Security Experts:

Palo Alto Networks Combats Malware, Expands Protection to Branch Offices and Apple Devices

Network security company Palo Alto Networks today announced a slew of product and technology enhancements to its line of Next Generation Firewalls, including a new service designed to help enterprises defend against the threats of today’s evasive malware.

Today, the company announced the PA-200, a next-generation firewall designed for enterprise branch offices, that delivers full next-generation firewall features at 100 Mbps of throughput. The PA-200 is a small device that can be centrally managed and gives customers the same level of security at the branch office as they get at the corporate headquarters.

PA-200 Firewall“During these times of high-profile hack attacks, any enterprise dependent on small business network security products for the branch locations is likely reconsidering their risk posture,” said Chris King, director of product marketing at Palo Alto Networks.

In addition to the PA-200, the company released PAN-OS 4.1, the latest version of the core operating system that powers its firewalls, brining over 40 new features designed to help organizations streamline workflow and ease integration into existing network architectures.

The launch of the PA-200, combined with the latest release of PAN-OS will help enterprises accelerate and standardize on Palo Alto Networks’ technology. In March, the company announced the PA-5000 series, a series of firewalls designed for datacenters and large enterprise environments. Today’s announcements will enable organizations to utilize technology from Palo Alto Networks across the enterprise, from the corporate headquarters and the datacenter, down to branch offices and remote workforce.

“We’re committed to arming our customers with the most efficient and effective approach to achieving consistent enterprise-class security and policy enforcement for their entire global footprint,” King added.

In addition, the company added support for Apple products, including iPads, iPhones and OS X devices in GlobalProtect, its solution that extends protection over all types of traffic, applications, and threats beyond the physical corporate perimeter. GlobalProtect allows enterprises to provide the same policies, visibility and control of the next-generation firewall to any and all user network connections regardless of their location. '

Finally, the company announced WildFire—a new firewall service designed to help organizations defend against the threats of modern malware.

Palo Alto NetworksWith WildFire, customers can leverage the capabilities of their Palo Alto Networks firewalls to addresses the challenge of modern malware, which is often highly targeted, unknown, and evasive. WildFire helps identify unknown malicious files by executing them in a virtual cloud-based environment or “sandbox”, in an attempt to identify malicious behavior, even if the files have never been seen before or identified as malicious elsewhere.

For malicious files, Palo Alto Networks automatically generates new signatures that are distributed with ongoing signature updates, and provides the user with information on how the malware behaves, who may have been targeted and the application that delivered the threat. By tightly integrating the firewall with the cloud-based analysis engine, WildFire can significantly reduce the time-to-protection for all customers.

“Our approach to modern malware is the latest example of how we question conventional network security approaches until we’ve developed a better way of addressing the problem,” said Nir Zuk, founder and CTO of Palo Alto Networks. “Combining prior technical contributions such as sandboxing technology and cloud-based malware analysis with the unprecedented capabilities of a next-generation firewall has resulted in innovation that enterprises can feasibly deploy throughout their networks.”

The PA-200 Next Generation Firewall is priced at $2,000. The new WildFire service is included for customers at no additional cost.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.