Before we get into the specifics of Zscaler, let’s understand competitor analysis. Competitor analysis is a strategic research method companies use to identify, evaluate, and understand their current and potential competitors within the market. It’s an essential business strategy component and instrumental in understanding the industry landscape.

The process usually involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying Key Competitors: The first step is to identify your competitors. These may be direct competitors (those who offer the same or similar products or services as you) or indirect competitors (those who provide different products or services but compete for the same consumer dollar).
  2. Analyzing Competitors’ Strategies and Objectives: Once competitors are identified, the next step is to understand their business strategies and objectives. This may involve analyzing their marketing materials, financial performance, customer reviews, or any public information available about the company.
  3. Assessing Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses: This step involves evaluating the identified competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include unique products or services, strong brand recognition, and superior customer service. Weaknesses include poor product quality, weak customer service, or high prices.
  4. Understanding Competitors’ Products/Services: Understanding what your competitors offer and how your products or services compare is essential. This could involve examining features, quality, pricing, customer service, and marketing strategies.
  5. Observing Competitors’ Reaction Patterns: Some companies react more aggressively than others when faced with competition. Understanding these patterns lets you predict how these companies might respond to your business strategies.
  6. Drawing Conclusions and Formulating Strategy: The final step is to take all the information gathered from the analysis, draw meaningful conclusions, and use those to formulate or adjust your business strategies.

The main goal of a competitor analysis is to understand the competitive landscape, spot opportunities and threats, and position your company most advantageously. It helps to inform strategic decisions, from product development to marketing and sales efforts. 

Zscaler business overview

Zscaler is a leading company in the cloud security sector, providing a comprehensive and integrated platform designed to securely connect users, devices, and applications over the internet. Since its inception in 2007 by CEO Jay Chaudhry, Zscaler has focused on replacing traditional network security appliances with a globally distributed cloud-based security platform.

Key Products and Services: Zscaler’s services are primarily delivered through its flagship offerings, Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) and Zscaler Private Access (ZPA):

  • Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) is a secure internet gateway that provides users with safe and fast internet and cloud services. ZIA inspects all incoming and outgoing traffic between users and the internet, blocking malware and cyber threats and enabling safe web access.
  • Zscaler Private Access (ZPA): Provides secure access to internal applications hosted in the data center or public clouds without exposing them to the internet, effectively creating a zero-trust network architecture. ZPA ensures that only authenticated users can access specific internal applications, thereby enhancing security.

Market Position and Industry Impact: Zscaler is considered a pioneer in the cloud security space, particularly known for its emphasis on a zero-trust security model. The company has gained significant traction by leveraging the shift towards cloud adoption and the increasing need for secure remote access solutions, especially highlighted by the transition to remote work environments.

Strategic Focus: Zscaler’s strategic focus centers on expanding its cloud-based security platform to address a broader range of security concerns faced by enterprises today. This includes enhancing data protection, improving the security of connections between users, applications, and devices, and expanding its global cloud infrastructure.

Challenges and Opportunities: Zscaler’s challenges include dealing with intense competition in the cybersecurity market, particularly from larger firms with more diversified offerings. Additionally, as cybersecurity threats evolve, Zscaler must continuously innovate to avoid new types of attacks.

Opportunities for Zscaler are vast in the growing market for cloud security solutions. As more enterprises adopt cloud computing and promote remote work policies, demand for Zscaler’s services will likely increase. The company’s focus on zero-trust security, which has become a significant trend in cybersecurity, positions it well to capitalize on these shifts in the IT landscape.

In summary, Zscaler remains a critical player in the cloud security industry, with a strong focus on innovation and expanding its global reach to serve modern enterprises’ evolving security needs effectively.

