Security vendor SonicWall has made another broad series of announcements – their third within the last year. This one is specifically aimed at bolstering their presence in the midmarket, with enhanced and integrated management in their Capture Cloud Platform as well as a series of firewall, endpoint, and cloud application security announcements.
“This is a very big announcement for us,” said Bill Conner, SonicWall’s CEO. “It’s our third major announcement in the last year, following ones last fall and in April. Now we are introducing twelve new products with 35 million lines of code.”
More important than the actual products though is the strategy behind them, which is a major push by SonicWall from their SMB base up into the enterprise, to deepen their position there.
“We have recaptured our top position in brand in the SME, and are number five in the midmarket,” Conner said. “This announcement is all about us re-emphasizing the midmarket, and moving up from number five there. We are already there, so it’s not like we are now doing something new, but we do want to expand our presence.”
Conner emphasized that SonicWall has designed a separate platform strategy for the midmarket, as compared with the SMB.
“We are emphasizing what we are doing here that is different from what we do in SMB,” he said. “What we bring together with this announcement is a disruptive enterprise cloud platform, that integrates endpoints with Cloud Capture, high end firewalls, and cloud application security – a CASB, but integrated into the platform. We then bring it all together through the Capture Security Center with management, reporting and next generation analytics. No one, we believe, has done this across all those pieces up to this point, as we have been really focused on bringing those pieces together. We also do it at a TCO that is better than what enterprises have today.”
“This launch completes our story in how we want customers and partners to see us from a solution security perspective, as opposed to a firewall company, said Atul Dhablania, a 16 year SonicWall veteran who is the company’s Chief Operating Officer and oversees all its engineering operations. “Capture Security Center, which we introduced last year, was our single pane of glass for the network. We’ve now done this across all our product lines, not just the firewalls, with Capture Client integrating threat intelligence capabilities.” The intelligence capabilities cover the firewall to the endpoint, with data from the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection sandbox service, Capture Client endpoint protection and SentinelOne threat databases. The protection includes endpoints inside and outside the network, remote users, and Email clients.
“This launch is all about taking the ease of an SMB into the midmarket and enabling customers across all network solutions,” Dhablania added. “Our solutions are moving away from being just a hardware play or just a Capture Client play to much more of a one-stop shop.”
“We have over 25,000 partners now, a lot of our traditional firewall-focused partners will be excited at the upgrades to the classic appliances,” Conner said. “However, a lot of our new partners, the MSSPs and higher end vertical and compliance-focused people see these broader platform capabilities, and they see that none of our competition has all the capabilities we do.”
Five new next-generation firewalls that will excited those traditional partners are part of the launch – the NSa 6650, 9250, 9450 and 9650 models, and the NSsp 12000 series.
“One of the key things is that we are bumping up by an order of order of magnitude the number of sessions that our firewalls can do, providing the ability to inspect a much larger number of sessions,” said Lawrence Pingree, SonicWall’s Vice President of Product Management. The NSa 6650, 9250, 9450 and 9650 have nearly five times the number of stateful packet inspection connections and 25 times the number of SSL/TLS deep packet inspection connections. They also have 10-GbE and 2.5-GbE interfaces to enable more devices to connect directly to the firewall without requiring a switch. The new NSsp 12400 and 12800 next-generation firewalls in the 12000 series have multiple 40-GbE interfaces, and are capable of scanning millions of connections for the latest cyber threats.
“Some of the things we are doing in analytics now will make network engineers’ eyes pop,” Pingree added. “They are things I wanted in SonicWall products for years as a network security engineer and as an analyst with Gartner. I think this jumps us ahead of the competition compared to 2-3 years ago.”
Pingree also emphasized the significance of the upgraded Capture reporting, which leverages more than 140 pre-defined report templates to gain awareness of network events, user activities, threats, operational and performance issues, security efficacy, risks and security gaps, compliance readiness and post-mortem analysis.
“Capture is also management and reporting – not just analytics,” he said. “It will be a conduit for threat intelligence and other intelligence sharing, without the need for scripts or pushes.”
Other products enhanced as part of this announcement were SonicOS 6.5.2, the Secure Mobile Access [SMA] 1000 Series 12.2 and SMA 100 Series 9.0, Email Security 9.2, and Global Management System (GMS) 8.6