Nikesh Arora To George Kurtz: We’re Both Building ‘Real’ Security Platforms

In a series of posts on X, Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora responded to comments made this week by CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz.

Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora took issue Wednesday with an apparent characterization of his company’s products made by CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz, in a sign of the growing rivalry between the two cybersecurity industry giants.

In a series of three posts directed toward Kurtz on X, Arora said the CrowdStrike CEO had erred by suggesting a day earlier that Palo Alto Networks does not offer a truly consolidated security platform. Kurtz had referenced Palo Alto Networks, both directly and indirectly, on several occasions during CrowdStrike’s quarterly call with analysts Tuesday.

“We both [are] building [a] real platform not bundling/discounting,” Arora said in one of the posts on X, adding that Kurtz “might be thinking of a [different] company.”

[Related: Analysis: Palo Alto Networks Disrupts Itself, Again]

The post by Arora appeared to be in reference to comments by Kurtz about the “platformization” — a term used by Arora during Palo Alto Networks’ recent quarterly call — that the industry has “heard a lot about” recently.

“What I believe our competitors are talking about is bundling, discounting and giving products away for free,” Kurtz said while discussing CrowdStrike’s expectations-beating quarterly results Tuesday. “What customers are saying is, more consoles — more point products masquerading as platforms — create fatigue in their environment. And one of the things again that we've been focused on is that single-agent architecture, single platform, single console.”

On Feb. 20, Arora announced an overhaul of the company’s growth strategy aimed at increasing adoption of the full Palo Alto Networks platform. The strategy includes allowing customers to use some of its products free of charge for a period of time, with the goal of prompting customers to adopt more tools on the vendor’s platform.

In recent years, CrowdStrike and Palo Alto Networks have been increasingly competing in segments including cloud security, where CrowdStrike has become a larger player and a bigger rival to Palo Alto Networks’ Prisma Cloud offering.

At the same time, Palo Alto Networks has become a more significant player in endpoint security over the past few years, in a challenge to CrowdStrike’s flagship endpoint detection and response offering.

During the CrowdStrike quarterly call Tuesday, Kurtz directly referenced Palo Alto Networks several times, including while touting a major customer win for CrowdStrike on cloud security. The customer chose CrowdStrike in part because “the Palo Alto [Networks] cloud security products require a separate management console and separate agents, because cloud security is on a separate Palo Alto [Networks] platform altogether,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz also referenced a second recent customer win for CrowdStrike, for its LogScale “next-gen” SIEM (security information and event management), over Palo Alto Networks and its Cortex XSIAM (extended security intelligence and automation management) offering.

In one of his posts Wednesday on X, Arora wrote to Kurtz, “thank you for continuing to endorse that we need platforms.”

The cybersecurity market “has lots of room for good companies to win, [let’s] go improve the state of security for all the customers out there. See you next [quarter],” Arora wrote.