Palo Alto Networks launched PA-200 firewall for branch offices; GlobalProtect to protect remote Apple iPads, iPhones and Mac OS X devices; and its WildFire anti-malware service.
Palo Alto Networks launched
new enterprise-class network-security products to protect branch-office and
The next-generation PA-200
firewall comes in a small form factor and allows enterprises to extend the same
level of security for applications, users and content available at headquarters
to the branch office, Palo Alto Networks said Nov. 7. Additionally, the
WildFire capability adds malware-fighting capabilities to the firewall.
As a general rule,
enterprises deploy best-practices network security at the company headquarters,
but compensate by reducing costs when it comes to securing the branch office
and remote users, according to Chris King, director of product marketing at
Palo Alto Networks.
The branch office often
deploys security products designed for small and midsized businesses in order
to get "the best security available for a certain price," King told eWEEK.
Remote users most often have
limited security protection, often limited to just endpoint security products
such as an antivirus tool, he said.
For most organizations, the
only ways to secure the network is to either divert all traffic back to
headquarters for proper scanning first or "go cheap" on security,
King said. Considering very few organizations have a large swathe of employees
and other types of enterprise users working within headquarters, the goal was
to extend the "exact same security experience" to the branch office,
The PA-200 allows the IT
team to have the same firewall protection across all branch offices without
breaking the bank, according to King.
The company also announced a
new version of its GlobalProtect remote access technology to protect remote
users running Mac OS X and iOS devices. GlobalProtect, which already supported
Microsoft Windows devices, protects remote users with the same policies and
controls that are being applied back at the corporate office, according to
King. The auto-firewall is "just on," so users don't have to think
about turning it on or checking to see what it's doing, King said.
The iOS version of GlobalProtect
is not a new application, so Palo Alto Networks doesn't have to wait on Apple
to approve it, according to King. Instead, it uses the native VPN capability on
iOS devices, and is configured using mobile-device management tools to provide
The company's newly
announced WildFire capability focuses on blocking malware specifically designed
to bypass front-line defenses. With WildFire running, the firewall can identify
outbound traffic generated by malware on an already-compromised system on the
network and generate a signature to identify the traffic to stop future
malicious files by unpacking and executing them in a virtual cloud-based
sandbox, King said. If the file in question really is malicious, such as
changing registry settings or injecting itself into processes, the damage is
done in the virtual environment and keeps the victim's computer and networks
safe, according to King. Palo Alto Networks automatically generates new
signatures when new malware is discovered using this new capability. Palo Alto
Networks will also provide customers with information about how the malware
behaves, who was targeted and how it entered the network, according to the
By integrating the firewall
with the cloud-based analysis engine, WildFire reduces the time-to-protection
for all customers, Palo Alto Networks said. WildFire will be distributed as a
free upgrade for the company's firewall products.
"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," said Nir Zuk, founder and CTO of Palo Alto Networks.