Palo Alto Networks Rolls Out Largest Product Launch In Company History7:25 PM EST Tue. Nov. 13, 2012
Palo Alto Networks has rolled out an extensive product expansion aimed at beefing up security in both virtualized and physical enterprise networks. Described as "the largest rollout" in the history of the company, the announcement includes four new products and more than 60 new features to existing products.
Among the highlights, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has rolled out a new virtualized next-generation firewall platform, known as the "VM-Series."
"The VM Series is a virtualized instance of our next-generation firewall," said Chris King, director of product marketing. "Heretofore, we have sold hardware appliances, and now we have taken that same functionality and have instantiated that onto a virtualized machine inside the virtualized environment so that traffic that never leaves the virtual machine can be secured in the same way that traffic between physical machines can."
"The hypervisor is the new attack surface," King continued. "But new problems have come to light. One of them is that some of the network traffic never leaves the physical machine. It is between VM's. Another problem is that as the virtual machines are moving all over the place, how do you make sure that the right security policy is following them? And it's also important to be able to spin up new VM's when necessary. Our announcement is intended to rise to these challenges."
King added that the channel can be instrumental in helping customers to not only integrate these features, but to design an overall approach that bridges the conventional networks and virtualized networks.
"You can now have a next-generation firewall type of network security in both the physical world, and the virtual world, based on the customer's choice," he said. But it's all managed in a unified fashion."
As part of another new announcement, Palo Alto Networks has rolled out a new malware prevention subscription service that is intended to move beyond malware detection and incorporate a malware prevention strategy, as well.
"This is the next step for our WildFire technology, which has been running for about a year," King explained. "The customer will set a policy that says for certain applications if I have not seen the executable content coming across previously, I want to send that up to the WildFire service. It runs in the cloud as a virtualized desktop environment that essentially executes that content and watches what it does. If it does things like change the master boot record or the registry, or does certain other things, we recognize it as malware. It is a sandbox in the cloud. The difference here is that we are pretty unique in that we are a firewall first, so we can more easily to see all the traffic across all the applications within an hour, real-time."
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Customers who are already using the free analysis and notification portion of the existing WildFire product can add the cloud sandbox component through an additional licensing fee. To date, WildFire has discovered more than 70,000 new malware files that had not been identified by existing anti-malware solutions.
The additional new products are represented by the PA-3000 Series next-generation firewall, which fills a gap in the mid-range portion of the product family, as well as a new management appliance known as the M-100, which supports the company's Panorama management system.
"Traditionally our management platform was run as a virtualized appliance, but for a lot of organizations, that was the most palatable thing in the world," Palo Alto Networks' King added. "This is a centralized management platform hardware appliance, where previously we used software to manage multiple firewalls."
All of the new products are supported by the newly-released PAN-OS 5.0, which also introduces 60 new features focused on simplified management, enhanced cloud security and IPv6 enhancements.
The VM-Series, PA-3000 Series, M-100, and WildFire subscription are all available for order immediately. PAN-OS 5.0 is a free upgrade for customers on maintenance.
Meanwhile, Palo Alto Networks has also announced new members to its Technology Partner Program, which is designed to help deliver integrated multivendor solutions. In the area of strong authentication, the company has forged new alliances with RSA, SafeNet, Swivel and Bradford Networks.
In the risk management and compliance space, new members include RedSeal and SkyBox Security. New allies in the network monitoring space have also been announced. Those would include Lancope, Interface Masters and Garland Technology.
"'We've spent quite a bit time understanding how the technologies work together so that we can ensure smooth integration," said Palo Alto Network Senior Product Marketing Manager Brian Tokuyoshi. "A lot of our partnerships have been driven by interest from the channel partners. They work with varied portfolios, and they've come to us and said, 'We work with these types of vendors. Why don't you guys work together to build the solution?'"
PUBLISHED NOV. 13, 2012