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Palo Alto Networks Raises The Bar for Application Visibility and Control With New Next-Generation Firewall Software

PAN-OS 3.0 Adds QoS Enabling Multi-Gigabit Shaping, Fully Integrated SSL VPN Remote Access to Next-Generation Firewalls
  • 11 June, 2009 10:14

<p>SYDNEY - June 11, 2009 – Palo Alto Networks™, the leader in next-generation firewalls, today announced PAN-OS 3.0, the latest version of operating system software for its award-winning firewalls. PAN-OS 3.0 includes significant new functionality, including QoS features and a fully integrated SSL VPN. These features further enable enterprise customers to embrace new applications while managing the risks inherent in using those applications.</p>
<p>Organisations are using a wider array of Internet-based, consumer-oriented applications for cultural reasons, or to improve efficiency, foster customer intimacy, or speed up business processes. Security technologies, unfortunately, have retained an outmoded “block or allow” model, lacking the granularity and intelligence to recognise and appropriately control these new applications.</p>
<p>According to Gartner, Inc., “Through 2012, enterprises that take a ‘block or ignore’ stance toward employee use of consumer IT will incur security incident costs two to four times those of enterprises that use ‘embrace or contain’ strategies…Security companies selling products that take simple block-all approaches will need to develop capabilities that support more-granular security controls.” (1)</p>
<p>PAN-OS 3.0 introduces traffic shaping in the firewall, enabling enterprises to ensure that priority is given to business critical functions. Palo Alto Networks’ application visibility and fine-grained control capabilities are unique in the industry in offering organisations the widest array of flexible policy responses to applications – including allow, deny, allow for certain users or functions, threat scanning, and now – shape.</p>
<p>Administrators are able to manage the bandwidth consumed by applications, as well as their priority – all in firewall policy, instead of simply killing applications or having no visibility or control over them. According to the latest Application Usage and Risk Report (April, 2009), in the sample of actual application traffic from more than 900,000 users, more than half of the bandwidth was being consumed by 28 percent of the applications, most of which were consumer oriented. (2)</p>
<p>Rapidly responding to customer requirements, PAN-OS 3.0 also adds SSL VPN functionality, which employs the easy-to-use secure network extension model but extends the company’s full complement of industry-leading visibility and control over users, applications, and content. Previously, enterprises have had to choose between an open VPN approach that was simple and cost-effective, or a high-control extranet portal approach that was expensive and complex.</p>
<p>Adding these computing-intensive features while retaining enterprise-grade performance is made possible only through Palo Alto Networks’ single pass parallel processing (SP3) architecture – which couples a single-pass packet path with specialised, function-specific hardware processing. The QoS features in PAN-OS 3.0 enable organisations to shape and prioritise traffic based on application with multi-gigabit throughput, due to the single pass software married to hardware accelerated queuing. Similarly, the new SSL VPN capabilities in PAN-OS 3.0 enjoy the benefits of application visibility and control, coupled with specific SSL hardware acceleration.</p>
<p>“As an Australian managed service provider, Networx Australia seeks firewall architecture that gives us visibility and control over our network. We also require the appliance to perform basic tasks like threat management and data leakage prevention. PAN-OS3.0 will provide us with several benefits, including SSL VPN and Quality of Service features which will ensure guaranteed bandwidth thereby maximising company productivity,” said Mikhael Haidar, CEO of Networx Australia.</p>
<p>“Applications aren’t threats, but they do carry risk,” said Chris King, Palo Alto Networks director of product marketing. “As a firewall, Palo Alto Networks uses a positive security model which offers organisations the flexibility they need to embrace new applications, and yet still manage risk – going beyond the outdated ‘find it and kill it’ model that many other security technologies are based on.”</p>
<p>Pricing and Availability</p>
<p>The new functionality in PAN-OS 3.0, including the SSL VPN and QoS functionality, is delivered at no charge to customers with current software maintenance contracts. For those without maintenance contracts, pricing starts from $6,000 excluding GST. PAN-OS 3.0 is available for download later this month.</p>
<p>About Palo Alto Networks</p>
<p>Palo Alto Networks™ is the leader in next-generation firewalls, enabling unprecedented visibility and granular policy control of applications and content – by user, not just IP address – at up to 10Gbps with no performance degradation. Based on patent-pending App-ID™ technology, Palo Alto Networks firewalls accurately identify and control applications – regardless of port, protocol, evasive tactic or SSL encryption – and scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage. Enterprises can for the first time embrace Web 2.0 and maintain complete visibility and control, while significantly reducing total cost of ownership through device consolidation. For more information, please visit</p>
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<p>Note 1 – Gartner, Inc., “Predicts 2009: Infrastructure Protection Isn’t a Monolithic Function,” John Pescatore, et al, December 19, 2008.</p>
<p>Note 2 – “Application Usage and Risk Report,” Palo Alto Networks, April 20, 2009.</p>
<p>Palo Alto Networks, the Palo Alto Networks Logo and App-ID are trademarks of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. in the United States. All other trademarks, trade names or service marks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.</p>

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