UPDATED 14:30 EDT / AUGUST 07 2017


As network security becomes ‘irrelevant,’ here’s how Zscaler guards the cloud

During a major computer security conference two years ago, Zscaler set up a booth on the tradeshow floor and spent the week destroying various security devices made by other companies with a large hammer. The point did not go unnoticed. As business moved to the cloud, the need for appliances to guard the network was so 2015.

Zscaler, a nine year-old company whose technology is designed to provide security across the cloud stack, has positioned itself as the “middleman” between users and the internet. By offering anti-malware tools and advanced threat detection, Zscaler has set itself up as the guardian against hidden, malicious threats in the cloud-based infrastructure.

“If applications are moving to the cloud, the network that’s designed to bring everything to the data center becomes irrelevant; it’s no good. Network security will become irrelevant, the Internet will become your corporate network and we’ll connect the right user with the right application,” said Jay Chaudhry, chief executive officer, chairman and founder at Zscaler Inc.

Chaudhry described his company’s role during a visit with Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, at SiliconANGLE’s office in Palo Alto, California. They discussed recent SSL-based threats to the enterprise, Zscaler’s model for cloud-native security and the dangers of connected Internet of Things device growth. (* Disclosure below.)

Zscaler sees threats on the rise

Zscaler now processes 35 billion transactions per day, blocking 125 million threats such as phishing attempts or botnet-driven denial of service attacks. As if to underscore the scale of threats against the enterprise, Zscaler recently released the results of a study showing that malicious threats using Secure Sockets Layer encryption rose dramatically in the first half of 2017. Phishing attempts alone using SSL had increased 400 percent over the previous year, as hackers were relying on the layer to hide device infections.

“The scary part is inertia,” Chaudhry said, citing companies who still rely on the “castle and moat” technology to protect networks rather than adopting security for a non-appliance cloud-driven model. “Let’s get away from the notion that I must secure my network on which users and applications are sitting,” Chaudhry said.

The number one application in any enterprise is email, so when Microsoft Corp. moved Office 365 to the cloud it became even more important for users to have secure, fast connections, Chaudhry pointed out.

“The goal is to shorten the distance,” he explained, so that employees don’t have to go through a network data center and then a local site to access the applications they need.

With 100 data centers around the world, Zscaler offers an infrastructure to manage faster and more secure access.

“Every employee simply points to Zscaler’s nearest data center where we’re the security stack; we take care of security inspection and policy, and you get to where you need in the fastest way. Office 365 is a great catalyst for Zscaler,” Chaundhry added.

The explosion of IoT devices has created another point of vulnerability. Chaudhry told theCUBE that with “tens of thousands of cameras and copiers calling the internet,” the risk becomes higher.

“How do you make sure the IoT controls in a plant are talking to the right parties?” Chaudhry asked. “We actually sit right in the middle of connecting the parties, and that’s another area of potential for us.”

Watch the complete video interview below. (* Disclosure: Zscaler Inc. sponsored this segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Zscaler nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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