Answering the Top Questions About SASE Asked by IT Professionals
When Gartner published its seminal report on SASE (“The Future of Network Security Is in the Cloud, August 2019), the analyst firm listed the reduction of complexity and costs as one of the top benefits of SASE. Each day, Cato customers confirm that‘s the case; there is significant ROI with the simplicity of SASE. Costs can be vastly reduced when networking and security are merged, and the operational aspects are provided as a service.
The company has reduced operational costs by 60 to 70 percent and networking and security costs by 50 percent
Recently, one of our customers shared an accounting of their ROI. The company, which asked to be kept is anonymous, is a public company in the construction industry with locations worldwide. Deployment of the Cato is well underway, and already, the company has reduced operational costs by 60 to 70 percent and networking and security costs by 50 percent.
Different Types Networks for Different Types of Locations
This company is the third–largest construction firm in the world. It has 40 sites in more than 20 countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. There are more than 3,000 employees worldwide.
The company‘s original WAN operated on a telco bundle from a carrier that provided a global MPLS network and worldwide Internet services to the various sites. Secure Web Gateway (SWG) services in the cloud were used to secure the web traffic. The company provided locations with different levels of connectivity based on the criticality of work performed at each site:
- Level 1 sites required two MPLS and two Internet links.
- Level 2 sites required one MPLS and one Internet link.
- Level 3 sites required just one Internet link.
- Level 4 sites required a basic Internet link.
For example, the company’s main datacenter received Level 1 treatment, as did some of the high-profile manufacturing centers, to ensure continuous connectivity. By contrast, the smallest of offices were level 4.
There Were Many Drivers for a New Network
The existing network was very complex to manage, did not provide agility, was expensive to operate, and had considerable security gaps that put the business at risk. In particular, the company wasn‘t applying new features or security patches to its network, which created a technical deficit and high risk. The IT team wanted better performance, cost savings, stronger security, resilience in the infrastructure, agility and scalability, and the ability to monitor what is happening on the network.
The company‘s Cato deployment began nearly a year ago. The company expects to be entirely switched over to Cato by Q1 of 2022. Meanwhile, the company’s IT manager shared with us they’ve already realized the following savings attributed to easier network operations and management. The ROI elements involved both time savings as well as productivity or functionality benefits they gained by moving to Cato:
- Cato automatically applies security patches and feature updates, so there is no time required on the company‘s part to do this work. Previously, patches and updates were not managed by anyone, which posed a high risk. Even one significant breach could have resulted in millions of euros in fines and business losses.
- Cato now manages the network firewall and security, inspecting east/west traffic and reducing risk for the company. IT only allocates about one hour of effort per month.
- Having replaced the SWG service provider, Cato now manages the external security, including Internet firewall, secure web gateway, intrusion prevention, and anti-malware. Previously the company spent at least four hours per month on this effort, and now the time is reduced to just one hour per month. In addition, Cato‘s internal security is fully native to the network, not an external add-on solution.
- The company troubleshoots problems using Cato‘s analytics and event discovery feature. Troubleshooting was previously difficult, if not impossible, and time-consuming, taking about five hours per month, and then with poor results. With Cato, the company spends about the same amount of time, but with much better results, and has seen huge adoption from various teams.
- The company now enjoys detailed reporting based on network analytics. This type of information was impossible with the old network, and it takes only two hours per month to get the information. .
Costs Have Been Reduced by Half, and Often More
All told, the company previously devoted about 120+ hours per year to operational activities to support the old network – and this is without the benefit of having strong network security – and now the company devotes about 50 hours per year to network management and operations. This includes WAN and Internet zero-day protection that they didn‘t have before. The result is about 60 to 70 percent savings of operational effort with the new Cato network.
As for networking costs, the company has cut its telecom bill for the WAN in half and also reduced SWG security by half. This has resulted in substantial financial savings for a more manageable, more secure global network.
The Cato Network Provides Additional Benefits
In addition to the savings, the company has also identified other benefits by switching to Cato, including:
• Better network performance for all sites
• Alignment with IT governance
• Better alignment with business needs
• Resilience from having a minimum of two links per site
• Agility and scalability
• Complete visibility of what‘s happening on the network
• Strong user and business adoption
• Strong integrated and unified security
• Monitoring, reporting, and alerting on issues
• Futureproof – ready for Cloud, VoIP, Video, and more
In short, the company is pleased with its new network, and Cato is pleased to be of service to them.
If your organization struggles with some of these same issues and wants a better ROI from your network, contact us to learn how Cato can help.