What does Zscaler do | How does Zscaler work | Business Model

Zscaler competitor analysis

Zscaler, as a leader in cloud-based security services, faces competition from companies that offer similar or complementary security solutions. Here’s an overview of Zscaler’s main competitors:

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks competes with Zscaler primarily in the cloud security and network protection arenas, leveraging its extensive portfolio of security products and services. Here’s how Palo Alto Networks positions itself as a strong competitor to Zscaler:

  1. Comprehensive Security Solutions: Palo Alto Networks offers various security products, including next-generation firewalls, cloud security (Prisma Access), endpoint protection (Cortex XDR), and advanced threat detection and response. This comprehensive range allows Palo Alto Networks to provide end-to-end security solutions that cover more aspects of cybersecurity than Zscaler’s primarily cloud-focused offerings.
  2. Prisma Access: Directly competing with Zscaler’s ZIA and ZPA, Prisma Access provides secure access to the internet and cloud applications for remote networks and mobile users. It offers a blend of cloud-delivered infrastructure and security features that ensure safe connectivity and data protection across distributed environments.
  3. Innovation and R&D: Palo Alto Networks is known for its strong commitment to research and development, continuously evolving its product suite to include the latest cybersecurity technologies and capabilities. This drive for innovation keeps it competitive against cloud-native firms like Zscaler, especially as threats evolve and require newer solutions.
  4. Market Reach and Brand Reputation: Palo Alto Networks has a strong presence in the cybersecurity industry and is a well-established brand with extensive market reach. Its products are widely adopted by large enterprises, government organizations, and small businesses, providing a broad base to compete in various market segments.
  5. Integration Capabilities: Palo Alto Networks’ products are known for integrating with various other security and IT systems. This integration capacity makes it easier for organizations to adopt its solutions within their existing IT infrastructures, providing a competitive edge in environments where customers seek minimal disruption to legacy systems.
  6. GlobalProtect: Another key offering that competes with Zscaler’s solutions is GlobalProtect, which extends the protection of its next-generation firewalls to mobile users and remote networks, ensuring secure connections and consistent security policies across all locations.
  7. Threat Intelligence and Analytics: Palo Alto Networks also offers advanced threat intelligence and analytics through its AutoFocus and Panorama platforms, enhancing its competitive stance by providing deeper insights into threats and enabling proactive defense strategies.

Palo Alto Networks competes effectively with Zscaler by offering an integrated suite of security solutions that protect organizations at various levels, from the endpoint to the network and into the cloud. While Zscaler focuses on cloud-native security services, Palo Alto Networks provides a broader scope of security solutions, appealing to organizations looking for a more comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes but is not limited to cloud security.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems competes with Zscaler primarily in cloud and network security, leveraging its vast array of integrated security products and services. Here’s how Cisco positions itself as a competitor to Zscaler:

  1. Wide Range of Security Solutions: Cisco offers an extensive portfolio of security solutions, including firewalls, VPNs, endpoint security, and cloud security products. This broad range allows Cisco to serve diverse security needs across various network environments.
  2. Cisco Umbrella: Directly competing with Zscaler’s ZIA, Cisco Umbrella provides secure internet gateway services that offer DNS-layer security, secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionalities. Umbrella is designed to protect users from threats on the internet wherever they go, providing comprehensive visibility and protection for both on-premises and remote users.
  3. Zero Trust Security Approach: Like Zscaler’s emphasis on Zero Trust, Cisco promotes a Zero Trust framework, mainly through its Duo Security and Cisco Secure Access by Duo products. These solutions focus on securing access across applications and environments from any user, device, and location, a vital aspect of modern cybersecurity strategies.
  4. Cloud Security: Cisco’s Cloud Security solutions, including Cisco CloudLock (CASB) and Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud, offer visibility and data security in cloud environments, competing with Zscaler’s cloud protection services. These products help organizations secure their cloud data and manage compliance, providing scalable security for public, private, and hybrid clouds.
  5. Global Presence and Infrastructure: With its global presence and robust infrastructure, Cisco has the advantage of scale and reach, which allows it to serve large enterprises, government entities, and small businesses worldwide. This extensive network helps Cisco provide localized support and deployment capabilities that can be critical for multinational organizations.
  6. Integration and Interoperability: Cisco’s security products are designed to work seamlessly with its networking products (like routers and switches) and with each other, creating a cohesive security environment that can be managed and monitored from a central point. This integration provides added value for customers already invested in Cisco’s ecosystem, making it a preferred choice for those seeking an all-in-one vendor.
  7. Innovation and Research: Cisco invests heavily in research and development, which fuels innovation across its product line, including security. Through acquisitions and internal growth, Cisco continually enhances its security offerings to include the latest technologies and best practices, ensuring competitive parity or advantage over specialized companies like Zscaler.

