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Juniper Networks launches Secure Edge firewall as a service

Secure Edge, the as-a-service version of Juniper's SRX firewalls, is managed through the Security Director Cloud platform for SASE released last May.

Juniper Networks has released Secure Edge, a firewall-as-a-service addition to the company's Secure Access Service Edge portfolio.

Secure Edge provides the same services as Juniper's SRX physical, virtual or containerized firewall. Launched this week, the firewall as a service delivers the same user- and application-based access, intrusion prevention system, anti-malware software and secure web access capabilities.

Secure Edge runs on the same Junos operating system as SRX and can deploy all the same policies. It has also received the same efficacy validations as SRX from and ICSA Labs Advanced Threat Defense.

Delivering a firewall as a cloud-based service allows it to operate closer to the edge and avoid the latency associated with backhauling traffic to the data center. The lack of a physical machine to deploy or maintain simplifies installing updates.

IT staff can manage Secure Edge and SRX through the Juniper Security Director Cloud, the company's Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) management portal. Secure Edge is the first new product added to Security Director Cloud since its May launch.

Juniper got "some flak" from customers when it launched Security Director Cloud because the product didn't contain many services, said Kate Adam, Juniper's senior director of security product marketing.

"The reason we started with management is because that is what drives experience," Adam said.

Now that the management component is firmly in place, Adam said Juniper is adding security services to complete the product. In the future, Juniper plans to offer features that will leverage automation, AI and full-stack visibility.

Juniper will likely eventually add a cloud access security broker and zero-trust network access, John Grady, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said. Juniper is known as a firewall provider, so getting that service in its SASE offering first is "low-hanging fruit."

"I would expect them over time to begin to add on some of those more application-specific protections," Grady said.

Juniper expects the expanding Juniper Security Director Cloud to draw in customers approaching SASE from a security-first perspective, Adam said. Juniper's Session Smart portfolio, acquired when the company bought 128 Technology in 2020, appeals to a smaller customer group that wants to approach SASE starting with network infrastructure and SD-WAN.

Customers already using Security Director Cloud will have to purchase a license for Secure Edge. For new customers, a Security Director Cloud license will come with the purchase of Secure Edge. Juniper did not release pricing.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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.


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