s term for SASE, gave Cato the highest possible scores across subcategories aligning with three recommended areas for considering ZTE – unified and centralized cloud management, a resilient backbone with sophisticated controls, and Zero Trust Network Access for remote access.
“Cato Networks is the poster child for ZTE and SASE,” notes the report. “Founded by Shlomo Kramer of Check Point Software Technologies and Imperva fame, Cato Networks started with a strong security pedigree and built a global platform of distributed PoPs from which to deliver security as a service. Cato has a strong strategy paired with a truly unified networking and security solution and has shown real security innovation within its single-pass architecture platform.”
“We are honored to be recognized by Forrester as a “Leader” in this Wave. Cato architected a platform that was purpose-built for ZTE and SASE, one that is valued by our thousands of customers and partners for its simplicity, agility, security posture, and optimal performance,” says Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks. “We are happy to see their excitement reflected by leading industry analysts’ reports.”
ZTE Converges Networking and Security as a Unified Service
The Forrester report found that early-adopting reference customers were enthusiastic about the Cato SASE Cloud. “Multinationals, financials, and firms looking to consolidate security functions and replace MPLS will find Cato a compelling choice,” according to the report. “Cato has a strong strategy paired with a truly unified networking and security solution and has shown real security innovation within its single-pass architecture platform,” writes Forrester.
Zero Trust edge architectures merge and deliver networking and security functions as a service. Forrester recommends customers look for ZTE solution providers that meet three criteria:
Have unified and centralized cloud management. Achieving higher levels of trust and automation requires ruthless standardization. This applies to ZTE solutions. Customers should ensure that their ZTE provider has a single, cloud-based interface that provides standard and consistent methods to create and deploy both network and security policies. The configurations and monitoring data should reside in a single data lake to eliminate data duplication, multiple security policies, and poor collaboration.
Build a resilient backbone with sophisticated controls. Business wide networking fabrics need more than first- and last-mile connectivity controls. ZTE vendors have recognized the value of optimizing and conditioning application traffic throughout the application’s journey by including managed backbones as part of their ZTE offering. The number of points of presence (PoPs) that connect to the backbones, the types of links between backbone nodes, and the amount of services (such as traffic optimization or virtual fires) at node and PoP can vary dramatically. Some ZTE vendors have developed backbones with a richer set of controls than vendors using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) networks exclusively.
Utilize Zero Trust network access for remote access, replacing VPNs. All ZTE solutions have a combination of Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateways (SWGs), and cloud security gateways (CSGs, aka CASBs). Look to providers offering a strong ZTNA capability to reduce your organization’s threat surface and protect your critical data. The best of these solutions can also help discover the applications that you need to protect.
Cato SASE Cloud Excelled in Core ZTE Criteria
Cato SASE Cloud earned the highest score possible in sub-criteria aligned with all three of these areas. In terms of management, Forrester found that Cato delivered:
- Centralized network and security management. “A cloud-delivered portal with a clean, intuitive interface manages all networking and security capabilities. The management plane and data lake are unified,” according to the criteria description.
- Administrative experience. “The solution is not just centrally managed but provides superior UX. Common workflows are easy to get to and streamlined; they guide the user to make correct policy.” according to the criteria description.
In terms of a resilient backbone with sophisticated controls, Forrester found that Cato delivered:
- Network reach and function. “The vendor has 80 or more sites that host ZTE services. PoP sites sit in colocation facilities allowing the solution to choose the best paths across the backbone,” according to the criteria description.
- Best path selection and performance across their backbone. “The solution has traffic control over the links in its backbone and can route traffic over the best paths. The vendor has site reliability engineers continuously evaluating the backbone,” according to the criteria description.
And in terms of utilizing ZTNA for remote access, Forrester found that Cato delivered:
- Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): “The vendor’s agent authenticates and authorizes the user and provides multiple advanced features such as universal ZTNA, interception of all ports and protocols, TCP acceleration, application discovery, microsegmentation or auto quarantine,” according to the criteria description.