Cloud Native, COVID-19, and True Secure Access Service Edge – What The 2020 Gartner Hype Cycles Taught Us

SASE Cloud Native COVID-19 and True SASE
SASE Cloud Native COVID-19 and True SASE
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For the second year in a row, Cato Networks was recognized as a Sample Vendor in the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) category in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking, 2020.1 Cato was also recognized as Sample Vendor in three other categories including SD-WAN, Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) in the Hype Cycle for Network Security 2020.2

In our opinion, it’s unique for a vendor to be acknowledged for the same platform — not multiple, discrete products sold by the same vendor. The report also taught us quite a bit more about SASE since its introduction nearly a year ago. Here are some of the key highlights and insights.


What was an anomaly a year ago has become a phenomenon. In under a year, SASE has become widely accepted across the industry. Today, it’s understood that SD-WAN and security must come together. The days of standalone SD-WAN (without any stated security strategy) are past. The embracement of SASE is the best indicator of this trend.

Writes Gartner, “While the term originated in 2019, the architecture has been deployed by early adopters as early as 2017. By 2024, at least 40% of enterprises will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE, up from less than 1% at year-end 2018. By 2023, 20% of enterprises will have adopted SWG, CASB, ZTNA, and branch FWaaS capabilities from the same vendor, up from less than 5% in 2019.”1

SASE adoption reflects the shift towards a workforce that works from anywhere, accessing resources that are no longer confined to private datacenters. Writes Gartner, “Although the term is relatively new, the architectural approach (cloud if you can, on-premises if you must) has been deployed for at least two years. The inversion of networking and network security patterns as users, devices, and services leave the traditional enterprise perimeter will transform the competitive landscape for network and network security as a service over the next decade, although the winners and losers will be apparent by 2022.”

One of the major motivations for SASE has been the shift to work-from-home. Writes Gartner, “COVID-19 has highlighted the need for business continuity plans that include flexible, anywhere, anytime, secure remote access, at scale, even from untrusted devices. SASE’s cloud-delivered set of services, including zero trust network access, is driving rapid adoption of SASE.”1

As such, enterprises are encouraged to look at one, converged solution for branch offices and remote access. Writes Gartner, “Combine branch office and secure remote access in a single implementation, even if the transition will occur over an extended period.”1

Architecture Matters: True SASE Services Are Cloud Native

More so than evaluating specific features, SASE offerings should be evaluated on their architecture. Delivering a cloud-native architecture for security and networking capabilities is critical. Writes Gartner, “True SASE services are cloud-native — dynamically scalable, globally accessible, typically microservices-based and multitenant.” 1

Simply linking together discrete appliances does not meet this need. Writes Gartner, “Avoid vendors that propose to deliver the broad set of services by linking a large number of products via virtual machine service chaining.”1

The Shift to a Cloud-Native Architecture Threatens Incumbents

The emphasis on the cloud will be disruptive for many. Writes Gartner, “There have been more than a dozen SASE announcements over the past 12 months by vendors seeking to stake out their position in this extremely competitive market. There will be a great deal of slideware and marketecture, especially from incumbents that are ill-prepared for the cloud-based delivery as a service model and the investments required for distributed PoPs. This is a case where software architecture and implementation matters.”1

Adopt SASE Through Network Transformation

The shift to SASE can occur through the natural migration and development of the network. Gartner encourages enterprise IT to “Leverage a WAN refresh, firewall refresh, VPN refresh or SD-WAN deployment to drive the redesign of your network and network security architectures.” Enterprises are told to “Use cost-cutting initiatives in 2020 from MPLS offload to fund branch office and workforce transformation via the adoption of SASE.”1

Cato Delivers True SASE Not SASE Hype

Cato converges security and networking into a global, cloud-native platform that interconnects all edges — sites, users, applications, and cloud resources. At the core of the Cato Cloud is a global private backbone spanning 58 PoPs that extends the full range of Cato’s networking and security capabilities to every location and user worldwide.

As the SASE market matures, the importance of a cloud-native architecture is becoming ever more critical. As we noted earlier, Gartner writes, “True SASE services are cloud-native — dynamically scalable, globally accessible, typically microservices-based and multitenant.”2 In our opinion, this SASE definition breaks away from the appliance-centric, and service chained model of legacy architectures.

Today, Cato has more than 600 SASE customers worldwide, connecting thousands of locations, and nearly 200,000 mobile users. Cato has been delivering its SASE architecture since 2017 to enterprises of all sizes.

To learn more, read

Visit our blog to learn more about SASE from these two recent Gartner Hype Cycle reports.

To read the press release about Cato’s recognition within these two recent Hype Cycle reports visit here.

To see the complete SASE text from the Hype Cycle, download The Gartner Hype Cycle for Network Security 2020.

To read the press release about Cato’s recognition within the Hype Cycle, visit

To learn more about Cato’s SASE offering, visit

1 Gartner, “Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking, 2020” Andrew Lerner, Danellie Young, July 8, 2020.

2 Gartner, “Hype Cycle for Network Security, 2020” Pete Shoard, June 30, 2020.

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Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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