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Gartner CASB MQ 2019: Shifting Through the Looking Glass

Oct 29 2019

The new Gartner CASB MQ 2019 has been released and Netskope is excited to be recognized as a Leader for the third consecutive year.

I am pleased to be part of the Netskope team and excited to see Netskope named a Leader in the CASB Magic Quadrant again. This year, more than the previous two years of CASB MQ analyses from Gartner, is an important one, as the convergence of SaaS and web is on the rise, signaling a tipping point in the market as users turn corporate networks inside out.

Netskope was positioned furthest on the “completeness of vision” axis, which we believe validates our leading technology, integrated architecture, unified console and policy configuration, the expanding breadth of our offering, and the long-term vision of our company. 

The CASB Fast Track

Application growth has been the wind behind the CASB sails. The availability of applications (public and private), the growth of mobile application usage, and the consumerization of application adoption rapidly made CASB functionality key requirements to enterprise security deployments.

In the inaugural 2017 CASB report, Gartner noted that “use cases suggest that the market for CASB will continue to be dominated by full-featured platform providers for the next three to five years.” During this time, CASB deployments in the market started with application discovery (shadow IT). These developments grew from securing managed applications, like Office 365, G Suite or Slack, to assessing the risk in applications and services within public clouds, like AWS and Azure, and protecting your organization from data loss and threats in unmanaged “shadow IT” applications. These early API deployments enabled visibility and near real time policy controls for managed applications – or at least the ones with a published API.

The rise of DevOps, driving cloud native applications and infrastructures, has increased the volume of unmanaged applications on corporate networks, making inline CASB deployments a necessity. Custom application API proxy (API-JSON) for inline web traffic allows visibility into unmanaged applications, which compromise more and more of web traffic, and helps secure against data loss and cloud enabled threats.

What’s Past is Prologue

Many of us recall the security market in the early 2000’s,  with organizations of all sizes debating whether to allow web access broadly to their users and social networks becoming internets within the internet, as users moved their content and actions deeper into web applications.  

The need for a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) construct to identify and manage web traffic quickly grew to include:

  • Strong authentication and access control
  • Advanced Threat protection, with sandboxing, machine learning, and analytics
  • Accurate dynamic categorization of content
  • Inspection of encrypted traffic
  • Real time granular policy enforcement that is based on roles

Similar to how email traffic was overtaken by social media, web traffic is now  being overtaken by cloud native applications, leaving organizations to re-evaluate how they are securing their data and protecting their users against cloud enabled threats in this new inverted perimeter.

Organizations will need an inline security approach that is cloud native and secures data against threats across all web and cloud traffic, with the performance to allow your business to scale on-demand.

Key inline capabilities needed include:

  • Inline cloud native SWG proxy with elastic scale to inspect TLS traffic, including web filtering, advanced threat protection, bare-metal cloud sandboxing, machine learning, and security analytics.
  • Inline cloud native CASB to decode thousands of cloud services for data and threat protection including cloud-enabled threats for cloud phishing, hosting, command-and-control, and data exfiltration.
  • Inline cloud native DLP data-in-motion protection within thousands of cloud services and web traffic.

Most organizations started with CASB for application discovery, applying CASB controls to one managed application, then expanding to several managed applications. As unmanaged applications were acknowledged, the move to inline CASB followed bringing unmanaged applications into the fold. The natural next step is to unify web and cloud native approaches, and converge to full next-generation SWG capabilities, which Gartner has described as SASE.

Through the Looking Glass

As companies continue to shift their data assets to the cloud, effectively making their corporate employees a remote workforce, the corporate network is being turned inside out. 

I recently came across a book that my father used to teach his university economics classes – one that most of us read as kids. In Alice in Wonderland, she steps through the Looking Glass into a world where everything is reversed. As Alice tries to make sense of things on the other side, she searches for the rules of the game and how to win.

As enterprises shift “through the looking glass,” they will need to assess the rules of the cloud native environment and re-evaluate their security approach to extend CASB to the next-generation SWG, or SASE, approach.

You can download the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CASB report here.


Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers, Steve Riley, Craig Lawson, 22 October 2019 


Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Sasi Murthy
Sasi is an accomplished marketing leader in the security space. While Sasi is currently the VP of Product and Solutions Marketing, she brings more than 20 years of experience in roles including product management, program office, and marketing, around the tech and cybersecurity industry.