IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Barracuda and Zscaler Partner on Cloud-Based Web Security Service

Available both as a bundled component of Barracuda’s NextGen Firewalls or as a stand-alone solution, the new offering brings Zscaler functionality previously available only to large businesses within reach of midsize companies as well.

By Rich Freeman

Barracuda Networks Inc. and Zscaler Inc. have announced an alliance to bring cloud-based web security solutions to midsize businesses.

A new solution called Barracuda Web Security Service, which is scheduled to reach market within the next 30 days, will utilize San Jose, Calif.-based Zscaler’s cloud-hosted web security gateway to help companies towards the upper end of the SMB spectrum filter out malware, botnets, and other threats embedded in online traffic.

The system, which will be available for purchase both as a bundled component of Campbell, Calif.-based Barracuda’s NextGen Firewall products or as a stand-alone solution licensed on a per-user basis, is designed to help mid-market businesses with hybrid cloud environments keep remote and mobile users secure despite limited IT resources.

“Security tends to be a very compute-intensive operation,” observes Punit Minocha, Zscaler’s vice president of business development. “Given that our security is done in the cloud, the end customer no longer has to make a trade-off between security and performance.”

Executing tasks like malware scanning, content inspection, and reporting in the cloud rather than locally eases processing burdens on firewalls in particular, according to Sanjay Ramnath, Barracuda’s vice president of security product and strategy.

“We’re able to offload a lot of performance-intensive operations,” he says.

End users benefit from the multitenant Zscaler platform’s ability to protect every customer from threats spotted in one client’s environment, Minocha adds.

The new service offers Barracuda resellers, meanwhile, a new way to help midsize customers with roaming users and satellite offices provide direct but safe access to the cloud.

“These are emerging use cases that traditional architectures are not able to address effectively,” Ramnath says. “We think a combination of our gateway platform combined with Zscaler’s cloud technology will provide that value and those capabilities.”

Zscaler currently processes over 30 billion transactions and blocks more than 125 million threats every day for over 5,000 customers, most of which are large enterprises. The Barracuda alliance offers it an opportunity to expand into a potentially rich new market.

“Barracuda is a market leader in the small and medium-sized business category, and it’s an area that we are not focused on here at Zscaler,” Minocha says.

For Barracuda, partnering with Zscaler represents a quick way to add hosted web security services to a product lineup that already includes both physical and virtual web security appliances.

“Cloud-based web security has been on our radar for quite some time,” Ramnath says.

Barracuda chose to join forces with Zscaler specifically due to its market-tested platform and complementary business objectives.

“There was a strategic fit from both sides,” Ramnath says.

The service unveiled today is the latest in an ongoing string of additions to Barracuda’s NextGen Firewall portfolio. Most recently, the company added support for Google Cloud Platform to the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure compatibility those products offered previously.