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In this episode Robert Arandjelovic, Director of Solutions Marketing at Netskope, and Gerry Plaza, Field CTO at Netskope, sit down to chat with Max Havey, Senior Content Specialist at Netskope, about how the conversations around SASE have evolved since Gartner coined the term in 2019 and how embracing a SASE journey can ultimately help bring networking and security teams closer together.

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To me, the potential of SASE extends far beyond reduced complexity cost savings. It’s a cornerstone for enabling digital transformation and business agility. And so I really hope that customers can recognize that it isn’t just an I.T. shift. Overall, it’s a business enabler.

—Gerry Plaza, Field CTO at Netskope
Gerry Plaza b@w

 

Timestamps

*(0:40): Introductions*(18:10): What’s one thing you wish people better understood about SASE?
*(1:13): Where were things from a security and networking perspective before SASE in 2019?*(21:57): What’s one thing you’d go back and change about how people in the industry approach SASE?
*(7:07): What other SASE-related terms should people know?*(25:19): What excites you most about seeing SASE continue to level up?
*(15:43): How are you seeing this convergence of networking and security happening out in the industry?*(31:25): Closing thoughts

 

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On this episode

Robert Arandjelovic
Director of Solutions Marketing at Netskope

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Robert Arandjelovic

Robert Arandjelovic is the Director of Solutions Marketing at Netskope. Robert brings a wealth of product marketing experience in the SSE, SASE, SWG, CASB, and DLP markets, having spent time with McAfee, Symantec, and Blue Coat Systems before joining Netskope. Robert also gained a unique international prospective after working in Germany for 10 years before returning to his native Canada in 2018.

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Gerry Plaza
Field CTO at Netskope

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Gerry Plaza

Gerry Plaza serves as Field CTO in the Chief Strategy Office at Netskope. His career trajectory has taken him through every IT functional role of increasing responsibilities, throughout his 20+ years in the IT Industry. This expansive experience has allowed him to build a deep expertise in Enterprise Architecture allowing him to have a positive impact in every functional area of Infrastructure and Operations from 3-Tier Architecture to Hyperconverged, Virtualization, IP & FC Networking, Network Security, Cyber Security, Cloud, IaaS, and everything in-between throughout Design, Engineering and Operations teams.

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Max Havey
Senior Content Specialist at Netskope

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Max Havey

Max Havey is a Senior Content Specialist for Netskope’s corporate communications team. He is a graduate from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with both Bachelor’s and Master’s in Magazine Journalism. Max has worked as a content writer for startups in the software and life insurance industries, as well as edited ghostwriting from across multiple industries.

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Robert Arandjelovic

Robert Arandjelovic is the Director of Solutions Marketing at Netskope. Robert brings a wealth of product marketing experience in the SSE, SASE, SWG, CASB, and DLP markets, having spent time with McAfee, Symantec, and Blue Coat Systems before joining Netskope. Robert also gained a unique international prospective after working in Germany for 10 years before returning to his native Canada in 2018.

LinkedIn logo

Gerry Plaza

Gerry Plaza serves as Field CTO in the Chief Strategy Office at Netskope. His career trajectory has taken him through every IT functional role of increasing responsibilities, throughout his 20+ years in the IT Industry. This expansive experience has allowed him to build a deep expertise in Enterprise Architecture allowing him to have a positive impact in every functional area of Infrastructure and Operations from 3-Tier Architecture to Hyperconverged, Virtualization, IP & FC Networking, Network Security, Cyber Security, Cloud, IaaS, and everything in-between throughout Design, Engineering and Operations teams.

LinkedIn logo

Max Havey

Max Havey is a Senior Content Specialist for Netskope’s corporate communications team. He is a graduate from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with both Bachelor’s and Master’s in Magazine Journalism. Max has worked as a content writer for startups in the software and life insurance industries, as well as edited ghostwriting from across multiple industries.

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Episode transcript

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Producer [00:00:00] Welcome to Security Visionaries, a podcast powered by Netscape focused on bringing you conversations with senior executives from the world of cybersecurity, technology, trust and networking. This episode features a conversation with Robert Arandjelovic, director of Solutions Marketing at Netskope, and Gerry Plaza field CTO Netskope. Moderated by me, Max Havey, senior content specialist at Netskope. As experts on both the security and networking side of Secure Access Service, Edge or SASE. Robert and Gerry discuss the origins of SASE, how it has grown since 2019, and what excites them most about seeing SASE continue to level up. Here's my conversation with Robert and Gerry.

