Even though the category is just a few years old, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has gained a lot of traction in the industry in a short time. In a reflection of how the cybersecurity business is developing, Gartner, the research organization whose researchers developed the term SASE in 2019, is now separating a sector from the category.

Gartner performed this separation last summer when it introduced the phrase “security service edge” (SSE) — a solution category focused on safeguarding access to cloud resources, private apps, and the web.

The magic quadrant lineup

On Friday, the research group revealed what the market has been expecting: the first Magic Quadrant analysis of the top SSE vendors.

Gartner listed 11 companies in its Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge, with three in the “leaders” quadrant – Zscaler, Netskope, and McAfee Enterprise.

Another six enterprises (Akamai, Cato Networks, Cloudflare, Menlo Security, Microsoft, and Proofpoint) were given “honorable mentions” in the new Gartner report. Still, they didn’t make it to the Magic Quadrant due to a lack of essential SSE functionality in August 2021.

Remote access could evolve away from firewalls

Because it accounts for many users, devices, applications, and data that are now placed outside the company perimeter, SASE is meant to provide a more flexible and decentralized security architecture that’s superior to traditional network security designs.

The split may be seen as an indication that customers may not always want or require firewalls as components of their remote access service. According to Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry, zero trust has the polar opposite design of a standard network firewall.

Palo Alto Networks was ranked the leader in network firewalls MQ, while Cisco was named a challenger in Network Firewalls MQ. Bitglass and Lookout were named visionaries with Broadcom, iboss, Forcepoint, and Versa ranked in the niche player category.