The number of hacks taking place in 2020 is bewildering and there is no sign of a slow-down. Garmin’s services are out as we write this piece thanks to a ransomware attack. The company updated the top of its home page to advise users of the problem.
The SD-WAN market realizes the importance of security as well which is why it is morphing into Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) – a more secure method of providing networking solutions. As a result, many tech companies are scrambling to improve their offerings.
For example, Fortinet just acquired OPAQ to boost their SASE offerings a few days ago as an example. This was a big area of discussion at the most recent SD-WAN Expo in Florida, part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW.
Now, Aryaka, a leader in the SD-WAN and network-as-a-Service (NaaS) space has announced a partnership with Check Point Software Technologies that leverages Aryaka’s Cloud-First managed SD-WAN solution and Check Point CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard Edge to deliver integrated security and SD-WAN as-a-Service. Check Point CloudGuard technology delivers industry-leading threat prevention that is updated in real-time using the latest Check Point ThreatCloud intelligence. The partnership announced today delivers customers a unified threat and access management platform that has the flexibility to deploy branch office security in minutes, while reducing operational expenses. The partnership also delivers seamless integration with Aryaka’s Cloud-First WAN, allowing network and security to be delivered as a service.
The CloudGuard Connect cloud-hosted security service delivers maintenance-free, advanced threat prevention to thousands of branch offices in minutes. CloudGuard Edge implements on-premise security for data privacy or data-residency requirements. CloudGuard Edge is tightly integrated with Virtual Network Functions (VNF) on Aryaka’s Network Access Point (ANAP) customer premise equipment (CPE), leveraging Aryaka’s SmartConnect Global backbone with multi-cloud connectivity options that enable security deployment in minutes.
The combined solution provides gives SASE benefits while taking advantage of the service delivery footprint through Aryaka’s global service PoPs and its multi-cloud networking capabilities.
“Connecting branch offices directly to the cloud using SD-WAN significantly increases security risks,” said Aviv Abramovich, head of security services management at Check Point Software Technologies. “With Aryaka’s cloud-first SD-WAN, combined with CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard Edge, enterprises now have the flexibility to deploy Check Point’s top-rated threat prevention and intelligence to protect their branch offices against the latest Zero Day and Gen V security threats.”
“We are very pleased to partner with Check Point Software Technologies in order to further extend the Aryaka SmartSecure offering,” said Shashi Kiran, CMO at Aryaka. “Check Point is a renowned industry leader in the security space. Combining Check Point’s best-in-class security with Aryaka’s high-performance managed SD-WAN allows us to deliver both Network and Security as-a-Service for a variety of deployment models, while giving our customers greater choice, simplicity and flexibility.”
Aryaka SmartConnect and Aryaka SmartSecure are delivered as a fully managed service, which eliminates the cumbersome process of implementing, operating and troubleshooting complex network and security features. When disparate solutions are designed to work together, it removes numerous headaches like out-of-sync software updates and other issues which could result in vendor finger-pointing, which doesn’t help anybody.
The natural question pertains to why this wasn’t acquisition news – just a partnership.
Here is our take based on work at our investment banking firm, RT-Advisors. Goldman Sachs invested $50 million in Aryaka last year. The company has taken in a lot of VC funding; $184 million over 10 years. The investors have been patient and want a significant return. Check Point is worth $17.3 billion and has made large acquisitions before – PointSec cost $586 million but that transaction happened in 2006. As of late, Check Point hasn’t made any huge acquisitions.
Aryaka expected to IPO in 2018 for $1 billion. They are worth at least a few times that amount now and the way the SD-WAN market is accelerating, there is no reason to think the growth will slow for the foreseeable future.
If Check Point were to acquire, it would be for a significant amount of money as a percentage of their own valuation. It would be a game-changing merger.
A further challenge is Check Point is seen as a cybersecurity company and its stock price has not appreciated as a result of the pandemic – it is trading near its value in February. Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks also has an SD-WAN solution but its value is at pre-Covid levels as well.
Teleworking companies though have flown since mass work-at-home began. Citrix plays in numerous teleworking spaces and has seen its value increase by a third since before Covid.
In other words, there is a mismatch between cyber and telework valuations. The market may not give Check Point the credit it deserves if it picks up Aryaka as it will still be known as a security play.
Meanwhile, Aryaka knows public markets are willing to give nice multiples to SD-WAN companies. This is why the company now sends its press releases to journalists starting with this text, “Goldman Sachs’ backed global networking leader Aryaka.” Do you know how many tech decision-makers care if their SD-WAN provider is backed by Goldman? Zero. This tells you the company is using the Goldman name as a Good Housekeeping seal for an IPO.
So it does not seem like a marriage between Aryaka and Check Point is on the horizon. They will stay engaged for now and see what happens. If Wall Street teleworking valuations do crater, we may see a shotgun wedding. 🙂
Learn about the latest in SASE (secure access service edge) and SD-WAN at the SASE Summit Summer Series with multiple event dates in August and September, 2020. Learn why SASE matters about how SASE and SD-WAN work together, how SASE is essential to your digital transformation, the importance of self-healing networks and much more.