Max Havey [00:00:40] Welcome to the Security Visionaries podcast. I'm your host, Max Harvey, senior content specialist here at Netskope. And today's episode, we are talking everything SASE. Our guests today are Robert Arandjelovic, who is director of Solutions Marketing here at Netscape. Robert, thank you for joining us.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:00:56] My Pleasure.

Max Havey [00:00:56] And we've also got Gerry Plaza, a field CTO here from Netskope as well. Gerry, thank you for joining us.

Gerry Plaza [00:01:01] Appreciate it. Happy to be here. And I do want to say, just to kick it off, perfect pronunciation of Robert's last name. Even I have challenges. I just call him Robert.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:01:11] Robert A is kind of it's.

Max Havey [00:01:13] It's taking a lot of practice from my end, but I'm glad I finally got it down right now. But cool. So today we were talking about SASE. It's been about four years since Gartner first coined the term SASE in September of 2019. SASE being secure access service edge. But a lot has changed within the industry since then. A lot of things have evolved and grown. So I wanted to talk to both of you guys who get sort of a security and networking perspective on how SASE has sort of changed things and what that means looking ahead as well. So to get things started here, could you each sort of give me your take on where things were from both a security and networking perspective before SASE came on the scene back in 2019? Robert, could you could you sort of start us off there?

Robert Arandjelovic [00:01:55] Sure. And I won't take too much on the networking side. And Gerry could speak to the architectural deficiencies. But effectively, what we really saw happening was we've kind of run into an architectural dilemma. Digital transformation. It's been happening for a long time, well before SASE. And what you started seeing was this sort of stretching of the fabric. The classic enterprise perimeter dissolved pretty quickly with cloud, basically cloud migration, effectively taking the infrastructure that used to be living in servers on the data center in the corporate network, taking that off site. And then users became more and more mobile and that got basically put into hyperdrive during the pandemic where all of a sudden users weren't in the office. And yet you had this network perimeter based security architecture that kind of relied upon everybody being centralized. And you had some mechanisms in place to kind of have everything kind of go back in with remote access technologies like SD-WAN taking branch offices to the center, you had VPNs taking users to the center, but it was hugely inefficient because you effectively had architectures where users were coming into the corporate network and then going back out to the cloud. So it created a lot of problems that Gerry can speak to there. But it also created great security challenges because basically tons of latency got introduced because of all the appliances that were doing scanning back at the corporate network before you can go back out to the cloud. But then you also got this situation of circumvention, whether it was network managers trying to enhance the user experience so they would actually skip out on security and let people go straight to the cloud or the Internet for certain access, or users would find ways to get around it by turning their VPNs off, for example. And so you'd have all this infrastructure sitting outside of the loop core, outside of the path of where users would actually be doing their work. And so there was this recognition that things were kind of breaking.

Gerry Plaza [00:03:46] Yeah, fantastic overview. Robert. I'll I'll take it from the perspective of the teams. When you look at what SASE envelops, network and security, and before the advent of SASE, there was a real marked separation between network and security. Networking was solely focused on connectivity, speed, reliability. While security was really largely about protecting the perimeter and monitoring these users internal activities, the siloed approach often led to complications and inefficiencies. Companies had to juggle multiple vendors, lots of different tools, all different policy frameworks, which not only raised the cost but also increased the complexity and then the rapid move towards digital transformation, as Robert was alluding to, further complicated the landscape, pushing these traditional models to their limits, right? Having to force all their users back on prem when a big majority of their traffic in applications and data was now living off-prem created that big, big challenge. And then teams were left scrambling to figure out how to enable really the expansion of remote connectivity that their businesses needed overnight when COVID hit. Not only that, it's how do you secure these users as they left the perimeter of their offices and then just as important as connectivity security, they were challenged with doing this while trying to find a way to not impact the business or the user experience, which those really can be hand in hand. When you start to impact the user experience, you impact the overall productivity of the business. And so all of that really kind of bubbled up and we were headed in this path even before COVID. So, you know, 2019, 2018, 2017, it starts to look back back to 2013 when digital transformation really started taking off. There's been a trajectory going in this direction. It was just literally thrown at everybody instantaneously when COVID hit and everyone was left scrambling. And so we've had to accelerate a lot of plans to move us towards this new ability to deliver a secure access to our applications for our users, wherever the users might be and wherever their applications and data might be.