Cisco’s ability to offer an integrated suite of security solutions from the endpoint to the cloud, combined with its global reach and comprehensive support structure, positions it powerfully against Zscaler, particularly for customers looking for an established vendor with a broad security and networking portfolio. This integrated approach appeals to businesses seeking to streamline their security architecture and vendor relationships under a single, broad-capability provider.


Cloudflare competes with Zscaler by offering a broad range of internet security and performance services, strongly focusing on protecting and accelerating internet applications globally. While both companies offer cloud-based security solutions, their approaches and emphases in certain areas differ, providing unique competitive edges. Here’s how Cloudflare competes with Zscaler:

  1. Content Delivery Network (CDN): Cloudflare’s core strength lies in its global CDN, which helps speed up the delivery of internet content by caching it on servers close to end users. This enhances user experience by reducing latency and provides an additional layer of security by acting as a shield for the origin server.
  2. DDoS Protection: Cloudflare is renowned for mitigating Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, regardless of their size or sophistication. This critical service protects businesses from common and potentially devastating online threats, and it’s a central feature that competes directly with Zscaler’s internet security services.
  3. Web Application Firewall (WAF): Like Zscaler, Cloudflare offers a robust WAF that protects web applications from various security threats and vulnerabilities by filtering, monitoring, and blocking harmful traffic. Cloudflare’s WAF integrates with its CDN and security solutions to provide a holistic defense mechanism for web properties.
  4. Zero Trust Security: Cloudflare competes in the zero trust space with its Cloudflare Access service, which challenges traditional corporate VPNs. This service ensures that only authenticated users can access specific internal applications, similar to Zscaler’s ZPA. Cloudflare’s approach extends the zero trust model to internal and third-party applications without exposing them to the public internet.
  5. DNS Security: Cloudflare provides DNS security services designed to protect against DNS-based attacks and improve DNS resolution speeds. This service, combined with their CDN and other security offerings, creates a comprehensive security layer at the DNS level, complementing Zscaler’s security provisions.
  6. SSL/TLS Services: Cloudflare offers streamlined SSL/TLS encryption services that enhance website security and trustworthiness by enabling encrypted connections. These services are crucial for ensuring data integrity and securing user data, aligning with Zscaler’s emphasis on safe internet access.
  7. Edge Computing: Cloudflare Workers provide a serverless execution environment for building applications directly on Cloudflare’s network, allowing developers to run their code close to users globally. This edge computing solution competes with Zscaler’s cloud security solutions by processing data and applying security controls at the network edge, reducing latency and improving performance.

Cloudflare’s combination of performance optimization and robust security features, particularly in DDoS mitigation and CDN services, provides a compelling value proposition that differentiates it from Zscaler. While Zscaler focuses more narrowly on secure and private application access, Cloudflare offers a broader suite of services to enhance security and performance across the internet. This makes Cloudflare particularly appealing to businesses looking for a multifaceted approach to improving their online presence and security.


Fortinet competes with Zscaler by offering a broad range of integrated cybersecurity solutions, focusing mainly on network security and security management across various IT environments. Here’s how Fortinet positions itself against Zscaler:

  1. FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs): Fortinet’s flagship product, the FortiGate NGFW, provides high-performance, consolidated security and networking functions. It effectively competes with Zscaler’s secure internet access solutions by integrating advanced security capabilities such as intrusion prevention, web filtering, and malware protection into the network infrastructure.
  2. Fortinet Security Fabric: This architecture provides broad visibility, integrated detection, and automated response capabilities across a digital attack surface, securing critical devices, data, applications, and connections from the data center to the cloud to the home office. This integrated approach is a direct competitor to Zscaler’s efforts to provide seamless security in a zero-trust model.
  3. Cloud Security: Fortinet offers extensive cloud security solutions through products like FortiCASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) and FortiCWP (Cloud Workload Protection), which provide visibility and control over data in cloud environments, competing with Zscaler’s cloud protection services.
  4. SD-WAN Capabilities: Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution is integrated into its NGFWs, offering a single appliance that reduces complexity and improves bandwidth efficiency. This is essential for secure, direct internet access at branch offices. This positions Fortinet as a strong competitor to Zscaler, especially for organizations looking to consolidate their networking and security functions cost-effectively.
  5. Endpoint and Access Security: With products like FortiClient and FortiEDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), Fortinet competes in the endpoint security market. It ensures devices are protected from malware and other threats, complementing the secure access services provided by Zscaler.
  6. Managed Security Services: Fortinet also provides extensive support and managed services through its FortiGuard Labs, offering threat intelligence, consulting, and incident response services. This competes with Zscaler’s managed security services, providing businesses with the expertise needed to enhance their security posture.
  7. Security-Driven Networking Approach: Fortinet promotes a security-driven networking approach, which tightly integrates the network infrastructure with the security architecture. This holistic integration helps streamline operations and enhance security efficacy, challenging Zscaler’s cloud-centric security approach.

