Zscaler: Securely Access the Hosted and External Applications

Jay Chaudhary, Founder and CEO

The pandemic has given a required push to a pertinent question - will everything be on cloud? It was always a question of when an organization will bring clouds into their environment and every time during that discussion in boardroom meetings there would be questions about the security of the same. The fact that the personal network and devices security can be monitored comparatively easily to the open internet triumphed and the cloud adoption moved at a steady pace. However, with employees connecting their personal devices and, due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns, connecting via their personal network, it was imperative to a) host applications on cloud and b) make that secure. Thankfully, visionaries like Jay Chaudhary made sure that there were solutions available for both the mandates. “My obsession is really to make sure that the internet and cloud are a safe place for everyone to do business,” says Jay Chaudhary. He is the founder and CEO of Zscaler, a name that is becoming synonymous with Security Stack as a Service.

An endeavour to secure connections

Chaudhary has been following his obsession as early as 1997 when he founded his first company SecureIT and CypherTrust. After successfully selling his initial ventures that also included AirDefense and CoreHarbor to behemoths like Verisign, Secure Computing Corporation, Motorola and AT&T, in 2007, he founded Zscaler with the aim to provide security where connections take place between the application and devices.

This was achieved by creating a cloud native platform in zero trust security paradigm.

My obsession is really to make sure that the internet and cloud are a safe place for everyone to do business

Zero Trust assumes every connection to be hostile and hence performs security checks each time irrespective of the device (managed or unmanaged). The platform ensures that neither the speed of access nor the security is compromised. The company has built a host of applications over this platform and that is furnished as a security stack as a service to their clients.

Zscaler Internet Access is a secure internet gateway which is “always-on” and protects all users and location. Despite the always-on modus operandi, the direct-internet connections to the security platform ensures a fast, secure user experience. On the other hand, Zscaler Private Access secures the extension of the perimeter beyond the confines of an organization’s perimeter and overhauls a network-centric approach to security. The zero trust access is provided to private applications running on public cloud or within the data center, and it is not exposed to the internet, making them completely invisible to unauthorized users. The users are connected via inside-out connectivity instead of extending the network to them. Even the deployment and delivery of apps is made easier by the platform. Zscaler B2B is aimed to empower organizations to deliver fast, seamless and secure access to applications to business customers. Once the business policies are keyed-in, the platform allows the secure connection of authenticated customers and eliminates the complexity and friction of legacy network and security infrastructures. Even the detection of a threat is made possible by Zscaler through their platform. “We have a massive database on the links that we already have identified as being bad,” says Chaudhary.
Efficient and Reliable Cloud Security

The zero trust architecture has enabled Zscaler to be the partner of choice for more than 400 organizations of Forbes Global 2000. Chaudhary’s obsession has been recognized by Garner when Zscaler was named the sole leader in 2020 in secure web gateways magic quadrant. Similar praise has come from Greg McCarthy, the City of Boston’s Chief Information Security Officer. When McCarthy was looking to provide its citizens a secure, scalable, cost-effective cloud access for its 5,500 users to improve workflow efficiency and reduce user frustration, they employed Zscaler. After issuing an RFP to support the continued shift from an on-premises infrastructure to cloud, Zscaler Internet Access was selected as a cloud security platform. As a result of deploying ZIA, the security team in Boston was able to reduce the malware and other threats. The platform also provided visibility into user activity and is helping to keep Boston’s cyber team aware of all applications running in the environment. “Like every city and government agency, we need to provide access to web-based shared services and the open internet,” says McCarthy. “Our zero trust approach and Zscaler Internet Access have helped us improve security and reduce user frustration. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about— delivering secure, modern citizen services to the City of Boston.”

Zscaler has had sustained demand for its products due to increased cybersecurity risks and accelerating digital transformation. The zero trust architecture has been the key catalyst in the growth of the company. Chaudhary’s team has been investing heavily on partner programs and expanding its field operations. “The market we are playing into is $5 billion-plus,” says Chaudhary. “10 years down the road, it’s probably going to be in the $10 billion to $12 billion range. The goal here is to build a lasting company and to dominate this cloud security space.” Zscaler has been leading the race to deliver zero trust security over the internet and is well poised to be the partner of choice for organizations in their digital transformation endeavour.