Cloud security firm Zscaler Inc. is joining the chorus of vendors bolstering its services with threat analytics and Big Data capabilities.
For now, it’s a move that gives channel partners an edge in a rapidly filling market. But as the roar around Big Data reaches a crescendo, it’s an addition that will increasingly transition to market necessity as opposed to a differentiating value-add.
That said, the release positions Zscaler squarely in the threat analytics market. The San Jose, Calif.-based security firm launched analytics technology that equips its solutions with real-time visibility — an upgrade that gives solution providers the ability to peer into all employee activity across all Web, cloud e-mail and mobile platforms on any device.
In particular, Zscaler has drawn attention to the newly enhanced visibility features, brought about by multi-tier data visualization and powered by real-time processing of more than 10 billion global Internet transactions across the Zscaler Security Cloud network.
And like many Big Data analytics technologies, Zscaler’s refreshed offering adds a host of new capabilities. Among other things, it incorporates channel value adds such as role-based access control, advanced reporting creation, log storage simplification and cross-platform device and location visibility, which partners can weave into their own blend of unique pre-auditing, assessment, compliance and reporting services.
“Enterprises face several key reporting and analysis challenges with their current appliance-based approach,” said Manoj Apte, Zscaler senior vice president of product management. “The new analytics capability in the Zscaler Security Cloud delivers a number of benefits that really raise the bar for security analytics performance, scope and cost-savings.”
How does Zscaler’s solution distinguish itself in the market? For one, it eliminates reporting across multiple locations, which cuts down on multiple administrators, excessive infrastructure and other IT headaches.
It also touts cost reduction related to reporting and forensic investigation, compliance responses and additional hardware and storage required for log analysis.
Meanwhile, Zscaler could possible face some hefty competitive challenges ahead. Launched in 2008, the security firm made waves in the industry by offering dedicated cloud-based services aimed at combatting a new set of sophisticated and rapidly evolving threats. At the time, Zscaler enjoyed the spoils of its position as a market disruptor as it further expanded an immature, but burgeoning, cloud security industry.
Flash forward more than four years, and the firm now faces some stiff competition not only from a groundswell of cloud-based start-ups but from legacy security players that have added cloud offerings – as well as threat analytics — to their portfolio and are making headway in the space with their name and reputation.
And that means cloud security firms like Zscaler and others will almost certainly have to work harder to create strong and discernable market differentiation.
Zscaler appears to be on the right track. Earlier this year, the firm boosted its cloud security offerings with single-sign on capabilities garnered from partnerships with RSA Inc., Okta and others. And its latest Big Data release also furthers that aim.
However, a Transparency Market Research report forecasts the Big Data market to reach $48.3 billion by 2018, up from a comparatively modest $6.3 billion last year, at a CAGR of 40.5 percent.
The anticipated sharp upward trajectory of Big Data analytics indicates that the market will commoditize and saturate rapidly, prompting vendors to look elsewhere for market distinction. For partners, that will mean reaching ever deeper into their big data portfolios to gain competitive advantage in the not-too-distant future.
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