SASE as Reviewed by the Gartner Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking, 2021

Elana Marom
August 24, 2021

Gartner, a leading industry expert in emerging technologies, recently released its annual Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking report. This report explores enterprise networking solutions at varying levels of maturity (from “embryonic” to “mainstream”) and outlines the solutions’ potential business impacts, drivers, recommendations for adoption, and more.

Digital transformation efforts and an evolving workforce have spurred increased interest in these solutions, with Gartner expecting them to achieve mainstream adoption within the next two to five years.

SASE Adoption is Moving Rapidly

The term SASE was coined by Gartner in its August 2019 report The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud. In the 2021 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Network report, Gartner includes a definition of the term, “SASE supports branch office, remote worker and on-premises general internet security use cases. SASE is delivered as a service and enables zero trust access based on the identity of the device or entity, combined with real-time context and security and compliance policies.”

According to Gartner, SASE is currently in “peak hype”, meaning that its adoption is being rapidly driven by several factors. Corporate digital transformation efforts are a major driver of the increased interest in SASE adoption as enterprises seek solutions that meet evolving business needs. The COVID-19 pandemic inspired a widespread transition to supporting a remote workforce, and companies are increasingly adopting cloud computing.

These two factors have increased interest in SASE due to its ability to meet companies’ evolving network security needs. Gartner states that “SASE enables new digital business use cases (such as digital ecosystem and mobile workforce enablement) with increased ease of use, while reducing costs and complexity via vendor consolidation and dedicated circuit offload.”

Additionally, SASE solves the problems of complex and disparate security architectures by replacing point solutions with a single, converged network security service. This consolidation improves security visibility and reduces the alert volumes overloading security teams. As a result, enterprises can achieve faster incident detection and response leading to faster remediation and reduced cybersecurity risk.

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ZTNA is on the “Slope of Enlightenment”

The pandemic demonstrated the need for effective and secure remote access solutions. This drove adoption of virtual private networks (VPNs); however, these proved ineffective in many cases, failing to meet the security and performance needs of the distributed enterprise. As a result of these limitations, interest in ZTNA has increased dramatically.

According to Gartner, “Zero trust network access (ZTNA) creates an identity- and context-based logical access boundary around applications.” This differs significantly from VPNs, which only enforce a perimeter around the network as a whole and allows unrestricted access to authenticated users.
Gartner labels ZTNA as a solution in its “adolescence” or on the “Slope of Enlightenment” leading to widespread adoption.

Among the business impacts of ZTNA, Gartner highlights how it improves on legacy solutions like VPNs. “ZTNA yields immediate benefits by shielding services from attackers. In contrast to basic VPN products, ZTNA removes full network access and improves user experience, flexibility and adaptability.”

Supporting and Securing a Distributed Enterprise with Cato

Gartner’s 2021 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking report highlights the expanding role that SASE and ZTNA have in enterprise cybersecurity. As corporate IT infrastructure evolves to include cloud deployments and a remote workforce, the ability to support and secure a distributed enterprise is essential. SASE provides organizations with distributed network and security functionality consolidated into a single cloud-based solution. ZTNA offers the secure remote access functionality required to support a remote workforce.

Gartner recognized Cato Networks as a “Sample Vendor” in the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) category for the third year in a row, and in the Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) category, for the second year in a row. This recognition demonstrates Cato’s ability to offer the full capabilities of a true SASE solution as well as the maturity of its ZTNA services.

You’re welcome to read more about Cato Network’s solutions. Alternatively, you can request a demo or simply contact us today.


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Elana Marom

Elana Marom is a full stack marketer with over 20 years of experience in both startups and enterprises. As Director of Product Marketing at Cato Networks, Elana is passionate about raising awareness for SASE and helping customers leverage its value to prepare their business for whatever is next.