SonicWall buys up SSE startup to accelerate SASE offerings

SonicWall has acquired Banyan Security, a secure service edge (SSE) vendor, in a bid to round out the secure access service edge (SASE) offerings on its cloud security platform with fresh zero trust security components,.

The acquisition will help small businesses looking to replace legacy architectures with security service edge (SSE) solutions, particularly zero trust network access (ZTNA), the company said in a news release.

“With the rise of cloud computing and SASE, the industry is shifting its focus to more comprehensive and flexible approaches that include SSE and ZTNA as a necessity,” said Bob Vankirk, president and chief executive officer of Sonicwall, in the release. “Together, SonicWall and Banyan Security will provide cloud-based secure access service edge (SASE) solutions that empower partners to deliver a security architecture for any stage of their customers’ evolving cloud journey.”

The zero-trust framework is designed to secure an organization’s edges in hybrid work environments. The framework employs a principle of “never trust, always verify” as against the legacy perimeter-based security approach which assumes users are trustable once they are inside the network.

Back in 2020 SonicWall partnered with Perimeter 81 on a ZTNA offering, Cloud Edge Secure Access, which operates a least-privilege security model to prevent unauthorized users from accessing and moving through the network and gives trusted users only access to what they need. However, Perimeter 81’s $490 million acquisition last August by Check Point Software Technologies, a competitor to SonicWall, may have pushed the company to search for a solution more under its control.

Device-centric ZTNA

The acquisition of Banyan will give SonicWall in a device-centric ZTNA that will factor in the device ID, device security posture and resource sensitivity before giving limited access to resources in accordance with an additional least-privilege layering.

Banyan existing Cloud Command Center, which vets access requests, can also be combined with SonicWall’s recently acquired managed detection and response services, Solutions Granted Inc. (SGI).

Banyan will additionally bring in its SSE expertise, including cloud security components such as Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), which, when combined with SonicWall’s secure SD-WAN, can form a full-blown modern SASE offering.

“This strategic move allows customers to seamlessly extend their on-premises security capabilities to encompass cloud and hybrid environments, remote employees, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios,” said Chandrodaya Prasad, executive vice president of product management at SonicWall. “The integration of these new services enhances and fortifies SonicWall’s platform suite, ensuring it is in lockstep with the principles of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) frameworks and provides robust protection for endpoints.” The deal, concluded on Wednesday for an undisclosed amount, is the latest in a line of recent SASE acquisitions. In addition to Check Point’s acquisition of Perimeter, IBM purchased application security startup Polar Security in May 2023, and HPE bought Axis Security to deliver a unified SASE offering.

Mergers and Acquisitions, Security, Zero Trust

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