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Palo Alto releases new, feature-rich firewall

14 Feb 2019
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Palo Alto Networks has released several new capabilities that predict malicious attacks and use automation to stop them in progress. 

Firewall customers who upgrade to PAN-OS version 9.0 will get access to these new security capabilities, over 60 new features and new tools for easily implementing security best practices.  

"At Palo Alto Networks, we're focused on simplifying security by using analytics and automation," says chief product officer Lee Klarich. 

"Customers choose our next-generation firewall platform because of our commitment to continuous innovation and our focus on reducing the need for standalone products. Today's announcements include our new DNS Security service, which uses machine learning to stop stealthy attacks aimed at stealing information from legitimate businesses."

Among the new capabilities are:

  • A new DNS Security service that uses machine learning to proactively block malicious domains and stop attacks in progress.

According to Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers, nearly 80% of all malware uses DNS to establish command-and-control, making it difficult to spot and stop attacks. 

  • The PA-7000 Series, with new network processing cards, offers threat prevention at speeds up to twice as fast as others and delivers decryption three times faster than before.

Customers with large data centres, high volumes of encrypted traffic, and a growing ecosystem of IoT devices need performance without compromising security. 

  • The new Policy Optimiser helps security teams replace legacy rules with policies that provide better security and are easier to manage.

Taking the complexity out of managing scores of rules reduces human error, which is a leading cause of data breaches.

  • The VM-Series now provides the broadest range of public cloud and virtualised data center environments by adding support for Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Cisco Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) and Nutanix.

Organisations want consistent security across multiple public clouds and virtualised data centres.  

Firewall throughput performance improvements for AWS and Azure of up to 2.5X, combined with autoscaling and transitive architectures, allow customers to automate security for dynamic and large-scale public cloud deployments.

Additionally, Palo Alto Networks announced the general availability of the K2-Series, the industry's first 5G-ready next-generation firewall, specifically developed for service providers with 5G and IoT requirements in mind.