New operating system and software from Palo Alto Networks allows extension of policy to remote workers and deep traffic inspection

Palo Alto Networks has extended its next-generation firewall with a new operating system.

The company said that it has launched three new products ‘that are all about the next-generation firewall', and it will address issues for data centres, remote workers and network traffic inspection.

Talking to SC Magazine, Chris King, director of product marketing at Palo Alto Networks, said that from a customer perspective three issues were addressed with the new releases: to enable secured users and data regardless of location; to meet the new data centre requirements; and eliminate network traffic blind spots.

King said: “We have a product to create a perimeter for remote workers with some kind of visibility control, while the PA5000 is a new line of hardware for the data centre. We also have other features to employ scalability and reliability, the PA5060 does the next-generation firewall at 20GB and it is designed to remain high.”

The new release of the Palo Alto Networks operating system (PAN-OS) includes over 50 features, according to King, and has a focus on extended network traffic visibility. He explained that a customer called Palo Alto Networks about the firewall and said they were seeing ‘some strange stuff' in five per cent of the traffic.

“It was Mariposa and it made us realise how important the goal of striving for 100 per cent traffic visibility is. We have also added ID technology and behavioural botnet technology with an algorithm to produce a report that puts a needle into the dark corner of the traffic,” he said.

The PAN-OS is an extension for the company's next-generation firewall, while support is added for the licensed Global Protect software that extends policies, visibility and control of the next-generation firewall to any and all user network connections, regardless of their location.

Rene Bonvanie, vice president of marketing at Palo Alto Networks, said: “While most companies recognise the value social media tools and applications represents for their business, few IT organisations have adequate protection for this Enterprise 2.0 and mobile workforce era.”

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