The Thinking Behind Netskope


I’m excited to announce the launch of Netskope today.

Over the last several years while I have worked with CIOs, CSOs,  business unit and IT leaders throughout the industry I saw first-hand the massive cloud adoption by enterprises of all types. Medium-sized businesses zoomed ahead at first because the cloud gave them flexibility to move fast. But even large enterprises adopted the cloud, albeit in a more fragmented way with business units, departments, and individuals adopting different services at different times, and IT sometimes shepherding the adoption but sometimes with IT being left out of the equation.

Now that the cloud has reached a tipping point in most organizations, IT has the opportunity to lead one of the most strategic shifts enterprises have seen in decades. But for IT professionals to get out ahead of cloud adoption, they first must get a handle on cloud usage in their own organizations and take the blindfold off on cloud usage across their company, and then find a way to make that usage safe, compliant, and high performance.

The opportunity we see starts with cloud apps. Cloud app usage is widespread, increasingly mission critical, and can present the biggest risks in an organization. They are also where we could have the biggest impact.

Cloud app discovery is the easy part. What’s hard is the invariable next question: “So what?” This question requires deep understanding of these apps and analytics to answer the questions: What are people doing in cloud apps? What data are they uploading and sharing? What edits are they making? What are they downloading, and does it make sense given who they are and what groups they’re in? When and from where are they doing these things? Are the behaviors expected, or anomalous? With whom are they sharing content? What type of content? Are those people inside or outside of the organization?

And following that is policy enforcement. Once customers know what’s going on at a very deep level and identify the risks, they want to take action. And they want to do it in real time. Which means in-line, or in the data plane. At network speed and scale.

These things aren’t trivial. You need deep technical chops. And you need them across a multitude of areas: Apps, deep packet inspection, big data and analytics, data science and user behavior, proxy and high-speed data plane, client technologies, and user experience. This was a tall order. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of developing relationships with some of the best minds in networking and security and analytics. So when I decided to start Netskope and realized that many of these folks saw the opportunity as I did, I knew we had something special: This was the right time, right place, and right team to solve this big problem.

I couldn’t be more thrilled at the progress. In less than a year, we delivered Netskope, a company and platform that solves a huge problem already and is poised to do even more. Netskope enables our customers not just to discover cloud apps, but gain amazing insights on cloud usage and perform deep analytics and policy enforcement in those apps across their environment. Consistently. In real time. And at network speed and scale.

We look forward to working alongside our customers, helping them provide leadership around cloud adoption in their organizations and make informed decisions that will make their users’ lives better and their businesses more efficient. And do it all in a confident way.

If you happen to be at Gartner Symposium and ITxpo in Orlando from October 6-10, come see us in the Emerging Technology Pavilion, booth ET19, to talk more about how we’re helping customers say “yes, and” to cloud apps, and attend this session where you’ll hear not one, but THREE, of Netskope’s customers talk about how Netskope is helping them move fast, with confidence.