Barracuda added zero-trust network access (ZTNA) capabilities to its emerging secure access service edge (SASE) platform today with the acquisition of Fyde.

Neither company disclosed financial details, however, Fyde has received more than $5 million in funding since it was founded in 2017, according to Crunchbase.

Fyde’s technologies will form the backbone of Barracuda’s CloudGen Access ZTNA offering, said Barracuda CTO Fleming Shi. And while remote access is nothing new for Barracuda, the acquisition represents a clear step toward embracing a full zero-trust-based SASE architecture.

“If you think about zero trust, for Barracuda, we had a very substantial VPN technology that allowed us to do more security than any other VPN connectivity technology,” Shi said. “We call it transport-independent network architecture, or TINA for short.”

However, as the pandemic set in and employees found themselves working from home, Barracuda saw an opportunity to provide more granular access control. “We decided to make sure that security was no longer just about firewalling; it’s about providing access control based on the security posture based on the conditions that you’re in,” Shi said.

This granularity of access policy enforcement extends beyond the reach of the pandemic, Shi said, explaining that as countries open up and people start traveling again, this technology is equally as relevant.

“Imagine if you go to a Starbucks and there is a public WiFi. Maybe that’s not good enough for a policy to say, on public WiFi, you don’t have access to certain applications,” he said. “Those are the conditional elements that will actually provide security without exposing too much of the infrastructure to the end user.”

This is where Fyde’s technology came into play.

CloudGen Access and SASE Implications

Fyde provides a cloud-native and on-premises ZTNA service that will be integrated into Barracuda’s existing networking and security stack. The approach address two key growth markets for Barracuda: on-premises data center and the public cloud.

“Yes, we love public cloud, but there are people who are still like, ‘I’m not sure, I need this proxy component to be running on prem,’” Shi said.

To meet this need, Barracuda plans to integrate much of Fyde’s ZTNA proxy capabilities into its CloudGen Firewall.

“The idea there is to make the deployment even more seamless. If you’re a customer with CloudGen WAN or CloudGen Firewall, you can utilize this solution,” Shi said.

Additionally, Barracuda will adopt Fyde’s endpoint agent.

“They have a very unique approach on how they handle traffic on the endpoint,” Shi said. This was key for Barracuda as “if you have too much on the endpoint, it gets too busy; it probably becomes unusable; people turn it off.”

He explained that Fyde was able to achieve a cloud-native ZTNA without “burning too many calories on the endpoint… If you compare their solution to others, you’ll see the battery on the laptop lasts much longer.”

Barracuda’s CloudGen Access platform based on Fyde is available today and will be available to managed service providers next month.