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12:15 PM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
Edge Features
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11 Cybersecurity Vendors to Watch in 2021

The cybersecurity landscape continues to spawn new companies and attract new investments. Here is just a sampling of what the industry has to offer.

Cato Networks

Focus: SASE
Funding: $332 million
Founded: 2015

Analysts consider Cato Networks to be among the leaders in the rapidly growing market for so-called Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technologies, which integrate security capabilities such as cloud access security brokers (CASB), firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and secure Web gateways into the wide area network itself. The broad adoption of remote and hybrid work environments because of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened focus on SASE as an alternative to current approaches that rely on point products to protect widely distributed network endpoints and data. Gartner, which coined the term in 2019, describes SASE as a new packet of technologies designed to "support the dynamic secure access needs of organizations" using real-time context and security policies.

Cato positions its technologies as having a variety of use cases, including migrating from Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) architectures to software-defined WAN, supporting work-from-home requirements, optimizing global network connectivity, and securing branch Internet access. Last November the Tel-Aviv-based company raised $130 million in an investment round led by Lightspeed Venture Partner. Cato Networks has raised over $330 million and is valued at over $1 billion.

Cato saw the opportunity for integrating security functionality with wide area networking before most other vendors, says Scott Crawford, an analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

"Security architectures have historically depended on deploying in a traditional legacy setting within brick-and-mortar enterprise facilities," Crawford says "That same level of visibility and control may be challenging to maintain when workers and distributed locations are far removed from networks under direct enterprise control."

This has now become an even more significant issue with the broad shift toward work-from-anywhere, he says. The fact that Cato was founded by Shlomo Kramer — who also helped found Check Point and Imperva — gave Cato early recognition and positioning against incumbents such as Zscaler, Crawford adds.

Image: Cato Networks

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
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