Fortinet provides comprehensive security solutions that span from the endpoint to the network and into the cloud, offering a significant challenge to Zscaler’s cloud-native services. Fortinet’s combination of performance, integration, and broad product offerings appeal to organizations that prefer a unified security architecture over a multi-vendor environment. This broad scope allows Fortinet to cater to a more comprehensive range of security needs than Zscaler’s focus on cloud-based security and access solutions.

Check Point Software Technologies

Check Point Software Technologies competes with Zscaler in several critical areas of cybersecurity, primarily focusing on integrated, comprehensive security solutions. Here’s how Check Point stacks up against Zscaler:

  1. Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs): Check Point’s NGFWs offer robust security features, including intrusion prevention, application control, and URL filtering. They directly compete with Zscaler’s Internet Access solutions, which provide similar functionalities in a cloud-native format.
  2. Cloud Security: Check Point offers a range of cloud security solutions, including CloudGuard, which provides security and compliance for cloud environments across platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. This product line competes with Zscaler’s efforts to secure cloud access and data, although Zscaler’s approach is centered around its cloud-based security as a service model.
  3. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Check Point’s Harmony Connect is designed to provide secure, remote access to applications in a zero-trust approach, similar to Zscaler Private Access. Both services ensure only authorized users can access specific applications, reducing the attack surface and enhancing security.
  4. Unified Security Management: Check Point emphasizes the management of security policies and operations from a single pane of glass, which includes its SmartConsole management platform. This approach competes with Zscaler’s centralized cloud management for simplifying and streamlining security operations.
  5. Threat Prevention and Intelligence: Check Point’s ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence and security updates, supporting its other products in preemptively blocking threats. This directly competes with Zscaler’s threat prevention capabilities, which are also integrated across its cloud security platform.
  6. Endpoint Security: Check Point offers comprehensive endpoint security solutions through its Harmony Endpoint product, which provides advanced threat prevention capabilities for devices. This is akin to Zscaler’s endpoint protection strategies but implemented via traditional software deployment rather than Zscaler’s cloud-native model.
  7. Mobile Security: With Check Point Harmony Mobile, the company offers mobile threat defense for iOS and Android devices, protecting against threats in mobile environments and ensuring secure mobile connectivity. Zscaler also addresses mobile security through integrations and cloud-based protections, making this another competitive point.
  8. Innovation and R&D: Both Check Point and Zscaler strongly emphasize innovation and development, continuously updating their offerings to include the latest cybersecurity technologies and best practices. This keeps both companies competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.

Check Point provides a holistic approach to cybersecurity, integrating various security measures across networks, cloud, endpoints, and mobile platforms. Its strength lies in offering a wide range of security solutions managed centrally and deployed in diverse environments, from on-premises to cloud. This extensive product suite makes Check Point a formidable competitor to Zscaler, particularly for organizations looking for comprehensive, integrated security solutions across their entire IT infrastructure.

Symantec (Broadcom)

Symantec, now part of Broadcom, competes with Zscaler by offering a broad suite of cybersecurity products and services, particularly endpoint security, web security, and cloud security. Here’s how Symantec competes effectively with Zscaler:

