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Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge Recognizes Top 10 Vendors

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Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge

Gartner has recently unveiled its Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) 2023. The quadrant identifies leading vendors that are driving success and making a mark in the industry by consistently delivering quality-packed secure services. Through this report, companies can find appropriate vendors for securing access to the web, cloud services, and private applications. 

According to Gartner “SSE secures access to the web, cloud services and private applications regardless of the location of the user or the device they are using or where that application is hosted. It also provides enhanced security, and visibility for the software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment accessed by the end users.” 

Gartner further points out some of the mandatory (and some optional) capabilities a cloud-based SSE platform should possess, like protection from malware, URL filtering, protection of in-use SaaS applications, Granular access, tombstoning and on-the-fly encryption, cloud security posture management, Remote browser isolation, integration with SIEM, XDR and SD-WAN, SSL and TLS decryption and encryption and more. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge debut report was published in the year 2022. On April 10th, 2023, Gartner released its latest report for the same category. The Gartner Magic Quadrant ranking is a good indicator of the performance of key players in the industry. For example, while Palo Alto Networks appeared in the Challenger Quadrant in the year 2022, in 2023 it moved to the Leader Quadrant and Cloudflare entered the Quadrant as a Niche player. 

As the name suggests, Gartner Magic Quadrant divides vendors into 4 categories- the Leaders (top right quadrant), the Challengers (top left quadrant), the Visionaries (bottom right quadrant) and the Niche Players (bottom left quadrant) 

Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE

Below is the list of vendors that have made it to The Gartner Magic Quadrant of Security Service Edge 2023, along with their strengths and areas of improvement. 

The Leaders

1. Netskope  

Netskope has made it to the leader quadrant two years in a row. The company is based out of Santa Clara, California and caters to mid-sized businesses as well as large enterprises across multiple industries. The company is a leader in the SASE market. Its primary offerings include Next Gen Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Netskope Private Access (NPA), all available as a part of the Netskope intelligent SASE platform. The company’s recent enhancements allow it to offer advanced data security capabilities and strong Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) functionality. 

Netskope’s acquisition of Infiot and WootCloud in 2022 increased its visibility in the Internet of Things (IoT) market as well as brought the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology into the platform.  

Pros 

The company is well funded with strong revenue and growth compared to its competition and is frequently shortlisted in the SSE sector by customers. The company also offers quality data security capabilities, including lightweight on-premise capability and machine learning (ML) to identify image types and texts. It also offers a robust ZTNA capability with Data Loss Protection (DLP) inspection and a simplified Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) and packaging model. 

Cons  

Netskope is often considered one of the most expensive options in the SSE field and does not offer advanced Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) as a part of its platform. Its administration console is made complicated by splitting it into two management systems, even though it has one login. While the company has purchased an SD-WAN vendor with many capabilities, Netskope provides only a few of those capabilities and is yet to integrate the rest into its platform. 

2. Zscaler 

Zscaler has been included in the Leaders’ quadrant for the 2023 edition of The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge. With headquarters in San Jose, California, this company is one of the pioneers in the field of SWG. The company caters to businesses that range from mid-sized to large enterprises from a wide range of industries.  

The company provides several discreet products like Zscaler Internet Access, Zscaler Private Access, and Zscaler Digital Experience. The company has improved its data security offering by providing automated data classification and enhanced email DLP.  

Zscaler’s acquisition of Priatta Networks and ShiftRight has enhanced its IoT discovery and security workflow automation respectively. The company also partnered with Siemens allowing it to integrate its Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) into Siemens’ SCALANCE OT (operational technology) devices.  

Pros 

Zscaler has commendable revenue growth in the market. The company is also very popular among companies looking for SSE vendors due to its appealing marketing strategies. Zscaler’s comprehensive network, a strong partner ecosystem, and integrations of tools like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and SD-WAN, make it a vendor worth working with.  

