Changing the (IT) world is a big task, but we are off to a great start. Cato Networks has captured the imagination of numerous IT professionals with an all-new approach to an age old problem: the ever-growing cost and complexity of networking and security point products.
In February, we emerged out of stealth and introduced the Cato Cloud, a fully converged network and security platform delivered as a cloud service. In September, we have announced a Series B funding round of $30M led by Greylock and we are rapidly growing all parts of the company: engineering, support, sales, and marketing. We made great progress teaming up with strategic and forward-looking distributors, resellers and managed security service providers that are quickly onboarding customers into the Cato Cloud using our multi-tenant Cato Management Application. Throughout 2016, Cato has gained the trust of organizations of all sizes piloting, deploying and running our service in production. We are exiting 2016 with dozens of production customers across all of our use cases.
The Cato Cloud is built upon a global network of Points of Presence (PoPs). The buildout will continue in 2017 with the goal of placing a PoP within 25ms latency from every business customer in the world. Why build a global network? Because Cato’s mission is to do what once thought impossible: fully secure and optimize enterprise networks without the operational complexity and cost of distributed legacy hardware appliances and the new point solutions needed to address emerging requirements like cloud and mobility. Cato offers a new hope for overburdened and short-handed IT teams, one already being realized by our production customers.
What differentiates Cato is our underlying architecture. Cato didn’t put a “lipstick on a pig” with a patchwork of solutions that has been “lifted and shifted” into the cloud. We created a revolutionary new architecture, from scratch, that is seamlessly delivering networking and security capabilities everywhere we have a PoP. We have no notion of an appliance as a logical entity. Customer’s offices, datacenters, mobile users and cloud infrastructure dynamically connect to the nearest available PoPs and instantly become part of the customer’s single, logical secure network. Even if a resource reconnects to a different PoP, it always remains part of the enterprise network.
This means enterprise does not need to think about sizing, deploying, configuring, managing and upgrading boxes for each of their locations. There is just one network with one security engine that is running one, granular policy. And, all maintenance for this infrastructure is done by Cato, taken completely off the customer’s plate. As our customer footprint grows, Cato can rapidly spin up PoPs running our software stack anywhere in the world and they immediately join the global network and connect customers’ regional resources.
For our partners and their customers, this architecture represents a revolution, eliminating one of the major pain points undermining the business of delivering networking and security services. Integrating security and networking functions in software means there is no more static configuration of appliances. Cato has eliminated not just the physical appliance, but also the dependency between a specific device and a specific customer resource. This strong binding creates a huge headache for service providers that try to create a cloud service by taking on all the appliances grunt work customers want to offload. Moving the problem from the customer to a service provider does not create efficiency or value.
Cato isn’t a “cloud security solution”, “a network security product”, or “SD-WAN box”. Cato is a holistic solution to a systemic problem: the perfect storm of the dissolving perimeter, the explosion of enterprise security point solutions and the lack of people to run it all.
Cato makes network+security simple – again. In the early days of IT, enterprise networks were simple and the threat landscape subdued – they were manageable. We can’t go back to this period, but we must rethink how we adapt our infrastructure to today’s new reality of accelerating threats velocity and a distributed, global, mobile-first and cloud-centric enterprise.
We put a stake in the ground. Cato Networks is the answer to this challenge.
Stay tuned – 2017 here we come.