Why We Built the Netskope Platform

Netskope
October 3, 2013 By Rajneesh Chopra

The fact that enterprises are adopting the cloud has now been well established. The cloud lets people consume relevant services with minimal friction, in a cost effective manner. What’s not to like?

Beyond initial adoption of individual services by individual lines of businesses, entire organizations derive benefit once data, processes, and software are stitched into new workflows that lead to better collaboration and new insights. All of this is happening in the context of new and vicious threats – from the seemingly banal ones like password hygiene to stealth campaigns by nefarious wrongdoers to gain access to confidential data. As the risks have grown, so has the need for compliance both with internal best practices and industry regulations. Such realities of business reinforce the fact that IT needs to get closer to the cloud to get closer to the business.

That is the intent with which we started Netskope – to bring IT closer to the cloud.

We reimagined the current state – reviewing URLs or parsing through access logs – and built a platform that actively identifies the cloud-resourced apps that are running across an organization, provides deep usage analytics regardless of users’ location or device, and enforces simple yet powerful policies spanning all apps and users. With such fine-grained data and effective tools, IT gets to make potent decisions.

We started with a clear idea of what to build and remained razor-focused on the best possible user experience. All of the viewable data are laid out in a manner that is natural to users; every bit of information is active and clickable, yet linked together, so when the user drills down into a piece of data (say, iPad usage), all of the viewable data (users, apps, sessions, content, etc.) will adjust accordingly to pivot around that one query.

How Netskope Works

Another practical application of the product is insights. IT can research apps in their environments using our Cloud Confidence Index™, compare these apps to alternatives that may be better-suited to the enterprise’s criteria, and either validate an existing decision or have the data to recommend an alternative. They can explore patterns of usage of apps and then hone into an app category or specific app, or end users and the specific activities they performed with these apps, location of such access, the device used for accessing the app, and so on. The user can pivot the entire dataset to parameters that they deem most appropriate. We have also built intelligence into the Netskope platform whereby we inform users of important information that they might not have hitherto known or were not pointedly looking for. We call it SkopeSights™. Once the user has discovered apps in use, he can put precise policies in place for a whole swath of applications with one simple rule.
You’ll find all the details here. We have listened intently to our customers and built a complete solution that fits their existing operating procedures.

With Netskope in their environments, our customers’ viewpoints are already changing: They have moved beyond having to block apps to being more nuanced and granular about the decisions they are able to make, and able to use data to make each decision. (Pretty much anytime IT blocks something, the enterprise becomes less secure because people find a way around, anyway.) With the tools to monitor cloud app usage granularly and enforce precise policies, IT no longer has to take an all-or-nothing approach. It is refreshing for them to be able to allow the safe and practical use of key apps to make their business more productive.

We are building out the Netskope platform to encompass new use cases and serve new audiences, all with the philosophy of enabling the business to say “yes” to the cloud and with an eye toward adapting enterprises’ existing best practices to this new model of deploying IT.