Cons 

Zscaler’s pricing as well as “perceived sales arrogance” according to Gartner, can act as a deterrent for customers to invest in them. The company’s lack of advanced features like ZTNA and CASB posture checks and the non-user-friendly interface of their admin console can impact their business negatively. 

3. Palo Alto Networks 

Based in Santa Clara, California, Palo Alto Networks has been labelled a Leader by Gartner in the 2023 Magic Quadrant in SSE and the company caters to businesses of all sizes and sectors. In 2022, the company was in the Challengers’ quadrant, and this move to the Leaders’ quadrant is due to its extensions in Prisma Access capabilities. 

The company’s offerings comprise SaaS security service and Prisma Access with the intention of providing advanced ZTNA technologies that keep its customer more secure than ever before.  

Pros 

Palo Alto Networks has invested a huge amount of resources in the development of its SSE platform which is also an indicator of its financial strength. The company’s “unified console for SSE”, AI and ML integrations, and enhanced ZTNA technology have helped it secure its place as a Leader in the Quadrant. 

Cons 

The company’s confusing and complicated licensing and the overlapping feature differences between the company’s Cloud Management Console and Panorama plug-in, hinders the possibility of them getting new clients. Its inability to provide native Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) integrated tools despite the company’s acquisitions of Crusoe Security acts as a deterrent for customers. 

The Challenger 

4. Cisco 

Based out of San Jose, California, Cisco is the Challenger in The Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE. The company delivers cybersecurity services to businesses all around the world, irrespective of size or sector. While Cisco is a one-stop shop for all things cybersecurity, its SSE product portfolio includes Cisco Umbrella, Cisco +Secure Connect and Duo.  

The company launched its single-vendor SASE platform Cisco+Secure Connect, integrating SSE features in Meraki SD-WAN in 2022. The company has also integrated its DEM to its DLP which is applicable across CASB and SWG channels.  

Pros 

Cisco has a good presence in the market in terms of visibility. The company has introduced agentless ZTNA which has advanced features like secure shell, remote desktop protocol and posture checks. Cisco also provides ThousandEyes with a comprehensive DEM offering as a separate product.  

Cons 

Even though the company has significantly bettered its SSE platform, it still relies on partially integrated discreet products. Its agent-based private access solution is not a ZTNA solution and has adaptive access controls that are not applicable to SaaS.   

The Visionaries 

5. Skyhigh Security 

In 2022, McAfee Enterprise was divided into Trellix (the endpoint business) and Skyhigh Security (the cloud business). In 2023, Skyhigh Security was labelled as a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE. Located in San Jose, California, Skyhigh Security caters to businesses of all sizes and industries. The company continues to integrate with Trellix and is responsible for the DLP development of both Skyhigh Security and Trellix.  

Pros 

The company offers a strong set of SSE controls and further benefits from Trellix’s comprehensive security suite. Skyhigh Security’s strong security posture management for SaaS applications and enhanced capabilities in data security adds to its advantage.  

Cons 

While the company provides excellent customer services to companies in North America and Europe, the same cannot be said about its services in the other parts of the globe, as per Gartner. The split of McAfee has impacted the company sales and resulted in a weaker presence in the market. 

6. Lookout 

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Lookout has been named a Visionary in The Gartner Magic Quadrant in SSE. The company primarily caters to mid-sized and large businesses across various industry types. However, its presence is very limited outside of North America and EMEA.  

Lookout provides services like SWG, CASB, ZTNA as well as mobile endpoint security services to its customers. The company has also integrated RBI into its services along with Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) capabilities into its platform. The firm is also using a password management system i.e. SaferPass to support its work-from-home workforce.  

Pros 

The company provides services with robust data security capabilities with multiple advanced features, according to Gartner. Lookout’s unified and feature-packed product is compatible with a wide range of cloud or data services and devices.  

Cons 

According to Gartner, the company does not have good visibility in the market compared to the other SSE Vendors. The company also provides more mobile-focused services, which further negatively impacts its market presence.   

