Q&A with Cato: How does SASE empower business transformation?

April 29, 2022 Mike Frane 4 min
Mike Frane, VP of product management, Windstream Enterprise sat down with Yishay Yovel, CMO at Cato Networks to explore how SASE can fuel business transformation and why picking the right SASE partner is more important than ever.

Last month, Windstream Enterprise announced North America’s first comprehensive managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution with Cato Networks. We sat down with Yishay Yovel, CMO at Cato Networks, to share more information about this partnership and explain how a unified SASE framework can enable your business to adapt to constantly shifting users, applications and work environments while keeping all application and security policies synchronized with these changing endpoints—all from a single pane of glass.

Ready to have all of your SASE-est questions answered? Let’s dive in.

Mike Frane: Thanks for taking the time, Yishay. To start, can you tell us a bit about Cato SASE?

Yishay Yovel: Sure, Cato SASE Cloud is the first converged cloud-native SASE platform. Cato services are delivered from more than 70 points of presence (PoP) worldwide and are all interconnected by our self-healing, optimized global private backbone. 

Our founders, Shlomo Kramer and Gur Shatz, began developing Cato SASE Cloud four years before SASE was even coined. Since then, we’ve been perfecting the 100% cloud-native SASE framework with all of its foundational components. These components include Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN), Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). Now, we have partnered with Windstream Enterprise to offer this fully robust SASE solution so clients can seamlessly integrate their connectivity and security with their communications and collaboration—backed by industry-leading guarantees and unrivaled support, all from a single pane of glass. 

What makes this fully converged solution so powerful is its simplicity. Before SASE, companies had different point solutions for different problems—branch routers, firewall appliances, WAN optimization appliances, remote access servers, MPLS networks, the list goes on. It’s this diversity that made IT so complex, so challenging. With SASE, enterprises gain one global platform that connects and secures the complete enterprise.

Mike Frane: You mentioned something important about replacing legacy network services. Which technologies are being made obsolete by SASE?

Yishay Yovel: For many reasons (e.g., hybrid work environments and increasing cybersecurity threats), enterprises have been asked to evolve their networking and security solutions to enhance business continuity and overall security. This requires businesses to upgrade technology that is no longer providing the resiliency and agility needed to meet current needs.

Legacy network technologies are rigid and static, and security is heavily fragmented across multiple domains. A few examples of outdated technologies are virtual private networking (VPN) appliances, branch office firewall appliances, and WAN optimization appliances. Current networking and security solutions like VPN remote access and MPLS are incompatible with cloud-centric and mobile-first digital businesses. Legacy networking and security solutions end up slowing down the business instead of enabling innovation and agility.

A SASE architecture has been identified by Gartner as the next transformation of enterprise networking and security to eliminate these pain points. Today’s businesses operate faster than ever before, and they operate from everywhere and anywhere with remote offices and mobile users. Modern infrastructure is essential to addressing modern business challenges. SASE ushers in this new era.

Mike Frane: How do you see SASE transforming business? What does SASE promise that other technologies cannot?

Yishay Yovel: The essence of SASE is about converging networking and security in a way that improves network performance, simplifies operational complexity and enhances security posture for an organization. These are the true challenges of the enterprise. It’s less about new technology and far more about how we deliver existing technologies in a much smarter and better way.

For example, so many companies have users working from home, right? Well, how are CIOs and CSOs enabling those users to work efficiently and securely? Many companies simply lack the resources to proactively hunt for threats on their network while maintaining the IPS, updating firewalls, ensuring users are protected, etc. With SASE, that’s made much, much easier and accessible to all. And through this framework, we’re able to detect the symptoms of malware to inform and improve our enterprise security posture. So not only does SASE offer better security, but it does so with more features, functionality and enhanced visibility. 

Mike Frane: Migrating to a SASE solution is a big decision for any organization. What’s so important about choosing the right SASE vendor? 

Yishay Yovel: Because SASE has become such a hot buzzword, plenty of vendors have slapped the term onto their current offerings without truly providing the upside of a fully integrated platform. As a result, enterprises are now faced with the challenge of sorting through the hype to identify which vendors can truly meet the requirements of the modern digital business.

That’s what makes choosing the right SASE provider so important. Fortunately, customers can rest assured that the combination of Windstream Enterprise’s market-leading service portfolio and delivery capabilities with Cato’s proven and mature SASE platform is a failproof way to accelerate our joint customers’ digital transformation journey. Not only do our customers gain cutting-edge networking and security technology from Cato, but they also receive unrivaled service and support from Windstream Enterprise—all from a single pane of glass. 

Mike: What does your partnership with Windstream Enterprise mean to Cato?

Yishay Yovel: We are very excited about our partnership with Windstream Enterprise. Together, we offer a proven and mature SASE platform to enterprises of all sizes. Given Windstream Enterprise is a leading managed service provider delivering network, security and collaboration services across North America, our joint customers can integrate other enterprise-grade products seamlessly across their modern organization. 

Unlike SASE solutions composed from point products, Cato’s converged platform enables Windstream Enterprise to get to market faster with a feature-rich SASE solution and meet unprecedented customer demand. Through this partnership, Cato and Windstream are ready to usher customers into a new era where advanced managed services meet a cloud-native software platform to create a customer experience and deliver customer value like never before. What’s not to love?

Interested in learning more about Windstream Enterprise SASE with Cato Networks?

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Key Takeaway
Customers now have an all-encompassing SASE solution with industry-leading technology from Cato Networks and unrivaled service and support from Windstream Enterprise.

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