Zscaler Supercharges Its Cybersecurity Portfolio At Zenith Live 2024

By Will Townsend - July 5, 2024
Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry opening day keynote at Zscaler Zenith Live 2024WILL TOWNSEND

Zscaler held its annual Zenith Live event earlier this month. AI was a central theme (unsurprisingly), along with two partnership announcements. In this piece, I’ll delve into the details shared by its management team and highlight what I found most important.

AI Security Innovations, Fueled By Nvidia

Nvidia is the unquestioned leader in the emerging world of generative AI, with its silicon and software stack quickly becoming a de facto standard. Infrastructure companies such as Cisco, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are scrambling to direct their own development efforts to partner with Nvidia. (See, for example, Moor Insights & Strategy chief analyst and CEO Patrick Moorhead’s recent coverage from Dell Technologies World of the “AI factories” partnership between Dell and Nvidia.)

In the wake of announcements at Zenith Live, we can now add Zscaler to that growing list. Even before we get to the technical specifics, partnering with Nvidia is a smart move from a market perspective, as borne out by the recent positive effect that Nvidia has had on the stock prices of its other partners.

As for the technical side, Zscaler is augmenting its zero trust framework with a handful of Nvidia AI technologies that are designed to improve threat detection capacity and deliver new user experiences and services. The fruit of these efforts includes two new Zscaler digital experience monitoring copilot assistants:

  • Zscaler ZDX Copilot with Nvidia Morpheus is a GPU-accelerated AI framework that aims to allow developers to build new applications that filter, process and classify larger volumes of threat data. Zscaler is already analyzing trillions of data points, and that number will continue to grow over time. With Nvidia’s help, Zscaler hopes to dramatically increase its capabilities in this regard through AI-driven analysis and automation. I believe that it’s a great codevelopment effort, one that could enhance the capabilities of Zscaler’s security cloud—the largest security cloud in operation today.
  • Zscaler ZDX Copilot with Nvidia NIM uses the Nvidia AI Enterprise software stack to deliver a set of microservices that accelerate AI inferencing; this in turn helps customers optimize security and data protection outcomes and do so very efficiently. Zscaler has been refining its DLP capabilities for over a decade, and partnering with Nvidia could strengthen these abilities further. NIM’s ability to support a wide range of large language models and multimodal capabilities is powerful, and Zscaler could see immediate benefits in the form of higher degrees of efficiency and learning within its data protection suite.

Does The Google Chrome Enterprise–ZscaIer Partnership Signal The End Of The VPN?

Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry has long lamented the death of VPNs, and his views on what comes next seem to have taken a leap forward given Zscaler’s announcement with Google at Zenith Live. VPNs have historically been fraught with challenges, ranging from poor performance to worse user experiences, in addition to being a target for exploitation by bad actors. However, many legacy applications require the continued use of VPNs. As an alternative, enterprise browsers—which leverage isolation techniques that eliminate risky user activity over the Internet—are becoming a popular consideration for many companies that want to offer an improved user experience.

Google Chrome has grown to become one of the most popular web browsers, and Google has developed an enterprise version that is now powered with Zscaler’s private access, zero trust capabilities. The integration is designed to ingest Chrome Enterprise browser signals and telemetry to improve security posture, fortify threat detection and harden access control for private applications—both on-premises and in the cloud.

It’s also worth highlighting that new Zscaler integrations with Google Workspace are designed to prevent loss of sensitive data from applications including Gmail, Google Drive and Google’s productivity suite of Sheets, Slides and Docs. An additional integration with Google Security Operations is also well positioned to help organizations detect, investigate and hunt for threats.

On the surface, it’s a powerful collaboration between Zscaler and Google, one that could address the shortcomings of VPN solutions with a flexible enterprise-grade browser that is highly secure. And the additional Google Workspace and Security Operations enhancements are equally compelling.

Supercharging Zscaler’s Impact With Partnerships

During the Zenith Live opening-day keynote, Chaudhry suggested that Zscaler’s platform could be paired with identity management and endpoint security for a complete and consolidated approach to securing the enterprise. That’s a bold statement, but one that isn’t a stretch based on Zscaler’s consistent financial performance and growth over the past several quarters.

Consolidation is a consistent trend in cybersecurity, given the explosion of point solutions and the challenges in managing security operations at scale. Nvidia and Google are giants in the tech industry that touch millions of endpoints and fortify the underlying infrastructure. Consequently, the partnership announcements with them at Zenith Live could supercharge Zscaler’s cybersecurity efforts.

Will Townsend

Will Townsend manages the networking and security practices for Moor Insights & Strategy focused on carrier infrastructure providers, carrier services, enterprise networking and security. He brings over 30 years of technology industry experience in a variety of product, marketing, channel, business development and sales roles to his advisory position.