Cato improves SASE management app

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Cato recently announced the launch of its restructured backend event architecture. The Cato Management Application announcement touts 103 improvements and new features, including becoming what the company says is the first SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) platform to independently assess and verify regulatory compliance and security capabilities of cloud applications. Other additions include a Cloud Application catalog, a Threats dashboard, and an Application Analytics dashboard.

According to Cato, a goal in undertaking its top-down overhaul was to improve query analytics for site metrics in order to make the process more efficient and the interface more responsive. There’s also a new events pipeline designed to increase the event retrieval volume while allowing NetOps and NetSecOps to be more specific and export only the necessary events.

Cato has hit the ground running, as this restructure and expansion of its management application comes on the heels of raising tens of millions of dollars less than six months ago. Gartner recently posted its annual predictions piece forecasting that by 2025, 40% of enterprises will adopt software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and cloud-delivered secure web gateway (SWG) from the same vendor, up from less than 5% in 2021.

“Most vendors are asking you to build your own road or forcing you to have separate roads for different vehicles. Enterprise is then required to piece together different products that might not work all that well together. Or you could have what Cato delivers in a single cloud service,” said Etay Maor, senior director of security strategy at Cato Networks, who agrees with the Gartner prediction.

ML algorithms for compliance verification

Cato also claims to have the first independent verification of application compliance using machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are operating against Cato’s data lake of flow metadata to analyze the features of applications on the network. Currently, Cato regulatory compliance verification includes HIPAA, PCI, and SOC 1-3. Security feature verification includes MFA, encryption of data at rest, and SSO. Compliance is a costly and complicated area and it will be interesting to see if other platforms add similar features.

Cato’s management application restructure has added a cloud application catalog with 5,000 of the most common enterprise applications, and the company says that thousands more are being added to the catalog every month. For each application, the catalog includes a description of the target app, automatically generated by a proprietary data mining service and an independently verified risk score.

There is also a new Threats Dashboard designed to summarize the insights drawn from Cato’s Managed IPS, FWaaS, SWG, and Anti-Malware services. Through a single dashboard, security teams should be able to see the top threats across the enterprise. A drill-down timeline allows security teams to gather more insight so users can hopefully identify the impacted individuals and endpoints.

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