Max Havey [00:06:00] So in a sense, it was sort of like the announcement in 2019 there, that that was that was laying the groundwork and then the pandemic hitting and lockdown and moving to remote work 6 to 8 months later, that kind of became the catalyst to, you know, to driving more toward this sort of SASE approach to thinking about security and networking coming together.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:06:21] I'd argue that if the pandemic didn't hit, we'd still be talking about SASE as something down in the future as opposed to something people are doing today.

Gerry Plaza [00:06:28] Yeah, I fully agree. Right. Gartner really kind of saw this coming, which is why they announced that in 2019, they were you know, they interviewed customers and they were seeing a recurring theme of, "hey, you know what? We've got to make sure we're talking about security over enabling and driving towards digital transformation. And the network aspect is one of the most important parts of that, as how do we enable connectivity for these users?" And then it was just thrown at everyone. So it was an instant acceleration of what was eventually to become the de facto direction for security and network tech companies.

Max Havey [00:07:07] Well, and so sort of thinking about SASE as a term, I know that's kind of the accepted term that Gartner coined. Are there other terms out there, though, that people are using sort of in tandem with SASE or that are, you know, sort of SASE adjacent terms? I know. I know. In the world of security, there are a lot of acronyms and they don't always mean the same thing depending on who you're talking to. But from your guys's perspective, are there other sort of acronyms that folks should be aware of that are also sort of semi SASE related?

Robert Arandjelovic [00:07:35] So there's and we're going to give some props to some of the other analyst firms out there. So I think Gartner gets credit for kind of being first. So secure access service, edge or SASE is sort of I think what we and most people sort of refer to it as. But IDC calls it a Network Edge as a Service or NE-SaaS. And then you have Forrester referring to it as Zero Trust Edge. And I kind of like that one just because it does talk to something that I don't think I don't know how much time we'll have to talk to it to it today, but one of the things Gartner sort of noted is I think one of the attractions for security practitioners to SASE is it's one of the first practical implementations of Zero Trust where people can quickly, you know, push a button or a technology that helps them get to zero trust because zero trust is a very intangible thing for a lot of companies. So that one sticks for me pretty nicely. But again, I still I think of it as SASE just because that's what it's being called from 2019 onwards. So.

Gerry Plaza [00:08:32] Yeah, you know, that concept of SASE being introduced by Gartner in 2019 was an ideal direction for the industry. Now, the reason being for the first time, organizations started to think of these two traditional separate domains, networking and security as interdependent facets of the more integrated whole. And the flexibility and scalability of SASE has encouraged businesses to think differently, which is the most important driving factor, I think, out of the term that's come forward from the industry itself. Now, it's also enabled a much faster digital transformation journey for companies, and that's what has been really, I think the gravitating force towards SASE is it's helping companies achieve their goals, their business drivers faster, more secure. Now it was the, you know, conceptualized as far as the integration of the various network and security services into a single cloud native platform, which to me has been very unique. And we've got to make sure we define it right. Integrated platform SASE is truly the integration of network and security, not network with security, but network and security together. And that's to me, the most important thing is properly defining what the term means. Now, without a doubt, there's there's other terms. Zero trust is probably the other one that's synonymous thrown around and as Robert alluded to Forrester has got a pretty strong category with the zero trust edge, which to me in the same concept makes sense because we're all the users, we're all outside the office. And where should we be driving the compute, the decision making, the security, the network connectivity to the edge that this idea of driving it all back to a central perimeter or a central location, it really needs to go to the wayside as previous technologies that are no longer effective. And so the the overarching framework that encapsulates this combined approach, it to me has been revolutionary for a lot of customers, for a lot of companies and in itself the entire industry.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:10:35] And I think Gerry mentioned a really interesting point about networking and security. And kind of like that. I think that was kind of the big lightning bolt from Gartner, I think is sort of saying, you guys, you're going to have to both on the customer side or the organizational side, you know, you infrastructure guys, and you security guys are going to have to play together. But also on the vendor side, you security and networking guys, you can't just stick in your areas like those consult the consolidation of like SASE that you see like that big giant mix of stuff is actually the culmination of two sub consolidations that have been having happening in the respective spaces like in networking. You know, you have things like SD when where you saw a lot of functionality and technologies that were once separate come together, sort of was happening on the security side too, where secure web gateways, CASB, or cloud access security brokers, were coming together. And so those were natural evolutions within those markets. And so, those were already driving a lot of the value and consolidation benefits that you see from SASE. But then Gartner pretty much sat down and said, and "you've got to take that one step further, guys, and I know you're comfortable here, but you're going to have to go and take that to the next level because if you want to see really like revolutionary embracement embracing of digital transformation, those two sub consolidations have to happen in a bigger, bigger level."

