Interview mit Yishay Yovel, CMO bei Cato Networks
Wir erhielten die einmalige Chance, ein Interview mit Yishay Yovel, dem CMO von Cato Networks, durchzuführen. Reto Heutschi, CEO bei Inseya, sprach mit ihm über die Gründungsgeschichte und Visionen von Cato Networks, wie sich ihr SASE-Produkt von anderen Alternativen unterscheidet und wie Cato Networks mit Zero Trust zusammenpasst (Interview in Englisch).
Reto Heutschi: Hello everybody, my name is Reto Heutschi, I’m the CEO of Inseya in Switzerland, and we will talk about Secure Access Service Edge today. I’m very happy to introduce Yishay Yovel who will tell us, what role Cato Networks can play and why Cato Networks is a good choice. Now Yishay would you like to introduce yourself?
Yishay Yovel: Yes sure, thank you very much Reto for the opportunity to do this video together. My name is Yishay Yovel and I’m the Chief Marketing Officer of Cato Networks. I’ve been with Cato since day 1, so I’m really one of the first employees. I was fortunate enough to see this company grow, essentially invent the category that Gartner lately called Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). We used a different terminology before, but we’re happy to adapt this term that has become an industry standard.
R. H.: It’s quite an impressive story that you have to tell, and towards the end of last year you actually managed to raise another $130M of equity. How did you manage that? I mean there are lots of people who would like to get that money and invest it. You made it – what was the reason for the investors?
Y.Y.: When there is a new category, it means potential disruption, it means that smaller companies can challenge larger companies. It became a larger market opportunity with a lot of companies basically trying to get into position. This is exactly where investors put their money – if the story is big, and the execution is solid, then they’re making a bet on particular players. Obviously the newer player is where investors go and this is why we raised the money.
R.H.: That’s really interesting, because looking at Gartner’s new category, we’re quite early in the maturity stage of this technology. Yet, they already call it transformational and that’s what those investors also put their money in. I mean that’s what they think is going to happen and you already proved that the market adoption is quite considerable.
Y.Y.: That’s correct. The term «transformational» is actually a very important distinction in the Gartner Hype Cycle in which they try to rank different technologies and to analyze how much impact they will create on IT. SASE is really going to change the way networking and security is done in IT in a very significant way. That’s exactly what we build this company with, and we are proving through our customers, who are deployments or platform technologies, that it’s actually possible to do this change. I think now it’s not just a hope, but it’s actually a reality in the market, in the customer base.
R.H.: Excellent! Now, you sure had a solid plan about what you are going to do with this money – what can the market and the customers expect what you do with these additional $130M?
Y.Y.: So, essentially when you are a service company you are very closely aligned with the customer. The customer feels if there is any issue with the service, the customer can see the innovation, the new features that are coming in. For example, if you think about your Netflix: You log in and there is already a new feature they rolled out. They have 200 million users and they immediately see the new feature and start using it. It’s not like there is some software upgrade that somebody has to deploy on some appliance. So cloud, speed in innovation and scaling up the service so it becomes even more resilient and robust – there is no end, to how much you can invest in the depth of the infrastructure. And obviously in my space, the Marketing and Sales making more people, more customers aware of the potential of SASE and what it can do for the business. So this is how we’re going to invest – we’re going to accelerate the development of new capabilities that are part of the SASE framework as well as scale the services, so it’s going to be very robust and market it to the world.
R.H.: There’s tons of companies that say they do SASE – I mean just type «SASE» into Google and there’s tons of hits. Now how do you guys differentiate to companies like Palo Alto, VMware etc.? Why Cato Networks?
Y.Y.: From our perspective, this is the advantage of building something from the ground up. Those companies can’t build from the ground up, they’ve been around for about 20 years so they have a lot of technologies already built. The main differentiator for SASE in general versus the current state of affairs is the architecture. It’s a new architecture that delivers a wide range of networking and security capabilities to all edges. A User, a branch, a data center – everybody gets all these features. The features themselves are actually not new. A firewall, an IPS, an Anti-Malware, CASB – these are all features that have been around for 20 to 25 years. What’s new, is the architecture. All these companies have all the features, but not in the right architecture. So they have to put together appliances and clients from acquisitions or from different companies with different management consoles and different policies. They put everything together and say it’s SASE – but it’s not! Because you don’t get the simplicity, the speed, the equal service to all edges in the same way – you don’t get that. So this is how we compete. If you really want a SASE experience which means that you can deploy things very quickly, without any scale at any size for any type of edge and do it like essentially with a platform that immediately functions – Cato does it, and the other solutions can’t. Because they actually have to put together many different products which is just much more complicated to do. So we are simple, and they are complex.
R.H.: One thing that we’ve also seen during this past year is that security incidents have risen. This brings me to the point where people start thinking about Zero Trust. It’s been in the field since roughly 2010 but we haven’t heard much until about 2019. How does Cato Networks cater for this Zero Trust architecture?
Y.Y.: So with Cato Networks we can implement a Zero Trust architecture, meaning you basically connect to the Cato Cloud, which is your trust broker. It will authenticate you in multiple levels and then you’ll get no access to anything other than the applications that you’re authorized to access. Iif you look at Gartner it has two market guides regarding Zero Trust – one for ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) which we are part of, and also one for VPN which is the legacy technology that is still required for certain applications or organizations. There are some use cases and apps that need traditional VPN. We are in that market guide too. So unlike Zero Trust companies which are VPN replacements but are not backward compatible, we are both backward and forward compatible to Zero Trust. Cato is very good in supporting the current state of the customer, so it could be VoIP, remote desktops or SAP in the data center. If tomorrow you want to move to UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service) or want to go to ERP and put your SAP in the cloud, you can seamlessly work with the Cato framework. We allow you to implement Zero Trust and we can also support your legacy if you have legacy requirements and must have full network access with VPN.
R.H.: That means that I can actually support my current architecture but yet if I invest in a Cato Networks architecture then I’m future proof for when I want to build a Zero Trust infrastructure. This is great news! Now, whom is it for? I mean you’re a fast growing company out of Isreal, you cater for smaller and larger companies – now is there sort of a minimal size for a company that Cato is interesting for or does it not matter? Is it interesting for SMEs for instance?
Y.Y.: I would say that we are a medium to large enterprise. About half of our customers are regional, so they will be within a single country. It could be a retail for a country, or a law firm, an architecture firm so it doesn’t have to be huge. I would say that’s one type. Obviously, the global or international companies they can take advantage of our backbone. So if you’re global there is even more value we can give you.
R.H.: Great thanks! I’m quite excited because we also see that the feedback from our customers is excellent. Thank you very much Yishay and have a very good day!
Reto hat die Firma 2007 mit Daniel Bieri gegründet und leitet sie seither. Er ist gerne auf Mandaten bei Kunden und freut sich, persönlich und als Firma einen Beitrag zur sicheren, digitalen Arbeitswelt leisten zu können. Er ist Ingenieur FH mit einem NDS in BWL und aktiver Verwaltungsrat. In der Freizeit ist er gerne aktiv in der Natur unterwegs.