Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 23 August 2018 21:10

Netskope sets sights on being next iconic security company


Cloud access security broker provider Netskope has raised US$231.4 million in funding, but says its goals are not to be acquired but to be a key long-term cyber-security player.

“The founders are invested,” said Bob Gilbert, vice-president of Product Marketing, Netskope. “We want to be that cyber-security company who 10 to 20 years from now the industry looks at and sees as one of the key cyber-security players in the marketplace. The last investment round provides the rocket fuel to get there, and we’re now experiencing explosive growth and have a bright future.”

This bright future includes consecutive revenue increases each year and the release of Netskope for Web, in line with the roadmap put forth last year.

This Netskope for Web completes the Netskope single-platform vision, Gilbert explains. “We have built a security platform and it’s not just a cloud security platform. It is built in the cloud, but it’s also built to address security needs for SaaS, IaaS and Web. We started out focusing on SaaS, extending to environments like social media, then added IaaS to protect workloads in AWS and Azure and Google Cloud, and our most recent addition is Web security.”

“What's unique about Netskope is we take a one-cloud approach – single platform, single interface, delivered from one point that secures all three of those,” Gilbert said.

Of course, while the platform may now reach end-to-end, Netskope intends to continue strengthening its offerings, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of Sift Security in the last month.

“We already had a strong IaaS offering with real-time controls, data protection of sensitive data, and cloud workloads and S3 buckets and Azure blob storage, but what Sift provides us is breach detection and being able to identify anomalous behaviour taking place between East/West traffic from virtual machine to virtual machine within IaaS,” Gilbert says.

“We covered North/South in real-time and what we get with Sift is to provide breach detection with comprehensive coverage that gives us East/West in IaaS protecting workloads in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud.”

Netskope is well-positioned to protect government and enterprise in this changing “cloud first”, where applications are increasingly transitioning to IT-led cloud services like Office 365 or Google Apps, and business user-led adoption of cloud-based productivity applications.

In fact, Netskope’s research finds the average enterprise now has more than 1000 cloud services. Less than 5% are those sanctioned and led by the IT department.

In such a world, a traditional endpoint protection model that secures the company’s perimeter is no longer sufficient when the entire Internet is your perimeter. You need a different model to protect company data when your users could quite legitimately, and innocuously, download a presentation from Office 365 and upload it to a slide-sharing site like Prezi while sitting in a cafe, using free, public Wi-Fi. Or, a staff member uses a personal device to download sensitive data from a sanctioned service like Office 365 but re-uploads it into their personal Dropbox.

“While this cloud usage is really good for productivity and grows the business fast, there’s an inherent risk in it. You lose visibility and control. Legacy security tools are completely blind to these use cases,” Gilbert notes, providing a sobering example. “Search Google for QBR — quarterly business report — and Prezi,” he says, allowing you to easily view presentations that businesses have uploaded and quite likely unknowingly made publicly available.

While the “dark Web” has received its share of notoriety, it’s this “bright Web” that is arguably scarier, Gilbert says. “There’s a lot of sensitive data available publicly.”

“We’re seeing a common theme where enterprises are starting to replace their legacy applications and systems they traditionally hosted in their data centre, now using AWS and Azure, and services like Office 365 and Box. Enterprise adoption of the cloud continues to increase and security teams realise they need a different approach to their security vs. what they’ve invested in over the last five or ten or even 15 years.”

The key, Gilbert says, is “you have to have a platform that understands the language of today’s cloud, and can block risky activities and safely enable the applications to the business".

“That's where one of Netskope's core advantages and differentiators in this market is. We have really smart people solving very big problems not only for today but for the future.”

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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