Cato dips toe in telco waters with KDDI collab

Cato Networks and KDDI are teaming up to provide Cato's SASE services to enterprises in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific.

Partnering with a tier 1 service provider is a new move for Cato, which historically competed with telcos on the SD-WAN front and dubbed itself the "un-carrier" of managed SD-WAN services. Cato has its own private global Cato Cloud Network of 65 PoPs and typically partners with distributors, master agents, ISPs and resellers to reach enterprise end-users.

In 2018, VP of Marketing Yishay Yovel told Light Reading that the company is "competing more and more with established telcos... could be an Aryaka but also could be British Telecom, sometimes AT&T."

In more recent years, Cato relocated to the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) category, rebranding as a SASE provider that provides SD-WAN as part of its portfolio. "SD-WAN is just a small part of what we do," Dave Greenfield, secure network evangelist for Cato Networks, told Light Reading in a podcast.

Roy Chua, founder and principal of AvidThink, says Cato's partnership with KDDI could mark the beginning of other collaborations with service providers.

"This particular announcement is both surprising and impressive – they have a carrier [partner], KDDI, which is a tier 1," says Chua. "They're offering the service not just in APAC but in North America and Europe, too, so it's not an insignificant announcement. KDDI gains a fresh, new, cool service in SASE…and for Cato, it's great because it's a major CSP reselling their services."

Cato says CSPs can utilize the Cato SASE platform to provide a managed networking and security service to enterprises that are rapidly moving to the cloud, and that need IT and network security support for a larger remote workforce. Cato's network security services include a next-gen firewall, Secure Web Gateway, Advanced Threat Prevention and a Managed Threat Detection and Response (MDR) service. In addition, the company connects customers to cloud providers such as Azure and AWS.

"With a single converged offering, CSPs can offer enterprise customers a secure access solution without the operational overhead of integrating and managing multiple third-party appliances and Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)," explained Cato in a statement.

Cato raised $130 million in its largest funding round to date last November, bringing its total funding to $332 million. Cato claims the company is valued at $1 billion.

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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