Networks Unlimited partners Netskope to drive cloud security across Africa
African value-added distributor Networks Unlimited has announced a partnership agreement with Netskope, a US-based cloud, data and network security provider, and a leader in the application of the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Cloud Access Security Brokerage (CASB), also known as Cloud Security Gateway.
The agreement came into effect in early November, after an exhaustive search was conducted by Networks Unlimited for a partner in this specific market.
Stefan van de Giessen, Cybersecurity General Manager at Networks Unlimited, says: “We are extremely pleased to announce this new partnership with Netskope, which will be effective throughout Africa and allow the two companies to partner together to bring a leader in the SASE space to the local market. We investigated multiple cloud vendors to supplement our security strategy, and were delighted with the decision to partner with Netskope, based on many different factors.
“Netskope takes a data-centric approach to cloud security, protecting data and users everywhere. Networks Unlimited Africa is a highly focused distributor and we bolster this with our professional services. All of our products are highly rated by Gartner, and so too is Netskope – as such, it fits our business profile perfectly.”
SASE is a network architecture that combines software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) with security into a set of services delivered via the cloud.
Security policies enforced on user sessions are tailored based on four factors: the identity of the entity connecting; context (health and behaviour of the device, sensitivity of the resources being accessed); security and compliance policies; and an ongoing assessment of risk during each session.
Tinus Janse van Rensburg, Channel Manager, Africa at Netskope, notes that the partnership agreement represents a win-win for both companies: “The new relationship with Networks Unlimited will give us the ‘engine’ and the components to allow us to scale into Africa and mature our business in a way that would be more difficult without this agreement.
“From Networks Unlimited’s perspective, they will be partnering with an award-winning company that has achieved multiple accolades from such notable sources as Gartner and the IDC, and is already a proven leader in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions. I believe this additionally validates the investigations by Networks Unlimited that led to their decision to partner with Netskope.”
Janse van Rensburg explains that Netskope prefers the description of SASE to mean ‘secure access service edge’ and not, as it is also referred to, as a ‘software access service edge’. The key ingredient, according to Janse van Rensburg, is that the security provider actually needs to be able to provide the ‘Edge’ at least when delivering ‘SASE’.
He says: “The edge no longer implies client premise equipment (CPE) but rather is wherever the app and the user meet, via internet connectivity, anywhere the user travels. Security must be effective and delivered anywhere, and not through traditional models. This provides a point in time benefit to the client.”
Janse van Rensburg adds that the core component lies in Netskope’s NewEdge Network, which according to the company, is the world’s largest, highest-performing security private cloud.
NewEdge is a globally distributed network, with compute and storage that supports and enables the Netskope cloud-native security platform to deliver real-time security without the traditional security and performance trade-off.
NewEdge serves as the network foundation for the Netskope platform as well as an enabler for current and future Netskope capabilities.
“It is the NewEdge network that powers the real-time, inline security services of the Netskope Security Cloud, allowing security to be deployed at the edge where and when it’s needed, delivering SASE architecture,” says Janse van Rensburg. “The Netskope Security Cloud provides unrivalled visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, websites, and private apps from anywhere, on any device.”
The Netskope offering includes Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Cloud Firewall (FW), as well as Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (NG-SWG) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), all built natively in a single platform.
“This new partnership is a boost for Networks Unlimited as it supplements and complements our existing security solutions. In being able to provide this pure SASE solution, it is highly relevant for both our partners and customers, and puts us front and centre of exactly where the market is headed.
“By changing its delivery compared to a traditional hardware-based delivery, and thus reducing shipping logistics, Netskope also offers a fast rollout to customers. This is of particular value in the African market and will allow us to show our value in days rather than weeks,” concludes Van de Giessen.