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Cato SD-WAN & SASE Netify Review

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Cato's SASE has been named a Challenger within the Gartner Magic Quadrant and named a leader by Forrester. Cloud integrates SD-WAN features with SASE components. The Cato capability offers SD-WAN and SASE solutions via Cato Sockets and Cato Cloud. Cato Sockets (SD-WAN devices) integrate datacenter into Cato Cloud, which is a cloud-native platform designed to merge network security with global connectivity. Cato are typically associated with mid-market, global companies that require co-managed SD-WAN and SASE. Cato has shown a commitment to evolving their services across advanced security and AI-driven network management enhancements.

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Summary

Cato Networks SD WAN and SASE Solution: Comparisons, Review, Benefits, Use Cases, Pros & Cons

The initial step of setting up a Cato branch office network involved creating a new home site which involved selection of the site type as a branch office and the connection type (Cato Socket appliance), bandwidth and the local branch office range.

Below: Cato network topology showing a Socket connection with easy to setup downstream and upstream bandwidth.

Cato Netorks SD-WAN Setup

Following the site creation, the VPN user setup required entry of user details and a prompt email for VPN activation to ensure secure cloud remote access to the network. The final part of initial SD-WAN setup process involved installing the VPN client on my Mac. The download and installation process was simple (as expected), and connecting to the Cato cloud was a matter of a few clicks. The initial setup process is based around Zero-touch and fits well with organisations with limited technical expertise. Connecting the appliance to our Broadband Internet connection and integrating the Cato Socket into the Netify test network was straightforward.

Configuration of SASE & SSE security elements in Cato Networks began with enabling their next-generation WAN firewall. Navigating to the security services section and activating this feature was a simple process because Cato offers simple to deploy standard policies which fit the needs of most use case scenarios. Enabling the internet firewall enabled instant protection against external threats with cloud based threat updates.

We moved on to activate the next-generation anti-malware protection which is designed to safeguard the network against zero-day threats with cloud updates. After setup of anti-malware, we easily implemented Cato's Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to add an additional layer of security. The integration of IPS into the overall security framework highlights the system's comprehensive approach to network security. Adding Cato Data Loss Prevention was also straight forward by implementing their standardised policies.

From an efficiency standpoint, the entire setup, including site creation, VPN configuration, and activation of security services, was completed in minutes. This ease of use offers a significant advantage for businesses looking to rapidly deploy networks with standardised policies.

Below: Cato remote VPN access showing connected status.

Cato Netorks VPN Setup

The simplicity of the user interface and the overall process is one of Cato's major value points - making complex configurations accessible even to those with limited technical expertise. This user-centric design is a testament to Cato Networks' understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in managing network infrastructures across SD-WAN, SASE and SSE.

In 2017, Cato Networks' SD-WAN was recognised for their cloud-native architecture and the potential of their upcoming SASE features. At this point, users were buying Cato Networks' SD-WAN for their fully automated configuration.

By 2018, Cato Networks was offering managed SD-WAN connections with NGFW (Next-Generation Firewall), URL Filtering, and faster peering to AWS/MS/Google

In 2021, Cato released SSL inspection in the cloud, with continuous addition of new features each quarter.

Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of Cato Networks SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity?

List of the pros and cons associated with Cato Networks SD WAN and SASE security.

Pros

  • Comprehensive SASE Implementation: Cato Networks aligns closely with Gartner's SASE vision by delivering cloud based security and SD-WAN.
  • Global Private Backbone: Operates a private global backbone for low-latency connections.
  • Ease of Deployment and Management: Quick site deployment and simplified IT operations through a single management interface.
  • Optimized Global Connectivity: Provides optimised connectivity across their cloud-native services.
  • Secure Branch Internet Access: Centralised management of security and networking for all locations via the Cato cloud.

Cons

  • Relative Youth and Maturity: As a younger company, Cato Networks lacks some advanced features of larger competitors.
  • Lack of Network Sandboxing: Does not include network sandboxing for detecting zero-day threats. Read more about this here.
  • Requirement for Legacy Infrastructure Changes: Full benefits may require replacing current point services.
  • Holistic Approach and Convergence: Combines SD-WAN, security, and a private backbone, which may be too much of a shift for multi-vendor requirements.
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Comparison

Comparison: Cato Networks vs Aryaka SD WAN and SASE security:

Consider the points below to compare Cato Networks vs Aryaka SD WAN and SASE security.

Cato Networks

  • Private Global Backbone 
  • Focus on SASE security services
  • Offer site-to-site VPNs for regional requirements
  • Offer transport agnostic solutions
  • Allow customers to use their own underlay if required
  • Traffic engineering between core PoP sites across their backbone helps improve latency and network consistency

Aryaka

  • Layer-2 Global Private Backbone
  • Latecomer to SASE market with recent acquisition of Secucloud
  • Offers defined regional and local connectivity
  • Able to procure DIA underlay circuits on behalf of the client
  • Global network is only compatible with Aryaka products
  • Known for SD WAN managed services (inc.underlay), but only offer fully managed services although co-management is available through a self serve  management interface

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Deployments

Deployment Region

North America39%
Asia/Pacific29%
Europe, Middle East and Africa21%
Latin America11%
Proposition Focus

Proposition Focus

Features4
SASE/Security5
Cloud3
SD WAN4
Industries

Industry Coverage

Finance13%
Healthcare7%
Manufacturing40%
Other40%
Focus

Other Focus

Remote users8
Simplicity8
Complex requirements4
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Geographic

Geographic Focus

EMEA30
APAC35
Americas35

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