Shlomo Kramer is a well-known name in the cybersecurity field and was kind enough to grant us an interview regarding his newest venture, Cato Networks, which recently came out of stealth mode in February 2016. Cato Networks believes that cloud-based network security is the answer to the fragmented and increasingly difficult world of network security. Thank you, Shlomo, for your time and insight into this field.
Tell me about Cato Networks and what makes it different from other cybersecurity companies?
We have accepted that as networks have diversified, globalized, migrated to the cloud, and use of mobile devices has skyrocketed, the network perimeter is broken. Network security is now extremely complex, needs to adapt rapidly and is expensive to maintain. At Cato, we are working from the ground up to bring security into the cloud. We wanted to establish a holistic, elastic and effective method of securing the network. First, Cato creates a flat and simple network by re-establishing the network perimeter in the cloud and then secures the cloud with a unified enterprise-grade security policy and services.
What products do you offer to achieve this new perimeter and security?
To implement our next-generation firewall, encrypted VPN access, WAN security, application control, and URL filtering, we have four methods of implementation. First, we can simply use existing firewalls to create a secure VPN tunnel to the Cato Cloud, we can use the Cato Socket for a branch to connect to the nearest PoP (which we have dispersed around the world), a virtual socket and through Client-side applications.
Tell me more about the Cato Socket and what it does.
The Cato Socket is a small, zero-touch appliance that uses multiple ISP links to tunnel traffic to the Cato Cloud. The Socket doesn’t enforce any security policies or business logic – this is all done in the Cato Cloud. Its main function is to locate the nearest available PoP and get the traffic there – so it has a key role in assuring service continuity.
What other functionality do you offer?
The Cato Cloud Network, is a global network of PoPs connected with multiple tier-1 carriers with multi-gigabit links. It carries traffic through the middle mile that is encrypted and managed to ensure optimal routing and minimal latency with high redundancy and availability. It is also easily scalable, which is vital for accommodating the rapid growth of the market. This applies to both traffic within the enterprise and enterprise to cloud traffic.
What does your NG firewall entail? Was it built from the ground-up?
Yes, built from the ground up to control WAN and Internet traffic with application control and awareness. It is a complete network firewall.
How does the enterprise manage the firewall and security features?
Through the Cato Management Application our NOC/SOC teams as well as customers’ IT staff have visibility into the overall network, can enforce network usage and security policies, implement controls across the enterprise and monitor for unusual activity.
Are your products live right now?
We are in beta currently but we are encouraging as many people as we can to sign up.
What VC funding have you received and how many employees do you have?
We began in 2015 and received $20 million in VC funding late last year. We currently have approximately 25 employees and just came out of stealth mode. Many of our founding members come from a cybersecurity background and have helped launch groundbreaking products with Imperva, Incapsula, Check Point and Trusteer. We’re here to change the way network security is delivered and we have the experience behind us to do it.
A lot of people are getting into SDN but are not aggressively approaching the security aspect. We aim to fill the void in network cybersecurity. SDN is not only about separating the control and data plane, but it is also about making the data plane really really smart-converging the network and security aspects to implement both in the cloud with tremendous capacity. We use a modern architecture to provide network and security software that is highly agile.