• While the specific financial details were not disclosed, SonicWall mentioned that the acquisition amount surpassed the total funding raised by Banyan Security.
  • SSE integrates multiple network security services such as secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, zero-trust network access, and firewall-as-a-service into a unified, cloud-based package.

SonicWall Inc., a network security provider that emerged from Dell Technologies Inc. in 2016, recently revealed its acquisition of Banyan Security Inc. The latter specializes in workforce edge service security solutions, contributing to SonicWall’s expansion of its cloud services portfolio.

The increasing adoption of cloud computing by workforces and organizations has expanded the attack surfaces in the cybersecurity landscape, leading to a rise in related challenges. The edge, where employees remotely connect to networks, has emerged as a growing avenue for attackers to exploit privileged access, infiltrating networks and targeting vulnerable systems.

As employees increasingly embrace hybrid and remote work setups, utilizing home offices, virtual offices, and cyber cafes, external devices are now more frequently connecting to vital business applications and intricate networks. Consequently, there has been a significant surge in the expansion of attack surfaces. Simultaneously, safeguarding these expanded attack surfaces has become more challenging. Traditional defenses, once focused on stopping attackers at entry points, are no longer sufficient. Embracing new cybersecurity paradigms to prevent exploits proactively has become imperative.

Established in 2015, Banyan Security specializes in Security Service Edge (SSE), a cybersecurity concept developed by Gartner Inc. SSE integrates multiple network security services such as secure web gateways, zero-trust network access, cloud access security brokers, and firewall-as-a-service into a unified, cloud-based package. SSE is a subset of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a framework that converges networking and security functions into a unified cloud service.

Banyan, distinct from the now-defunct local-area network software provider Banyan Systems Inc., secured USD 30 million in its latest funding round (Series B) in January 2022. This funding, led by Third Point LLC, brought Banyan’s total funding to USD 47 million. SonicWall completed the acquisition of Banyan Security on December 26. While the specific financial details were not disclosed, SonicWall mentioned that the acquisition amount surpassed the total funding raised by Banyan Security.

The acquisition will augment SonicWall’s cybersecurity portfolio by incorporating zero-trust features previously sourced through original equipment manufacturers. Robert VanKirk, who took on the role of Chief Executive about 18 months ago, highlighted this strategic move to enhance SonicWall’s cybersecurity offerings.

“Right out of the gates, it was very clear that our focus was on rounding out key capabilities both organically and organically,” he said, particularly in managed detection and response, extended detection and response, SSE, and zero trust. “We believe this positions us well with an end-to-end solution.”

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) establishes an identity or context-based access boundary around applications. This means that when users log in, their presence is concealed from discovery, and access to them is safeguarded through a trusted broker. With ZTNA, no implicit trust exists between any entity and the network. Every time users connect, they’re given only the necessary permissions; when disconnected, they are revoked. This granularity and scalability make ZTNA highly effective, virtually eliminating threats from compromised devices.

SonicWall primarily sells to small and mid-sized customers through channel partners. SonicWall’s Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Neiderman, said that the market “tends to be led by specific use cases as opposed to somebody asking for an entire SSE architecture. It tends to be led more by a need to replace a legacy [virtual private network] VPN with ZTNA or adding a security web gateway to a virtual firewall.” SonicWall aims to provide all components of a SASE architecture in hybrid networks. This approach caters to scenarios where individuals transition to cloud services but may retain legacy elements of a local area network security infrastructure.

He added, “If you have a traditional network, but you’re accessing just some applications in the cloud, then a physical firewall may be the easiest solution. If you’re more fully migrated to the cloud, then having a total package solution makes sense. We’re providing the flexibility to stay on your cloud journey and use just these components you need.”

SonicWall, which already offers a range of security and network products such as endpoint, wireless cloud email, and threat intelligence, has made its second acquisition in the past three months. This move comes after a nearly 10-year hiatus in acquiring new entities. In November, SonicWall acquired Solutions Granted Inc., which specializes in managed security services for threat detection and response. The platform provides users with a unified backend for threat visibility and streamlined workflows.

The company’s owner, Francisco Partners Management LLC, “has been very supportive of the inorganic and organic areas of focus,” VanKirk said. “You’ll see more from us in inorganic and organic investments that move us towards security as a service and to the cloud edge.”