Cloudflare acquires ‘modern’ CASB, aims to become most-deployed SASE

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According to co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince, CloudFlare has added a key missing part to its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) offer, along with startup editing, which brings easy-to-implement capabilities to secure web-based applications.

The startup, Vectrix, serves as the “modern” version of Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Prince said in an interview with VentureBeat. The startup has developed technology that provides enhanced visibility and control for the rest of the time in software-a-service (SaaS) applications જે which CloudFlare is now adding to its SASE offer, the CloudFlare One platform.

“And I think, if you look a year from now, this will be the most widely deployed CASB platform in the world,” Prince said, adding that the company is able to bring capabilities into its broad customer base. San Francisco-based Cloudflare had 132,390 paying customers as of the end of September.

The terms of the acquisition, which are being announced today, were not disclosed. Vectrix was founded in 2020 and participated in the Y Combinator Summer 2020 group. The San Francisco startup raised 2.2 million and brought all seven of its employees to CloudFlare, the company said.

The future of the network

Cloudflare One represents the direction that the company – known for its global network that enables strong security and performance for web properties – is the most focused right now. The SASE platform offers a zero-trust architecture and a “network-a-service” approach that securely connects users to enterprise resources, the company says, while also taking advantage of Cloudflare’s well-known security capabilities such as Distributed Denial (DDoS) mitigation. Is.

Cloudflare One debuted in October 2020, and the company called it the “future of the corporate network.” Customers using the platform include Canvas, Delivery Hero and Fortune 500 Pharmaceuticals, the company said.

Key capabilities Vectrix will bring to the platform include security issues such as incorrect configuration and the ability to scan third-party tools to detect unauthorized user access, improper file sharing and shadow IT usage.

BetterCloud reports that the average business now uses about 110 SaaS applications, a sevenfold increase from 2017. At the same time, the use of SaaS apps in business remains challenging to secure due to issues such as lack of visibility, the report found.

SASE aims to offer a more dynamic and decentralized security architecture than existing network security architectures, as it is responsible for the growing number of users, devices, applications and data located outside the enterprise perimeter. SASE’s “anywhere, anytime” approach to enabling secure remote access typically includes capabilities such as secure web gateways, CASB, next generation firewalls; And zero-trust network access.

Along with Cloudflare, the major vendors in the SASE market are Cisco, VMware, Zscaler, Cato Networks, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Perimeter 81, Versa Networks, Netskope and Aryaka.

A simple approach

Prince says he’s excited about the prospects of CloudFlare’s new offer because, unlike other CASBs, Vectrix offers a dramatically easier deployment.

CASB has become a “four-letter word” because of its reputation as “extremely difficult to implement.” CloudFlare surveyed the CASB market extensively as it examined whether to partner with vendors, acquire vendors or develop capabilities internally to bring CASB functionality to its SASE platform, he said.

“One place where we really lost visibility is when the data in the app was really at rest,” Prince said. “We can see the data as it flows through the network. We can control who has access to those applications. But often, the applications themselves – Salesforce, or Workday, or whatever you’re running – store that information. Can be sensitive. And you don’t have to have a clear picture of what you have stored and who has access to it. “

Conversations with the enterprise, however, indicate that many enterprises are still in the process of implementing CASB capabilities due to the difficulties involved, he said. And those who have already implemented CASB told CloudFlare that the technology “doesn’t work so well,” Prince said.

As with other CASB vendors, implementation is “a process and it’s a litmus test-and if you don’t get it right, they don’t offer much value,” he said. “We weren’t really happy with any of the vendors out there.”

Vectrix, on the other hand, actually “fulfills CASB’s promise,” Prince said.

“What really shocked us was how their philosophy of going after this space was similar to that of Cloudflare, when we initially followed the network security space – the ease of use being the killer feature,” he said.

Prince said the Vectrix team “really understands that none of this matters unless you people really put it into practice.” Startups have developed a system that is “extremely powerful, very easy to use. And when we saw it, we said, this is better than anything we can make ourselves, “he said.

‘Modern Infrastructure’

Taking advantage of the Vectrix API and “the modern infrastructure stack we have today” was able to develop a simple platform to some extent to implement, said Corey Mahan.

And CEO of Vectrix and now production director of the Cloudflare One team. In contrast, many large CASB vendors did not have this option when they first made their products, Great said.

Capabilities, he said, provide customers with “almost immediate time to value.”

“We provide insights to users as long as most people have signed the agreement. [proof of concepts]”We’ve really taken the trouble to integrate and setup, and make it very seamless and compatible across all apps જેથી so anyone can get up and run very quickly,” said Mahane.

Vectrix is ​​the eighth acquisition for Cloudflare since its inception in 2009 and follows the company’s acquisition of website performance enhancement startup Zaraz in December.

By bringing Vectrix technology to CloudFlare One, consumers will be able to improve their security and reduce the need for other vendors in addition to gaining insights into their environment, Prince said.

“This means that increasingly, our customers can integrate vendors and use Cloudflare for all their network and other security needs,” he said.

Ultimately, “we believe we’ve got the best user experience of any SASE out there,” Prince said. “Other SASE applications slow down IT teams, are painful to implement, and really frustrate and frustrate end users. But from the beginning, one of our main value proposals was performance. And we take it very seriously. “

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