Cato Networks raises €172 million, strengthens SASE service

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Cato Networks announces the completion of a €172 million investment round. The funding serves as a foundation for the further development of Cato Networks’ sales and technology, promising a boost to the company’s SASE Cloud offering.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services are at the core of Cato Networks, founded in 2015. Gartner first used the term to describe an emerging networking model that serves as a more secure alternative to the Software-Defined Wide Access Network (SD-WAN).

What is SASE?

SASE and (SD)-WAN pursue the same result: a safe, efficient connection of applications, data and users. The steps that are taken to achieve this result differ.

WAN involves connections from a secure PoP (e.g., company headquarters) to individual locations (e.g., regional offices). Data moves via private lines, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), VPNs and telephone masts. A variety of hardware is required. SD-WAN, a spiritual successor to WAN, replaces some of that hardware with software applications.

SASE radicalizes things, prompting Gartner to assign the technology the rare ‘transformational’ label in 2019. SASE connects all company networks and endpoints to a single cloud platform that routes data to the appropriate network paths and immediately applies necessary security measures. Access to this cloud platform is provided as a service.

One of the most significant differences between SD-WAN and SASE is also SASE’s biggest advantage: network security is ensured and managed from a single cloud platform. A drastic change from SD-WAN network security, which is facilitated by different vendors, devices and applications in various locations within the network.

Cato’s future

Cato Networks, the SASE service provider that announced €172 million in funding, was one of the first to commercialize the model successfully. It arranges more than 65 global PoPs to connect global networks and devices to its cloud platform.

“We are at the forefront of SASE transformation”, says Shlomo Kramer. The CEO and co-founder personally contributed an amount to the recent investment round. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greylock, Aspect Ventures, Coatue, and Singtel Innov8 joined in as well. Furthermore, Cato Networks was valued at €2.15 billion. A promising future lies ahead.