Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:46

Palo Alto says new release ‘raises the bar’ in the battle against cyberattacks

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Security vendor Palo Alto Networks has released enhancements to its enterprise security platform that it says increase advanced threat detection and prevention capabilities.

According to Palo Alto one of the most significant enhancement is to its Wildfire service that enables quick discovery and elimination of previously unknown malware, zero-day exploits and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Palto Alto senior vice president of product management Lee Klarich says “Quickly detecting and eliminating previously unknown threats across all applications is key to protecting an organisation from today’s advanced threats. Only Palo Alto Networks offers its customers the closed loop capabilities to most efficiently and effectively stop sophisticated threats.”

“Cyber criminals are employing new stealth methods to evade traditional security measures, such as stateful firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and anti-virus (AV) systems.  These legacy approaches often address only a single threat vector across a limited range of network traffic, resulting in a higher attack penetration rate and costly human incident response,” Klarich cautioned.

“To better detect sophisticated attacks, a highly automated and scalable “closed loop” approach is required. One that begins with positive security controls to reduce the attack surface, inspects all traffic, ports, and protocols to block all known threats, rapidly detects unknown threats, then, automatically employs new protections back to the front line to ensure previously unknown threats are known to all and blocked.

“The Palo Alto Networks enterprise security platform is pioneering this approach. It starts with its next-generation firewall as the core enforcement vehicle within the network, and is extended by the advanced detection and analysis capabilities delivered by the WildFire service, which is now used by more than 2,400 customers worldwide.”  

According to Phil Cummings, Security Administrator, Health Information Technology Services-Nova Scotia, the Palo Alto Networks security platform with WildFire gives the organisation “an extra layer of security we didn't have before – extra inspection and comfort that we can stay ahead of breaches by not just detecting them, but also by easily blocking them.”

“By having our firewall, URL filtering, threat prevention natively integrated and managed from a single dashboard – instead of multiple niche products, we have a clearer picture of our threat landscape.  Ultimately, the platform gives us what we need to effectively detect, analyse, block, and, more importantly, quickly remediate issues.”

New advancements in the latest release from Palo Alto include:

•    Extended file visibility – all common file types, including PDFs, Office documents, Java, and APKs, operating systems, and applications (encrypted or not) are now seen and filtered

•    Zero-day exploit detection – using behavioural analysis, this signature independent capability in the WildFire cloud quickly identifies exploits in common applications and operating systems and distributes the intelligence to subscribing customers in as little as 30 minutes to prevent future attacks

•    Discovery of malicious domains – blocks the critical command-and-control phase of an advanced attack by building a global database of compromised domains and infrastructure

•    Single “pane of glass” view into incident response data – in a single view, security administrators have access to a wealth of information on malware, its behaviour, compromised hosts, and more, so that incident response teams can quickly address threats and build proactive controls.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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