This is another service that forces users through the cloud instead of direct access to the organization's internet portal. However, in this case it is not just a content delivery issue for a website with which we are concerned - outside-in access, so-to-speak. Rather it is outward-looking in that it is the organizations' employees, not its customers, who get the advantage. Zscaler is, in my view, a secure data center in the cloud. That is saying a lot, but Zscaler delivers and has been since 2008.
Don't be confused, however. Zscaler does not completely replace your data center. Rather, it provides that portion of your data center that is most likely to be troublesome: access to the internet. Users are forced, regardless of from where they access, to get to the internet through the Zscaler cloud. The access appears to the users as if it was through the organization's data center, but instead it is passing through Zscaler.
The system uses a central portal to define policy and, once defined, the policy follows the user no matter which data center is being accessed (that access, by the way, is automatic depending on where in the world the user happens to be).
Being an aggregated system - all users access through the Zscaler cloud - there is the usual opportunity to collect and disseminate threat information so that all users in the cloud are protected at the same level. Zscaler uses sandboxing for its analytics and the company can block as well as warn. This is quite effective at preventing malware attacks. Configuration and policy development/roll out is simple and fast and the reporting is superb.
We liked this service for its functionality and ease of use. A low $12 per user per year price tag helps as well.