When we talk about content management we usually think of both email and web content. Today, though, these two sources are blurring and, really, we need to manage content into our systems - no matter how it gets there. That is the premise behind the Zscaler product. In fact, along with their partners, Zscaler has become what amounts to a secure internet service provider, a concept I thought about in the late 1990s, but did not have the technology to implement.
Zscaler provides a service in the cloud that they describe as a global network of forward proxies. Users connect to the internet through the Zscaler network and everything that they connect to subsequently passes through the Zscaler network. This network provides security, content management and page-by-page risk analysis of all web content served to the user's browser. Since the network is very high performance, this granular analysis is viable.
The visionary I spoke with at Zscaler described the company's approach as a multi-tenant architecture where policies move between locations. This allows users to be truly mobile and to access the internet from anywhere with full confidence that they are protected. This is another one of those recurring themes that I ran into this year: Computing is pervasive and the transport is the internet. That means that solutions to tough challenges must involve the internet and the answer, according to Zscaler, is SaaS, where the software in the cloud is a robust comprehensive security application.
Their technical innovation is grounded in very high performance with extremely low latency. Part of the offering is compliance support through reports based on the company's nanolog system. This provides real-time logging and reporting. According to Zscaler, their cloud provides security, management capabilities, compliance and analysis all without buying special hardware.
The business model is that of an ISP working through partners around the world where enforcement nodes reside. The core Zscaler's technology includes its page risk index calculation that, according to the company, is better than a traditional view of reputation. It is better because it does not depend on addresses or URLs that can move. Instead, it examines each page uniquely regardless of its source.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: Zscaler
Cost: from $1 to $5 per user per month depending on number of users and services required; Zscaler is available as a service only
Innovation: One of the most innovative solutions to the dangers of using the internet; an excellent mix of creative technology and an innovative business approach
Greatest strength: Ability to develop and manage a global secure subscription network for corporate customer use