Cloud Secure Edge and SASE Trends: 2021

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By: R. Scott Raynovich

Futuriom has released its 2nd annual Cloud Secure Edge and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Trends report. This report details the convergence taking place between cloud networking and security services, and explains why this is driving massive amounts of integration and consolidation in the networking and security markets.

Some startups in this area have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in financing and the IPO and M&A market is very strong in this category. Our findings present a detailed analysis of the entire SASE ecosystem, break down the product categories that are part of the SASE market, and analyze the market leaders in detail.

Security Integration Drives SASE

Demand for security integration, SD-WAN, and cloud services are likely to propel the secure access service edge (SASE) market upward for many years.

SASE is a concept initiated by the influential technology firm Gartner Inc. in 2019 as part of their “hype cycle.” And indeed, SASE is hitting the sweet spot of the hype cycle. Nearly every networking, security, and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) vendor has jumped on board the bandwagon.

What’s so appealing? The bottom line is that SASE was the right wave of technology for the right time. Although SASE does not apply to one specific cybersecurity or networking technology, it describes a basket of technologies that can be used to integrate solutions to attack multiple security challenges at once. That approach is appealing to organizations looking to build a unified security strategy.

What's being integrated into the SASE market? The list of acronyms is vast. You can start with next generation firewalls (NGFWs), secure web gateways, cloud access service providers, and zero trust network access (ZTNA), then go from there. Basically any security function that could benefit from network or cloud integration can become part of a SASE portfolio.

A Shift in Security Architecture

So, if integration is part of the SASE picture -- what about the edge part?

The edge is becoming a place where the enterprise meets the cloud. Enterprise IT architectural decisions no longer revolve around computing and storage resources residing in fixed, on-premises datacenters. With the movement toward the cloud, traditional networking and security approaches need a rethinking, and this has led to a serious rethinking of the value and utility of deploying proprietary on-premises networking and security tools. These tools need to be more integrated with the cloud, using wide-based data resources of application programming interfaces (APIs) and data to drive telemetry and analytics.

The bottom line is that SASE underlines a larger trend toward consolidating technology tools and integrating them with cloud architectures. In speaking to a chief information security officer (CISO) at a major webscale company recently (he asked to remain anonymous), we learned that the major challenge today is integration of security, not the lack of functions available. In the CISO’s words, he’d rather have a dozen B+ cybersecurity tools that are well integrated rather than a handful of A+ tools that aren’t.

Thank you to our Sponsors: Cato Networks, Nokia (Nuage Networks), NetFoundry, Juniper Networks, Elisity, and Enea.

Analyst's Note: This analysis is prepared independently by our own analyst team. Sponsors are encouraged to submit product descriptions for the report and receive extended briefing time with analysts. In return for support, sponsors receive a report distribution license and marketing exposure.

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Key Highlights of the Report

Futuriom analysts spoke to a number of end users and dozens of vendors, in addition to reviewing results from our recent end-user security and SD-WAN surveys. The key highlights of this year's report include:

  • The SASE market is gaining momentum. The secure access service edge (SASE) market represents an important convergence of networking, cloud, and applications security functions.
  • Integration and consolidation of security functions on the SASE platform will remain a strong trend. End users we have surveyed and interviewed are asking for better integration of cloud and network security tools to adapt to end-user mobility, increased cloud applications access, and diverse security threats.
  • End users and technology vendors have aligned interests to drive SASE. Core end-user needs, such as the integration of security tools and cloud networking elements, align with technology vendor efforts to consolidate and drive more value across integrated cybersecurity product portfolios.
  • SASE architectures address the need for more flexible security architectures in the cloud-based world. Although different vendors are approaching this with a wide variety of architectures and solutions, nearly all of them are moving to flexible, services-based platforms that can be delivered to edge devices or delivered via the cloud, or both.
  • Strong M&A market expected to continue. With many large acquisitions taking place in SASE areas such as cloud access service broker (CASB) and zero trust network access (ZTNA), expect this trend to continue as larger players roll up best-of-breed security functions into their SASE portfolios.
  • SASE is a huge addressable market. With the opportunity to provide integration of many security functions, provide more secure cloud and remote access, and replace traditional virtual private networks (VPNs), the addressable market is tens of billions of dollars. SASE also has the potential to address and integrate dozens of other cybersecurity markets.
  • Companies mentioned in this report (partial list): Akamai, Aryaka Networks, Cato Networks, Check Point Software, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Cloudflare, Elisity, Enea (Qosmos), Forcepoint, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, NetFoundry, Netskope, Nokia (Nuage Networks), Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks, VMware, Zscaler.

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