Gartner’s recently released 2020 versions of the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) and the Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways (SWG) tell us a lot about where both markets are headed. Data and users increasingly reside and work in the cloud, the global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in unprecedented ways, and the march is on toward the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) future Gartner first predicted in its 2019 paper, “The Future of Network Security Is In the Cloud.” As the status quo of security inverts from the data center to the user, CASB and SWG increasingly will be the same conversation, not separate technology markets.
In other words, will there even need to be separate CASB and SWG magic quadrants in the future? At Netskope, we don’t think so.
Source: Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways (SWG), Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB)
There are four key transformations at play, including networking, security, applications, and data. Each has an impact on the required capabilities for CASB and SWG in the context of SASE architecture.
None of these four transformations favors a singular focus on CASB or SWG.
The market has generally viewed Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) for managed apps and cloud services using an API deployment working out of band to analyze data-at-rest. Associated cloud security solutions also include API-based cloud security posture management (CSPM) and cloud workload protection platforms (CWPP) for managed cloud services. This makes sense for managed apps and cloud services controlled by IT, however, business units and user-led adoption of Shadow IT are a runaway train that needs to be addressed, alongside personal instances (vs. company instances) of managed apps users also access. A SASE architecture requires inline data context, shifting the emphasis for CASB solutions going forward.
Putting a singular focus on Secure Web Gateway emphasizes web threats via an inline proxy solution with advanced threat defenses including pre-execution analysis, sandboxing, machine learning analysis, and remote browser isolation. Given the internet has been the leading source of threats, this makes sense. However, threats are shifting towards SaaS; APWG.org Phishing Trends Report notes the number one phishing target is SaaS/webmail for two years running. SaaS is also being used to attack SaaS, where the leading example is cloud phishing using fake login forms hosted in trusted cloud storage apps.
Even the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) highlights the focus on credentials and access compromise for incidents and breaches -- why break in when you can log in? A SASE architecture requires both cloud and web traffic in a single pass proxy architecture with associated defenses for data and threat protection.
Past security and networking leaders are facing new challenges for their existing solutions as the pandemic and increased remote working accelerate disruptive transformation. Consolidation, reduced complexity, and lower costs are benefits of change for the network and security transformations many vendors are quick to emphasize. However, application and data transformations are becoming more disruptive as they drive new use cases, seek to manage risks, and protect data and users. Solutions that address application and data transformations are best suited for the data context of a SASE architecture. In the very near future, the conversation will not be about who has the best CASB or the best SWG, or any other individual piece of a SASE architecture. To get to SASE, it’s time to focus on effective single-pass, integrated CASB and SWG solutions going forward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Clare is a senior product marketing manager at Netskope. His focus at Netskope centers on product strategy with marketing experience in web/cloud proxies, data and threat protection, behavior analytics, network traffic analysis, endpoint protection, endpoint detection and response, deception, and firewalls.