Gerry Plaza [00:11:54] Yeah, yeah. You know, Robert and Max, to me, the naming is less important than the core idea. Yeah, whether you call it SASE, what you call is your trust edge, whether you call it whatever flavor you want in the industry, it's the idea and the framework that really sets it apart and what customers should be really focused in on. It's the convergence of network and security services into a single scalable cloud-native platform is the idea. There's the slight variations in terminology do show that the industry is still maturing and different stakeholders are contributing their own perspectives to shape it. But what I find to be the challenge in the industry is most vendors have strayed from true aspects of the vision of SASE and taking their own liberties at using the term SASE to describe their offerings simply because it's the current industry buzzword. And that starts to water down what the idea and the concepts and that core idea was. If you look at what they actually do, what other vendors actually deliver, it may only be a piece of the equation. And then what they do is they fill in all the gaps with partnerships or loose integrations. A true platform is us talking about network and underlining the word "and" security. A true SASE platform needs to be seamlessly integrated as part of the platform. It needs to form an ecosystem of interconnected network and security services, all working as one from a single user interface, a single policy to have the right context, needed to make the right decisions for the right users, to access the right data for the right reasons. And that's what's the most important thing, is not just to take the word SASE for face value, but to look at the underlying core functions and ideas and see if it's properly been applied when you look and talk to a vendor as far as moving forward in that direction.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:13:51] And that's a great point because that's where I think the industry sort of kind of moved towards as well is I think in 2019 I know I worked for a big consolidated vendor that had a ton of different technologies and we looked at the SASE framework where we have this, we have that, we have this, and we were like, Yeah, we're SASE. And but to Gerry's point, there was that that is not what SASE. SASE wasn't just about taking a lot of boxes. It was about that that that converged experience. And I think that's a big change that kind of happened recently as I think a lot of companies that sort of thought they can get by with just kind of slapping the same sticker on all these different technologies. They've performed poorly in magic quadrants and different bakeoffs they perform poorly in the market. And the market's kind of thankfully, I think, rejected them because I think Gartner's given them an idea and the other analysts as well have given given them an idea of what to look for. And so they know that, hey, I don't need a vendor, I don't just need one PO to buy all these products. I actually need an integrated solution if I want this to work well. And so that's been a huge change.

Max Havey [00:14:57] So so essentially cutting through the buzzword of it all and actually understanding that functionality, that's the understanding that's finally come across after the past four years that like there's a firmer definition and a firmer understanding of this is what defines a SASE platform. These are the elements of it that we need to have. And it's not just going to be, you know, just it's not it's not necessarily a magic bullet, but it's a lot of like converged thinking and converged solutions that are all integrated together.

Gerry Plaza [00:15:25] Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. You know, what's what's going to deliver the two realizations of what SASE was set out to be, which was simplified consolidation, scalable, flexible, applying the proper security control to the proper users at the right times. What delivers added to the overall integrated platform?

Max Havey [00:15:43] Absolutely. And Gerry, as someone who's, you know, really deep in the networking side of things here, how are you sort of seeing this convergence happening out in the industry in your conversations with folks? How are you seeing, you know, the principles of SASE as a security and networking solution kind of coming to light here?

