Deepening Application Control with Firewalls
Palo Alto Networks is upgrading its firewall software to enhance application filtering.Palo Alto Networks is looking to distance itself from competing firewall vendors with new software that enhances application control and classification. The company's PAN-OS 2.0 software, announced April 28, leverages and expands on the vendor's App-ID technology to increase the user's ability to dynamically classify and block applications. Enterprises can now filter applications according to a number of criteria to create policies, including risk level; categories such as collaboration and media applications; behaviors like file transferring and port hopping; and technology, such as whether the application is browser-based or peer-to-peer.
"A lot of the firewall technology was developed in the mid '90s, [when] port did equal protocol, and it did equal application," King said. "But we're now in a situation where everybody's either using Port 80 or Port 443, or they are hopping around, and so port has ceased to become anything meaningful. ... So I think what we're doing with this release is we're continuing to push our differentiation by making a lot of our information about the applications that we provide visibility into and control of more usable by the customer." PAN-OS 2.0 is slated to be available in mid-May. The company will unveil the technology at the Interop Las Vegas 2008 conference.