Japanese service provider KDDI Corp. will begin selling Cato Networks’ secure access service edge (SASE) to enterprise customers in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. The company said that Cato’s SASE will enable it to offer enterprise customers secure access without having to integrate and manage multiple third-party appliances and virtual network functions (VNFs).

“This is a big win for Cato and a validation of their solution,” said Roy Chua, founder and principal at AvidThink, an independent research and advisory service. Chua added that Cato Networks has experienced a lot of growth during the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Companies realized that they could do a cloud-centric version of SASE because it is easier,” Chua said, noting that Cato’s SASE is fully converged and cloud-based, making it easier for companies to deploy quickly.

According to Anthony D’Angelo, vice president of channels for Cato Networks, KDDI will able to expand its global reach and address the growing need for work-from-home solutions, much of which has been prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid has reminded all customers that they have to have flexible networks and have to be able to adapt easily and quickly to everything,” he said.

Another big driver of the move to SASE, D’Angelo said, is the need for security. “Service providers are looking for a way to reduce the threat vector away from appliances that are pervasive everywhere and at every location,” he said. “Cato’s SASE gives our partners the ability to reduce the appliance sprawl and make their networks more effective. It also gives them the flexibility that they need.”

Related: Cato Networks CMO Yovel on what is and what isn’t SASE

Cato views software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) as a feature within the SASE framework. This is in contrast to some companies that view SASE as a feature of SD-WAN. “I look at SD-WAN as a feature of SASE,” said D’Angelo. “It’s an approach and architecture and a complete solution.”

Cato’s SASE will provide service providers like KDDI with a global private network of more than 65 points of presence, which means they can quickly go to market with an offering that provides a fully managed suite of enterprise-grade security capabilities and will also provide secure remote access. Cato’s platform also provides cloud access to Azure, AWS and other cloud data centers without needing additional software or hardware.


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