Gerry Plaza [00:16:04] Yeah, You know, the rise of SASE has been a game changer in bringing network and security as interconnected priorities. I think that's been one of the most exciting factors for me, is thinking back through my history. Being a network engineer and leading network teams, we were always focused on our priorities and then at the final hour oh shoot security would come in and get bolted up and or we would delay the project because we didn't have the right security controls in place, because we were focused in on our priorities. And the best point of that situation was the network team was always blamed for delaying a project because it was us that were holding things back because we didn't have the right controls in place. But beside the point that it's this new integration, interconnected priorities, that's really driving the force. And before that. Right. The two domains operating in silos created gaps because we would run off and we would create connections, we would create interconnectivity between users applications no matter where they might be. And with security being a secondary afterthought, it wasn't until maybe afterwards when we saw vulnerability or we saw the risk to the business that the gap was exposed and then we were left trying to patch and or figure out a way to fix the problem. And it was never ideal. And now that we're not just talking about fast data transfers or efficient packet routing, but really protecting the intellectual property of the business became detrimental when you did not look at the two facets network and security together. And so it's been a big game changer in my opinion, that these teams are now specifically inherently working together. Not that the teams are combining, the teams aren't really converging themselves, there's still unique skill sets and and teams for network and security but they're working as one combined goal and objective for the business and that's been that's been a big driving force for the industry.

Max Havey [00:18:10] Well and so I know we've sort of talked around this a little bit but what's something that, you know, after all of this time that the two of you sort of wish that people better understood about SASE, if you could if you could impart one thing, what do you want that one thing that people that you wish people better understood about SASE to be?

Robert Arandjelovic [00:18:29] I think it's recognizing that, I think kind of being able to cut through and understand the reality of what SASE is achievable. I think, you know, we talked about this a little bit earlier, know there's been a lot of marketing and a lot of people quickly sort of shuffled to position their offerings in their portfolios and their technical limitations and benefits as what SASE is. And that's involved a lot of discussion and conditioning of their customers to sort of think that, yeah, you can't do this. Yeah, you can't really get networking and security to work together. So you know, a thin integration is good enough or you know, you can't really integrate all these different security technologies. So as long as they talk to each other and we got APIs so they'll chat, it doesn't matter if there's a ton of latency because they're all these services are pinging each other back and forth. That's what, you know, you can do. So like one of the things I really wish people understood better is the fact it's kind of stick to the basics. You know, talk to an analyst, whether it's Gartner or a number of other analysts like, ESG is another group that does some great work. And Forrester and IDC, all these guys can help you understand what's out there and what's actually possible in the market. And so I think people should understand that there are options beyond just who they're with. I think a lot of people try and just find ways to make their existing incumbent vendors work and they'll take the SASE story it's offered. But the reality is you can get a lot closer to the vision of SASE. That's not science fiction. You can get a lot closer to that than you think. If you choose a good platform.

Gerry Plaza [00:19:57] You know, the one thing I wish people understood better about SASE is that it's not just a technology or product. You don't just buy a SKU or turn something on and enable SASE, right? Overall it is a paradigm shift in how we approach networking and security. SASE isn't something that you just implement and then move on. It's a transformative journey and I want to highlight that word journey. It's not, you don't go all in on SASE day one and just flip over your architecture and call it a day. You truly find the biggest gap, the biggest pain point, the biggest risk to your business, and you start there and then you you can really intermix the process as you go along. And that's what I love about SASE. I want more people to really understand that, that your journey can start anywhere. And I guarantee you, every single one of you has started on this journey because you've started moving your applications to the cloud. And that was one of the first processes of the journey is moving into a much better way of delivering your applications so that your users have better access to the data. And so that transformative journey has really involved overall the culture of the organization. It requires changes in business objectives. It requires changes in strategic planning. You know, the potential of SASE extends far beyond reduced complexity cost savings. It's a cornerstone for enabling digital transformation and business agility. And so I really hope that customers can recognize that it isn't just an I.T. shift. Overall, it's a business enabler. And the integrated approach of SASE supports agile business models fast and the market scalability, all while reducing complexity and overhead costs that come with managing all these disparate separate solutions from network and security. So to me, that's what I really hope people can learn to understand of what SASE ultimately means and how they can get themselves started on the journey.

Max Havey [00:21:57] Absolutely. And I guess in that same sort of vein there, if you could go back to 2019, is there anything that you all would change about, you know, the way that people approach SASE or how things had gone? What if you had to if you had to pick one, what would you what would you want to change? Gerry, I'll start with you.

