Why Cradlepoint's acquisition of Ericom predicts the future of SASE in the enterprise

Head over to our on-demand library to view sessions from VB Transform 2023. Register Here

The roadblocks standing in the way of launching new digital-first revenue channels and the heavy lift of supporting virtual teams make CISOs and CIOs ask hard questions about why their existing network infrastructure is failing them. That moment of truth starts to drive secure access service edge (SASE) growth in every organization. 

That’s a strong epiphany for CISOs and CIOs, and in aggregate it’s the type of dynamic that creates new markets. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will adopt SASE to unify web, cloud and private app access. A further 65% will consolidate to one to two SASE vendors. The research firm also says the SASE market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $15 billion by 2025 with a 32% CAGR.

Gartner defines SASE as delivering “converged network and security-as-a-service capabilities, including SD-WAN, secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), next generation firewall (NGFW) and zero trust network access (ZTNA). SASE supports branch offices, remote workers, and on-premises secure access use cases.”

Steward Health CISO Esmond Kane advises: “Understand that — at its core — SASE is zero trust. We’re talking about identity, authentication, access control and privilege. Start there and then build out.” 


VB Transform 2023 On-Demand

Did you miss a session from VB Transform 2023? Register to access the on-demand library for all of our featured sessions.


Register Now

Why SASE is becoming a consolidation engine

SASE adoption is fueled by CISOs and CIOs partnering to consolidate tech stacks to improve visibility, increase efficacy of combined systems and reduce costs. CISOs tell VentureBeat that 2023 is the year of consolidating tech stacks, made more urgent by the need for greater visibility and control across every endpoint and threat surface. With 75% of enterprises pursuing vendor consolidation — up from 29% three years ago — SASE is seeing significant upside growth.

Many CISOs are adopting SASE to consolidate secure web browsing (SWB), CASB and virtual private network (VPN) vendors into a single platform. Other CISOs say improving security posture with more effective identity-based ZTNA is the goal. Every CISO VentureBeat interviews on SASE says supporting hybrid workforces with secure access from anywhere is now table stakes.

Filling gaps in SASE tech stacks creates new growth opportunities for network infrastructure leaders by enabling them to sell what CISOs want most: A solid consolidation roadmap. CISOs tell VentureBeat that SASE platforms must include real-time network activity monitoring, role-specific ZTNA access privileges and support for consolidating network and security services. ZTNA also delivers real-time, identity-level monitoring of endpoints, assets, databases and transaction requests, making it a perfect fit for SASE platforms. Furthermore, ZTNA security for distributed edge devices of all types continues to progress, especially for IoT-based devices.

SASE’s identity-centric architecture is proving to be a contributing factor to greater tech stack consolidation opportunities for CISOs and CISOs. Source: Gartner.

Will Townsend, VP and principal analyst of networking and security at Moor Insights & Strategy says that, “networking and security are rapidly merging within the enterprise, and the cloud is increasingly leveraged as the preferred SASE delivery mechanism. Cradlepoint’s acquisition of Ericom and its zero trust security capabilities should position the company well to capitalize, especially in organizations considering a 5G-centric deployment approach.”

Cradlepoint acquiring Ericom is prescient of where the SASE market is going and indicates how the framework will be adopted across global enterprises. VentureBeat recently hosted a conference call with CISOs and CIOs from financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and professional services — all industries that lead in SASE adoption today — to learn how the increasing pace of mergers and acquisitions in the SASE market is defining the future of this area.

CISOs and CIOs view the acquisition as strategic because it shows the potential to combine networking and security into a cloud service. CISOs also noted that a unified Cradlepoint and Ericom cloud solution could better secure hybrid work environments and virtual teams.

These are the key insights of the interviews.

Provides a trust foundation for SASE built on proven platforms

Cradlepoint’s strong SD-WAN and zero-trust capabilities provide secure optimized connectivity to cloud and enterprise applications. Together, Cradlepoint and Ericom form a SASE tool. Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN platform improves network and application performance and secures access to private applications. Ericom has proven cloud security and isolation capabilities for securing web and email use and access to public/SaaS applications. 

Helps enterprises accelerate their shift to ZTNA

Cradlepoint offers secure, identity-based ZTNA that has proven effective in securing organizations. As part of SASE, ZTNA verifies users and devices before granting access. Ericom’s cloud-delivered security and isolation solution compliments Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN and zero-trust capabilities. Tighter ZTNA, SD-WAN, routing, and 5G/LTE integration will benefit Cradlepoint-Ericom customers and define one of the key aspects of SASE’s future across the enterprise. 

“The combination of Cradlepoint’s expertise in WAN networking and Ericom’s innovative security service edge (SSE) and security solutions will create a powerful capability to meet the increasing demand for cloud-based secure network solutions,” Ericom CEO David Canellos told VentureBeat. 

Streamlines the process of getting core SASE capabilities up and running

The acquisition will simplify enterprise SASE deployment and SASE pillars of identity-based access, microsegmentation and encrypted inspection by integrating SD-WAN, wireless and zero trust in a robust cloud platform. Ericom improves zero trust by air-gapping web and application access, microsegmenting and securing workloads. Growing SASE adoption will allow Cradlepoint to consolidate networking, security, and access and shape air-gapped cloud SASE platforms.

Brings intelligence to the edge

Cradlepoint edge solutions bring compute and analytics to the network edge. This edge infrastructure gets SASE services closer to users, improving performance, threat response, dynamic access policies and fine-grained microsegmentation. Edge compute for routing, security and traffic analysis positions Cradlepoint and Ericom to deliver AI-enabled, edge-optimized, cloud-driven SASE. 

Signals a new era of 5G-powered SASE-as-a-Service

With their core technologies, the two companies provide comprehensive cloud-based SASE. Cradlepoint’s 5G SD-WAN and zero-trust and Ericom’s cloud security software enable subscription-based secure access. This acquisition represents the future of SASE “as-a-service.” by unifying key components into a simple platform. Cradlepoint and Ericom will lead the transition to flexible, cloud-native SASE, providing on-demand enterprise connectivity and security.

Core to Cradlepoint’s strategy providing a full-stack enterprise security service optimized for 5G for fixed-site, remote worker, in-vehicle and IoT use cases. 

An acquisition well-timed for a fast moving market

Cradlepoint’s acquisition of Ericom comes at a time when the SASE market is experiencing double-digit growth because it meets some of CISOs’ most challenging problems.

Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN and 5G strengths and Ericom’s proven isolation of air-gapping capabilities result in a robust SASE offering tailored for modern IT environments. The simplified SASE stack, powered by Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform, will assist customers in consolidating tools for efficiency while closing security gaps.

Cradlepoint is making a timely strategic move, with networking and security converging and SASE delivery shifting to the cloud. Acquiring Ericom positions the company to capitalize on an expanding market driven by the need to replace network infrastructure that can’t keep up with the current and future demands of cloud- and digital-first businesses.

Acquiring Ericom places Cradlepoint at the forefront of SASE innovation and growth as enterprises seek integrated solutions to secure new work models.

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Source link