  1. Web Security Services (WSS): Symantec’s Web Security Service directly competes with Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA). It provides comprehensive threat protection, data protection, and compliance capabilities for internet access and use across an organization. WSS includes advanced features like a secure web gateway (SWG), anti-virus scanning, sandboxing, and data loss prevention (DLP).
  2. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): Symantec’s CASB solutions compete with Zscaler’s cloud security offerings by providing cloud applications visibility, security, and governance. Symantec’s CASB is designed to secure SaaS applications and public cloud environments, offering features such as threat protection, compliance scanning, and data security across cloud services.
  3. Endpoint Protection: Symantec is a leader in endpoint security with its Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) platform. While Zscaler also provides endpoint security, Symantec’s SEP is renowned for its comprehensive protection capabilities, including advanced threat prevention, detection, and response, which are critical for protecting against sophisticated malware and zero-day threats.
  4. Email Security: Symantec’s Email Security solutions provide robust protection against phishing, malware, and other email-borne threats. Zscaler also offers solutions in this area, but Symantec’s deep expertise and integration capabilities provide strong competition.
  5. Integrated Cyber Defense (ICD): Symantec’s ICD platform offers an integrated approach to security across endpoints, cloud, and infrastructure. This holistic security strategy is designed to provide broader protection and simpler management than piecemeal solutions, competing with Zscaler’s approach of giving streamlined cloud-native security services.
  6. Secure Web Gateway (SWG): Symantec’s SWG solutions offer detailed control and protection over web traffic, similar to Zscaler’s ZIA. Features like real-time threat intelligence, malware protection, and application control bolster Symantec’s strength in this area.
  7. Network Performance: While Zscaler’s cloud-based model inherently reduces the need for traditional on-premise hardware, Symantec offers hybrid solutions that leverage existing network infrastructure, which may appeal to organizations looking to utilize their existing investments while transitioning to cloud-based security solutions.

Symantec (Broadcom) brings longstanding industry expertise and a comprehensive portfolio that spans many facets of IT security, making it a formidable competitor to Zscaler. This is especially true for enterprises that prefer a single vendor offering a wide range of integrated security solutions. Symantec’s established brand and extensive product lineup provide intense competition in the enterprise market, appealing particularly to organizations that require a deep level of security integration and extensive regulatory compliance support.


McAfee competes with Zscaler by offering a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity products and services focusing on endpoint security, cloud security, and network protection. Here’s how McAfee positions itself against Zscaler in the cybersecurity landscape:

  1. Cloud Security: McAfee’s cloud security solutions, mainly through McAfee MVISION Cloud (formerly McAfee Skyhigh Security Cloud), offer direct competition to Zscaler’s cloud-native services. MVISION Cloud is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that provides comprehensive visibility, data protection, and threat prevention across cloud services. This parallels Zscaler’s focus on securing internet and cloud environments.
  2. Endpoint Security: McAfee is well-known for its robust endpoint security solutions, which include advanced malware protection, incident response, and real-time threat prevention. While Zscaler also offers endpoint protection, McAfee’s broad range of endpoint security technologies provides deep integration with other security functions, offering a unified security posture from the endpoint to the cloud.
  3. Secure Web Gateway (SWG): McAfee’s Web Gateway offers robust web filtering and malware protection capabilities, competing with Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA). McAfee Web Gateway uses sophisticated content filtering, malware scanning, and application control to secure user activity across the internet, matching Zscaler’s capabilities to provide safe web access.
  4. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): McAfee’s comprehensive DLP solutions protect data wherever it resides, preventing data leaks and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. These compete with Zscaler’s data protection capabilities in the cloud and on endpoints.
  5. Threat Intelligence Network: McAfee Global Threat Intelligence (GTI) offers real-time threat intelligence services, providing the latest data on emerging threats and enabling proactive defense. This network enhances all McAfee products, similar to Zscaler’s cloud intelligence and threat prevention strategies.
  6. Integrated Security Architecture: McAfee emphasizes an integrated approach to security across devices, networks, and cloud services. The McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) allows centralized management of security policies and operations, simplifying the security management process for organizations. This is particularly valuable against Zscaler’s separate internet and private access security management.
  7. Flexibility and Customization: McAfee provides flexible deployment options, including hybrid solutions integrating on-premises and cloud-based security measures. This flexibility can appeal to organizations transitioning to the cloud while relying on existing on-premises security infrastructure.

McAfee offers a well-rounded security portfolio that addresses many facets of IT security, from the cloud to endpoints to internal networks, providing a robust alternative to Zscaler’s cloud-centric security services. While Zscaler specializes in a cloud-native, proxy-based architecture ideal for a direct-to-cloud security model, McAfee’s strengths in endpoint security and integrated threat management make it competitive for organizations looking for comprehensive, multi-layer security solutions.

Check out the competitor analysis of global businesses