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Palo Alto Networks Unveils Big Product Updates, New Firewalls

Palo Alto Networks on Tuesday announced the launch of PAN-OS 8.0, which brings major improvements to the company’s Next-Generation Security Platform, and several new hardware and virtual firewall appliances.

According to the company, PAN-OS 8.0 introduces more than 70 new enhancements and capabilities, including for securing cloud deployments and SaaS applications, preventing the theft and abuse of credentials, simplifying security operations, and blocking threats.

The threat prevention features are designed to prevent sandbox evasion, block command and control (C&C) communications, automate intelligence integration, and improve threat detection and alerting mechanisms.

PAN-OS 8.0 is designed to address credentials theft by automatically identifying and blocking phishing websites, preventing users from entering credentials on phishing sites, and providing a policy-based multi-factor authentication framework natively in the firewall to avert the use of stolen credentials.Palo Alto Networks

As for cloud and SaaS, the latest version of the operating system brings optimized workflow automation features for cloud services, and improved visibility, reporting and automation for SaaS applications.

Palo Alto Networks also announced the release of new hardware and virtual firewall appliances that complement PAN-OS 8.0. In addition to the existing 16 hardware appliances, the company now offers six new devices designed to provide improved traffic visibility and control.

The new appliances are PA-5260, PA-5250 and PA-5220 of the PA-5200 series, PA-850 and PA-820 of the PA-800 series, and the PA-220. The PA-5200 series devices are ideal for data centers, the PA-800 series is designed for medium-size networks and branch offices, and the PA-220 is ideal for small branch offices and remote locations.

Some of the new VM-Series virtual firewalls offer performance of up to 16 Gbps and are ideal for service providers and data centers, while the lower-end models are designed for minimal resource consumption and are best suited for virtual branch offices.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.