Gerry Plaza [00:22:13] That's a great question. I think I would focus better on educating the market about the strategic implications of SASE beyond just the technical benefits. The initial conversations around SASE were very much focused on its ability to consolidate services and reduce complexity. You know, while that's important, the strategic impact, such as enabling new business models, facilitating mergers and acquisitions, supporting global expansion, those were not emphasized enough. And I would use my platform to ensure that executives understood the product business impacts right from the beginning, thereby accelerating the adoption and the impact that SASE could have on the business.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:22:54] And I think I'll add to that because I think that's a great point that that business element is is huge, especially when you want to kind of have those higher level conversations with the board or the C level. One of the other things I would do is, what I found fascinating about SASE, and one of the things we're at Netscape we're really focusing on is also making it clear, though, even though SASE is a big framework like we as the vendor, we're doing a lot of the heavy lift from the customer perspective. They look at frameworks, whether it's zero trust or SASE or anything like that, as these big giant undertakings where we've got to change everything, transform everything, and there is a bit of change that takes place. But the reality is you don't have to do everything all at once, and SASE really can help. You also solve a lot of the problems. Like if you kind of do your checklist of what security or connectivity problems do we need to resolve? Do we need to kind of improve and modernize our networking connectivity? Do we need to improve our data protection and implement zero trust principles? Do we need to replace our VPN infrastructure because it's just too outdated? Like those are all specific business challenges that can be solved within the context of a SASE framework. And what's beautiful about it is the SASE architecture helps you achieve all those things and achieve all the business goals that you want to achieve with them. But once you've done these things, you can also kind of implement the specific aspects of a SASE platform necessary to kind of complete that. For instance, you can use zero trust network access capabilities and SD-WAN and replace your VPN. But then because you're using a single platform, it also makes subsequent projects so much easier because you've got all the policy, you're using the same policy framework, the same security controls that you put in the first place, and then all you're doing is you're incrementally adding. So basically your ability to deal with digital transformation and new projects becomes easier and easier through this consolidated platform. So that's one thing I wish because I know a lot of people were reluctant to do SASE in the beginning because I think they thought, basically we're going to just have to rip and replace everything we're doing. And that's just that's not necessarily the case.

Max Havey [00:24:58] To an extent, more or less thinking about it as an evolution of the appliances and the and the strategies that were already happening. But finding a way to level those up, to move those forward, to converge the way security and networking are thinking about these things, to enable that sort of digital transformation journey that's happening.

Gerry Plaza [00:25:17] Yeah.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:25:18] Exactly.

Max Havey [00:25:19] Well, and then so, looking ahead, looking at the future here as as you're seeing, people beginning this sort of, you know, level up their SASE journey and kind of take things to the next to the next step there. What excites you most about seeing these these SASE journeys kind of continue on and get and become more mature and and seeing these solutions, you know, flourish out in the wild, for lack of a better term.

