SonicWall has acquired Banyan Security for an undisclosed amount. Banyan Security is a provider of security service edge (SSE) solutions. The acquisition will boost SonicWall’s portfolio in the secure access service edge (SASE) space and will appeal to customers looking for zero-trust network access (ZTNA).

Bob VanKirk, CEO and President, SonicWall (Image Credit, LinkedIn)
Bob VanKirk, CEO and President, SonicWall

SonicWall President and CEO Bob VanKirk, said, “Cybersecurity’s focus is shifting to more dynamic solutions that can adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of threats in the cloud age. For years, firewalls have been the cornerstone of cybersecurity defenses.

“However, with the rise of cloud computing and secure access service edge (SASE), the industry is shifting its focus to more comprehensive and flexible approaches that include SSE and ZTNA as a necessity. Together, SonicWall and Banyan Security will provide cloud-based secure access service edge (SASE) solutions that empower partners to deliver a security architecture for any stage of their customers’ evolving cloud journey.” 

What does Banyan Security bring to SonicWall?

Banyan Security delivers an SSE platform that brings together VPNaaS, ZTNA, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Secure Web Gateway (SWG). The platform is extensible using the RESTful API in the Cloud Command Center (CCC), which allows security teams to develop, deploy and enforce policies.

Importantly, the Cloud Command Center is also SOC-2 Type 2 certified. That means that security and compliance teams gain continuous auditing. It will allow both to identify any risks or failures and to take the appropriate action to remedy them.

One of the key elements is the Banyan App. This sits on end-user devices such as desktops and mobiles. It registers and authenticates devices with the CCC.

Where this will benefit SonicWall is it has seen an increasing number of its smaller solutions sold to SMEs. The ability of the Banyan Security app to sit on the end device and use that to handle a range of tasks is interesting. It could lead to a new generation of firewalls that are more easily deployed in branch offices. With the app using the local device for key tasks and not relying on the firewall or other devices, it should make SonicWall more attractive to those organisations.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

SonicWall sees this as more than just a set of capabilities from Banyan Security that it can sell. It believes that this acquisition plays to its “best of suite” approach. However, just how it will create a best-of-suite is not clear, as it has competing offerings already. This raises three questions.

  1. It already has its own SASE solution, so will it roll that into the Banyan Security platform?
  2. It also offers ZTNA through a partnership with Perimeter 18. What will happen to that relationship?
  3. Will SonicWall look to acquire Perimeter 18 and merge it with Banyan Security?

There is a fourth question here, and that is, will SonicWall allow Banyan Security to continue as a separate business unit under its banner? If so, that could lead to some tricky situations in terms of cross-selling and competition.

Overall, this is good news for SonicWall customers, especially those in the mid-sized enterprise space. What it does need to do is address the questions above. Customers will not want to find security getting more complicated and will expect a “suite” to cover everything they need.

This is also the second acquisition that SonicWall has made in the last few months. In November 2023, it acquired Solutions Granted, again for an unknown amount. Is this the start of a spending spree by the company? Under Dell, the company languished for a number of years. It is only since the acquisition by Francisco Partners in 2016 that it has become more active. With two quick acquisitions, are Francisco Partners simply bolstering the company or looking to prepare it for sale?

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