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AT&T launches a managed SASE offering with Cisco

AT&T aims its latest managed SASE service at enterprises using Cisco hardware. The offering's features range from firewall and secure web gateway functionality to DNS layer security.

AT&T has launched a portfolio of managed secure access service edge products in collaboration with Cisco. AT&T SASE with Cisco, the service provider's third SASE offering, aims to appeal to large and midsize enterprises that want security services that integrate smoothly with existing Cisco hardware.

Customers familiar with Cisco's SASE platform will recognize the basic features of the new service, from firewall and secure web gateway functionality to DNS layer security. Unlike Cisco's independent offering, the AT&T product will be a managed service, priced depending on specific customer needs.

The latest product, introduced this week, is not the first time AT&T and Cisco have teamed up on a managed service. Since July 2020, the telco has offered a managed SD-WAN with Cisco. The two have offered 5G for IoT devices since August.

Rupesh Chokshi, vice president at AT&T cybersecurity, said he believes that the collaboration history and broad portfolio of managed service offerings will deliver a comprehensive portfolio with relatively simple integration into Cisco hardware.

AT&T already has two other managed SASE collaborations on the market. One is with Fortinet, and the other with Palo Alto Networks. According to John Grady, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, the latest product launch will make AT&T's portfolio more flexible. It will also appeal to midmarket companies already invested in Cisco.

"This gives AT&T some flexibility to allow customers to leverage what's already installed and build off of that, rather than starting from scratch," Grady said. "If you have Cisco, or you're looking for a fully baked SASE implementation, and you're really looking for a services-led engagement, then this is going to be attractive to those types of organizations."

Managed SASE is a hot market right now, so AT&T SASE with Cisco will have plenty of competition from vendors like Zscaler and Versa Networks. All the same, a partnership between two industry giants like AT&T and Cisco is likely to attract attention.

Madelaine Millar is a news writer covering network technology at TechTarget. She has previously written about science and technology for MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Khoury College of Computer Science, as well as covering community news for Boston Globe Media. She is a graduate of Northeastern University, and originally hails from Missoula, Mont.

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