Announces “Spot Check” for Security Service Edge (SSE) Announces "Spot Check" for Security Service Edge (SSE)

Testing will focus on SSE solutions blocking exploits and malware downloads, while remaining resistant to evasions. It is designed to answer the question: “How do you know?”

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 31, 2024 — (CyberRatings), the non-profit entity dedicated to providing confidence in cybersecurity products and services through its research and testing programs, has launched “Spot Check,” a verification of Security Service Edge (SSE) Threat Protection to help enterprises answer the question, “How do you know?”

Cloud delivered security such as SSE provides users with seamless secure access to applications and data regardless of location. Being a cloud technology, organizations are no longer burdened with day-to-day operational management. However, since a third party is now delivering security, oversight is key. This involves:

  • Ensuring the SSE provider maintains the system effectively.
  • Assessing the impact of policy changes on security.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of the SSE solution within the organization’s security framework.

“Often times cybersecurity is a black box; and SSE is a black box in a black box,” said Vikram Phatak, CEO of “How do they know that their SSE is defending against the latest threats, or their policy modifications aren’t adversely impacting their security?” adds Phatak.

SSE solutions leverage the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and operational benefits to deliver security – Access Control, Authentication and Identity, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), DNS Protection, Encryption (TLS/SSL), Exploit Detection and Prevention, Malware and Phishing Protection (including via Browser Isolation), Cloud Access / Application Control (CASB), and the ability to implement Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). It’s a lot harder to test SSE than traditional network security products, and many enterprises don’t have the time or expertise to build a test environment.

What will be tested:

  • Cipher Suite Support: Which cipher suites are supported?
  • False Positive Rate: What is the rate at which the SSE blocks legitimate traffic?
  • Exploits & Malware Delivered Over HTTP: What is the rate at which exploits & malware delivered over HTTP are blocked?
  • Exploits & Malware Delivered Over HTTPS: What is the rate at which exploits & malware delivered over HTTPS are blocked?
  • Evasions: Threat actors use evasion techniques to disguise and modify attacks at the point of delivery to avoid detection by security products. Which ones can be used to bypass protection?

“Spot Check” operates as a virtual employee that is added to the SSE policy being used by an organization. Using the customer’s SSE configuration and CyberRatings’ live network and targets of exploits, malware downloads and evasions, the testing service provides an independent evaluation of SSE solutions, verifying that they are delivering on their promise of protection.

CyberRatings Members with a Premium Membership will receive one free “Spot Check” annually.

CyberRatings has an active test program in 2024 with group test results on Cloud Network Firewall to be announced in early February. Test programs are also currently underway for SD-WAN, SSE Threat Protection, ZTNA, and Enterprise Firewall.

Additional Resources:

“Spot Check” Testing Methodology and Introduction to Services
Blog: What is Security Service Edge? An introduction to the technology and its role in Zero Trust.
Blog: Unveiling the Hidden Challenges of SSE Implementation.

About is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization dedicated to providing confidence in cybersecurity products and services through our research and testing programs. We provide enterprises with independent, objective ratings of security product efficacy to make informed decisions. To become a member, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

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