7. Forcepoint 

Based out of Austin, Texas, Forcepoint has been placed in the Visionary quadrant of The Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE. The company caters to businesses of varying sizes and industries. Since its acquisition of Bitglass, Forcepoint delivers its SSE services through its all-in-one SSE platform Forcepoint ONE. The platform provides network firewall, and enterprise DLP and is integrated with Zero Trust Content Disarm and Reconstruction and RBI technologies.  

Pros 

Forcepoint provides customizable and robust data security control and has a strong presence in the market. The company uses its SmartEdge agent to decrypt and encrypt content which lowers latency on devices and increases visibility to web traffic.  

Cons 

Forcepoint is yet to integrate all its functionalities into the Forcepoint ONE platform and its Forcepoint ONE SmartEdge agent is only compatible with Windows and macOS. According to Gartner, Forcepoint’s and Bitglass’ poor customer service discourages their customers to return to them. 

The Niche players 

8. Broadcom

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Broadcom is a niche player in the Gartner magic quadrant for SSE. The company has a substantial presence in the market due to its appliance-based SWG, however, it only caters to large enterprises from multiple sectors. 

Since its acquisition of Symantec Network in 2019, Broadcom intends to launch its own firewall as a service offering, along with an agent for its SSE services and enterprise DLP. 

Pros 

The company is financially stable and provides SSE services that cover various technologies like Regex, custom regex, EDM and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Broadcom’s Admin console is user-friendly and available in multiple languages. 

Cons 

Broadcom’s focus on large enterprises and its scant accreditation with common bodies negatively impacts its appeal to customers. The company has yet to create a unified platform that tightly integrates all the functionalities it has to offer.  

9. iboss 

iboss is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and is a Niche Player in The Gartner Magic Quadrant. The company primarily caters to businesses in the financial sector located in North America and has very little representation in EMEA and APAC.  

The company has added several features to its SSE platform like new DLP capabilities, extended the risk scoring and integration with CrowdStrike and Sentinel One as well as partnered with Verizon. The company has also received FedRAMP Moderate Certificate and is now focusing on NIST 800-207. 

Pros 

iboss provides pocket-friendly SSE services compared to most other vendors. Despite its low price, the services provided are feature-packed including FWaaS and ZTNA. The company provides SLA latency of 100 milliseconds and has a commendable customer support team. 

Cons 

The company’s SaaS support leaves much to be desired with only a scattering of SaaS apps integrated with its CASB product. The company is also heavily focused on businesses located in North America, which limits its rate of growth in the market.  

10. Cloudflare 

With its headquarters located in San Francisco, California, Cloudflare is a Niche Player in The Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE. The company was included in the quadrant post its acquisition of CASB vendor- Vectrix. The company has been focused on enhancing its SASE platform Cloudflare One by providing clientless web isolation and offering capabilities that allow Zero Trust and network services.  

Pros 

Cloudflare is well-versed in cybersecurity and has a strong presence in the global market. The company offers pocket-friendly options including a freemium for up to 50 users. Cloudflare has the largest number of cloud points of presence, spread globally enabling non-existent latency issues. The company also provides a 100% SLA in its paid Cloudflare Zero Trust. 

Cons 

Cloudflare has recently entered the SSE field and needs to upgrade its ZTNA to incorporate SWG and CASB functionality. The company also needs to integrate more security features in its platform to cater to the data security needs of enterprises as well.  

Honorable Mentions

Gartner also enlisted 5 companies that were strong contenders for The Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE but could not make the cut due to reasons like lack of requisite functionalities or scale as of 1st September 2022. These companies are 

Wrapping Up 

Gartner is a research and consulting company that caters to IT companies all over the globe. Gartner’s rankings provide insight into market trends and the key player of the industry and being present in the ranking is considered a matter of great esteem.  

Source: Gartner Magic Quadrant for SSE report was acquired from Zscaler.

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