Comcast tackles on-premise SASE with Versa Networks

Security secure lock
Comcast is plotting additional moves around SASE later this year. (Getty Images)

Comcast Business teamed with Versa Networks to up its game in the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) market, rolling out a new advanced security option for mid-size and large enterprises. 

The company made its first SASE move in March, offering Palo Alto’s cloud-based Prisma Access security solution via its software-defined ActiveCore platform. Shena Tharnish, VP of cybersecurity products at Comcast Business, told Fierce the key difference between Palo Alto’s SASE service and the new one from Versa is that the latter enables on-premise unified threat management.

“We don’t look at SASE as a product, we really look at it as a framework and we are more concentrating on providing secure network solutions for our customers,” she said.

“SASE is really just components of where you need to add security at the endpoints,” Tharnish continued. “Not everybody’s ready to rip out and replace what they have, so wherever they’re at in their software-defined networking journey as well as their security it’s important we have options for them to be able to make progress in securing their edge and access.”

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Comcast is plotting additional moves around SASE later this year, with Tharnish hinting “we’ll have more announcements on just going bigger with our capabilities that we’re launching with SD-WAN.”

She stated “securing remote access is a component of Prisma Access that we will also look to enable on Versa,” adding Versa offers cloud access security capabilities which Comcast plans to enable at a later date.

In a statement, Comcast Business Head of Product Bob Victor noted the SASE move is the latest “result of our longstanding, strategic partnership with Versa Networks.” Comcast first partnered with Versa in 2017 on SD-WAN, and Tharnish noted Versa’s OS underpins its ActiveCore platform. Earlier this year, Comcast rolled out an enhanced routing capability for ActiveCore which was developed alongside Versa.

Comcast isn't the only one pursuing a multi-vendor approach to SASE. Verizon launched its first SASE offer last week, tapping Versa and Zscaler as its initial partners. Meanwhile, AT&T this week expanded its SASE vendor roster to include Palo Alto, adding to an existing partnership with Fortinet.