Security Industry Must Drive Up Attacker Costs, Says Palo Alto Networks CEO

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Virtual sandboxing is quickly becoming a commodity with network appliance makers adding the capability to declare advanced threat protection technology, said Pete Lindstrom, vice president at research firm Spire Security, in a recent interview. The latest entrant, WatchGuard Technologies, announced a partnership this week with Redwood Shores, Calif.-based startup Lastline to perform custom malware analysis.  

"If these vendors are going to continue to grow, they have to continue to build out their capabilities and establish a more robust platform," Lindstrom said.

Palo Alto Networks partners in the channel praise the company's 100 percent channel model and its ability to add new features and capabilities while keeping it less complex for smaller firms. Sales of the Palo Alto Networks appliance line have grown every year, said Daniel Payne, chief technology officer at Evansville, Ind.-based Pinnacle Computer Services, an early partner. Newer devices are more affordable, opening up business to small businesses, Payne said.

"There's no shortage of orders," Payne said. "We make recommendations on sales, and typically when someone does get compromised they tend to come back and order a unit."

Payne agrees with McLaughlin's message. He said he hasn't seen a big uptake in subscriptions to the Palo Alto Networks' WildFire service, because it appeals to larger businesses that have specialized IT teams on staff monitoring and responding to alerts. Larger firms also are generally more interested in the firm's Panorama centralized policy and device management for visibility into multiple firewalls on the network, Payne said.  


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