Palo Alto Networks is to launch next generation firewall software to enable finer-grained control over business and Web 2.0 applications.

Its PAN-OS 3.1 software includes App-ID function-based hierarchy (versus a flat structure) for control over application enablement. Chris King, director of product marketing at Palo Alto, explained that it is building on key themes on the threat landscape and realising that there is a lot of applications that have a value but are fraught with risk.

It explained that its next generation firewalls combine three identification technologies to provide the necessary visibility and control over applications, users and content. All of the required functionality resides in the firewall, so that a single network device can accurately identify applications, scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage.

René Bonvanie, vice president of worldwide marketing at Palo Alto Networks, said that he believed that the market is ready for this, and he was happy with what was coming along.

He said: “We are seeing a lot of questions on IT as far as policies and new applications go, but how do you make certain that an application can benefit your organisation? We know how to do this in terms of real-time analysis, but most applications are to the point of root penetration, and are pretty much omnipresent.

“Palo Alto Networks is at a tipping point in terms of market traction and growth, as more enterprise companies choose to deploy next generation firewalls as their network security infrastructure.”