Key Criteria for Evaluating Secure Service Accessv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Secure Service Access Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. SSA Capabilities
  7. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. About Ivan McPhee

1. Summary

Secure service access (SSA) represents a significant shift in the way network security is consumed. With the IT security arena flooded with acronyms, SSA encompasses many of the security models being promoted by analysts and vendors, including secure access service edge (SASE), security service edge (SSE), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and extended detection and response (XDR).

Shifting the focus of security consumption from either data center or edge-centric to ubiquitous, cloud-native SSA solutions provide intuitive, integrated, and scalable layered, user-centric security functions. In addition, leading SSA solutions should meet each organization’s unique needs irrespective of network architecture, cloud infrastructure, or user location and device, enabling them to replace multiple security vendors with a single, integrated platform offering full interoperability and end-to-end redundancy.

In 2021, the first GigaOm reports on SSA were published: “Key Criteria for Evaluating Secure Service Access” and “GigaOm Radar for Evaluating Secure Service Access.” After evaluating 15 different SSA solutions, four vendors were included in the Leader’s ring, nine in the Challenger’s ring, and two in the New Entrant’s ring. However, we expect the 2022 reports to reflect new capabilities and positioning as vendors accelerated innovation to address new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the demand for new security models due to the sudden shift to remote working.

This Key Criteria report outlines critical criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting a secure service access solution. The corresponding Radar report provides an overview of notable secure service access vendors and their available offerings. Together, these reports offer essential insights for end-to-end security initiatives, helping decision-makers evaluate solutions before deciding where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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