Palo Alto Networks has joined the sought-after “Leaders” quadrant in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for security service edge (SSE) vendors, while Cloudflare appeared on the ranking for the first time, according to the report published Monday.
The two other vendors in the “Leaders” quadrant, Netskope and Zscaler, had previously appeared there in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for SSE.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant ranking is a highly influential and closely watched indicator of how key players compare in numerous segments of the tech industry.
Last year, Gartner launched its SSE Magic Quadrant for the first time on the idea that the security components of a SASE (secure access service edge) platform deserve a category of their own that’s distinct from the networking elements such as SD-WAN.
Gartner defines the “core capabilities” of a cloud-based SSE platform as including secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB) and zero trust network access (ZTNA), ultimately providing a modern way to secure user and endpoint traffic across hybrid and distributed teams.
In the 2022 SSE Magic Quadrant, Palo Alto Networks appeared in the “Challengers” quadrant, suggesting that the company’s “completeness of vision” was not as robust as that of several of the leaders, and that its “ability to execute” ranked behind that of Zscaler, according to the 2022 ranking.
But for the 2023 SSE Magic Quadrant, Palo Alto Networks moved into the coveted “Leaders” quadrant after extending the capabilities for its Prisma Access platform in 2022, including through better integration with the vendor’s Prisma SD-WAN and enhancements to its ZTNA offering, according to Gartner.
“We’ve taken four and a half years to get to a place where we believe we have a robust product portfolio in the most relevant categories of today,” Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora told CRN in December.
Cloudflare has appeared in the “Niche Players” quadrant in the 2023 SSE Magic Quadrant, following the acquisition of CASB startup Vectrix last year, Gartner said.
McAfee Enterprise, whose SSE business is now known as Skyhigh Security, had appeared in the “Leaders” quadrant in the 2022 edition. Skyhigh Security appeared in the “Visionaries” quadrant in the 2023 Magic Quadrant for SSE.
Based on Gartner’s market momentum index, one vendor—Versa—was dropped from the SSE Magic Quadrant. For inclusion in the Magic Quadrant, Gartner said that vendors needed to have ranked in the top 20 for its market momentum index.