Palo Alto Networks on Tuesday announced that it has updated its PAN-OS operating system and released a new next-generation firewall designed for use in industrial and other harsh environments.
The new PA-220R is a ruggedized NGFW that can be used by various types of organizations, including power plants, utility substations, oil and gas facilities, manufacturing plants, and healthcare organizations. During beta testing, the product was also used for railway systems, defense infrastructure, and even amusement parks.
The PA-220R is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, humidity, dust, and electromagnetic interference.
Palo Alto Networks said the product works with various industrial applications and protocols, including OSIsoft PI, Siemens S7, Modbus, DNP3, and IEC 60870-5-104.
“For early-engagement customers and many of our expected users of the PA-220R, the situation is that they have industrial assets in harsh environments that have been modernized or are being modernized as part of their OT digital transformation initiatives,” explained Del Rodillas, director of industrial cybersecurity product marketing at Palo Alto Networks. “In many of these initiatives, the automation piece is cutting-edge, but the provisions for cybersecurity are lagging, leaving these organizations exposed.”
“As additional motivation for the security upgrade, some harsh-environment remote sites have grown in complexity and require local segmentation to improve visibility and control over local traffic. There are also use cases which require direct site-to-site connectivity instead of requiring users to go up through SCADA first in order to get to other sites,” Rodillas added.
The PA-220R firewall runs Palo Alto Networks’ PAN-OS operating system, which the company updated to version 8.1 this week.
According to Palo Alto Networks, PAN-OS 8.1 brings many improvements, including simplified implementation of application-based security policies, streamlined decryption of SSL traffic, better performance thanks to new hardware, new management features, and enhanced threat detection and prevention.