Gerry Plaza [00:25:42] I'll jump in. You know, I get absolutely excited in talking to customers, different events and just in general talking across the industry because of what SASE enables for the business. Right. So what excites me the most is overall the transformation of the enterprise grade security with the integration of the network. And for the first time, we're finally talking about those two things as one platform enabling the business as opposed to, you know, conflicting with each other and creating impact overall to the business where security would come in and step on top of network and introduce latency. Introduce performance impact, which introduced overall poor user experience. And so I think that's what excites me the most. And with SASE businesses of all sizes, can have access to the same level of security and networking capabilities that they were once reserved for large enterprises with big budgets, only the biggest players could buy the best tools with the best hardware and integrate it in the best possible way to make it the most effective for their business. And this idea of secure service edge with network concepts introduce some SASE as a service now levels the playing field and everyone can have the same level of control and security for their business. And additionally, as someone who's deeply involved in strategy, I see SASE as a conduit for faster decision making and agility at the executive level. It provides the backbone for security, enabling business activities that were previously considered too risky or complex. And one of the best examples of that that we've been talking about everywhere is access safe and secure access to ChatGPT. In the past, businesses would have literally just said, block it. We don't understand the risk. We can't protect safe and secure usage of it to just block it because security was always seen as access allow or deny. Right? It was it was explicit in that fashion, but SASE in the way you can understand the context of how it's being used. The end users and what applications they're accessing enables this really innovative way of delivering adaptable trust. And that's the way we should be looking at it, right? It's taking this idea of zero trust and moving it even further and evolving it further to adapt to that trust. Meaning I'm going to give you access to do certain things, but I'm going to be ensuring that the activities you're doing are safe and secure every single step of the way. And that's what to me is the most exciting aspect that SASE is enabling, is this new way of security no longer has to be the team that just says no. Its network no longer has to be the team that figures out ways around the security controls because security just impacts the business. They can now work together and deliver true transformation for the business.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:28:42] Yeah, that's a great point, Gerry. I think AI is a great example of basically how you handle disruptive technologies today. Like, you know, ChatGPT sort of burst onto the scene and all of a sudden there's this challenge that companies had where we got this transformative technology that's changed the way the world works. And yet we're not sure if we can use it safely without compromising everything. And, you know, SASE providers like ourselves are able to say, well, you know what, you're good. We've got a platform where your SASE platform with the data protection and the adaptive trust capabilities that are in there just do this and you're good. You don't have to buy new technology. You don't have to. Like in the past, when disruptive technologies have come about, like I remember when BYOD first became a thing, there was like basically people tearing their hair out and basically saying, We got to rip and replace our security models and our connectivity models to accommodate it. And what I'm excited about is I don't even know what the next thing is, whether it's quantum or something like that. But I feel like with with SASE, we've got an architecture that can ensure that those new technologies and those disruptions can be incorporated into into the business fabric without having to start over again and without basically damaging your operation. And I think, you know, also another excitement I have a couple of one of them is that I started my career a couple of decades ago in the VPN space, and I'm thrilled to see that there is actually a technology that actually replaces that now and that does it more elegantly because even back then I always thought it's a cool technology, but it's pretty crude. And I felt we found a way to kind of like improve that with a SASE architecture. So getting rid of VPN is kind of something I'm happy that I can do before I retire. And one thing Gerry kind of mentioned there as well around this tug of war. I've been involved with it. I'm sure Gerry has as well, with conversations with customers. And even when I've been in companies myself of that tug of war between security and networking and seeing a a platform that helps you reconcile those where you're not trading one off at the behest of the other. You know, COVID, we saw it where there were a lot of people that were like, we've got, you know, a 90% of our workforce working from home as opposed to 5% before the pandemic. We don't have time to scale up our infrastructure. We don't have time to install all these new VPN gateways to let people go in. So we're just going to let them go straight to like we're going to basically shut off all of our security so that they can just go and keep doing their jobs and things like that. You don't have to see anymore. And I really like the idea that you can basically there's a safe and a fast way to do things now, and it's not safe or fast. And it's that to me is the exciting. Future with where we're headed?

Max Havey [00:31:25] Absolutely. I mean, there's there's so much excitement as we as we look at the future here in the way we can sort of enable these journeys and see people continue to follow the path here and evolve their security strategies. We are about at time here, guys. Is there anything further that we haven't covered? I know we've covered a lot of ground so far. Is there anything further we haven't covered that you'd like to discuss before we close things out here?

Gerry Plaza [00:31:49] Oh, Max, If we have another 4 hours, I can start to scratch the surface of more stuff that we need to cover, where we can start really unpacking what SASE is. But I know we've got really interesting conversations coming up in regards to SASE Week. A tremendous amount of more information. We're going to start to really scratch the surface and dig into some of those concepts. How about we leave a bit of a cliffhanger and we say, Hey, come, come visit us during SASE Week and really start to talk about more of what we talked about here and then some in detail during that week.

Robert Arandjelovic [00:32:23] So I second that. That's that's an exciting thing. I think we're all sort of working for it and we might, you know, the party's about to start and we're all we're all preparing in the background. So yeah, I think that's a great spot. We're going to have a ton of really cool topics and themes around the subject that can really help companies as you're kind of looking at different challenges that you're trying to address, either at the high level or at the specific business challenge level or technical challenge level.

Max Havey [00:32:50] Yeah, absolutely. So just just for the folks out there, if you do want to hear more from I know, Gerry, you will have a you will have a talk at SASE Week and I know, Robert, you're working on a number of the other talks from our many esteemed subject matter experts and other folks around the industry who will be talking. SASE Week is something you're putting on at Netskope that runs from September 26th through September 28th. You can register online. We will have the link to that registration page in the show notes for this episode. Until then, Robert and Gerry, thank you so much for taking the time today. There was we covered so much here. It was lovely to have you both here.

Gerry Plaza [00:33:23] Pleasure. Absolutely. Thanks, Max.

Max Havey [00:33:26] And we will catch you all in the next episode of Security Visionaries. Have a great one.

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