Home Industry Zscaler Announces Intent to Acquire Airgap Networks to Enhance Zero-trust Segmentation and SASE

Zscaler Announces Intent to Acquire Airgap Networks to Enhance Zero-trust Segmentation and SASE

by CioAxis

Zscaler announced its intent to acquire Airgap Networks to expand its zero-trust secure access service edge (SASE) solution to protect branch offices and eliminate the need for firewall-based segmentation. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2019, Airgap Networks offers a zero-trust isolation platform. The startup raised $13.4 million in a Series A funding round in April 2022, led by Storm Ventures. Additionally, Airgap Networks acquired network and asset intelligence solution provider NetSpyGlass in June 2023.

Airgap Networks’ approach employs an intelligent Dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) proxy architecture, which isolates every device and controls access based on identity and context. This strategy is designed to prevent sophisticated threats from moving laterally within a LAN, compared to traditional network access control (NAC) and network-based firewalls that use static Access Control Lists (ACLs) to control east-west traffic.

Zscaler plans to combine its Zero Trust SD-WAN solution with Airgap Networks’ agentless segmentation technology to help customers implement zero-trust segmentation to Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) devices and critical infrastructure across branches, campuses, factories, and data center, including east-west connectivity.

The SASE vendor and security services edge (SSE) leader in January launched its Zero Trust SD-WAN solution and portfolio of plug-and-play appliances, designed to help customers modernize secure connectivity for branch offices, factories and data center while also eliminating the need for ineffective firewalls and VPNs.

Together, Zscaler and Airgap Networks have the opportunity to reimagine every aspect of how traditional solutions have approached security in campus and data center environments, particularly east-west,” said Naresh Kumar, VP and GM of product management at Zscaler, said in a statement. “Zscaler is doubling down on SASE with significant innovation around Zero Trust Networking, disrupting SD-WAN, NAC and firewall-based security for east-west and OT networks.

Zscaler and Airgap target zero trust expansion
Zscaler touted the integration will bring benefits including the following:

* Extend zero-trust principles to internal network devices: Airgap Networks’ technology applies zero-trust principles throughout east-west traffic on LANs, aiming to reduce the internal threat landscape and prevent the spread of threats within campus and OT networks.

* Fortifying critical OT infrastructure: Airgap Networks introduces technology that is designed to support real-time discovery of devices and inline enforcement, which serves as an effective measure against ransomware on IoT devices, OT systems, and agent-incapable devices. It can disable non-essential device communications to halt lateral threat movement without interrupting business operations.

* Simplifying operations and reducing costs: By removing the dependency on outdated and risky east-west firewalls and traditional NAC systems, Airgap Networks’ technology aims to identify and control all traffic from managed and unmanaged devices on any branch, campus or factory network without requiring changes to the existing switching and routing infrastructure.

This acquisition is not Zscaler’s first deal to expand its capabilities this year. In March, The SASE and security vendor announced the acquisition of Israeli startup Avalor to enhance its ability to provide artificial intelligence (AI)-driven security analysis and decision-making. The deal was reportedly valued at $350 million.

Source: SDxCentral

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