Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Startup Puts New Spin on Firewalls

Palo Alto Networks's PA-4000 can recognize - and restrict - more than 400 types of application traffic

Remember the days when "Internet security" simply meant turning off Port 80? Those days, which gave rise to the first firewalls, are over -- and a new startup says it has a new firewall that better fits the reality of today's traffic.

Palo Alto Networks Monday will unveil the PA-4000, a new type of firewall that can distinguish between the many types of applications that now run over HTTP and Internet connections -- and Port 80. The new hardware can also recognize different types of application traffic that runs over encrypted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) links, officials say.

The startup -- founded in 2005 by Nir Zuk, who helped develop some of the first firewalls at Check Point -- has been operating in stealth mode for 18 months and has just received $18 million in second-round financing. Its management team reads like a "who's who" of security hardware, pulling in executives from security hardware developers such as Juniper, NetScreen, and OneSecure.

"We've all been looking at the market, and we've seen that modern applications are simply bypassing the current security architecture because they've evolved beyond it," says Dave Stevens, CEO of Palo Alto Networks. "Today there's no relationship between the port number and the type of application traffic."

The startup's new firewall is designed to identify traffic from more than 400 different applications -- "and that's just a start," Stevens says. Enterprises with custom applications can ask the company to create signatures for those applications as well.

This capability means that organizations can now set policies on whether or not to allow specific types of traffic, effectively restricting the network to authorized applications traffic and shutting down or restricting the use of other software. Eventually, the company plans to enforce those access restrictions all the way down to the individual end user, making it difficult for users to deploy or access any applications that aren't allowed by the company.

The PA-4000 can even recognize applications running over SSL links, which have been invisible to most firewalls until now, Stevens says. About a third of enterprise traffic runs over SSL.

In its initial implementations, the PA-4000 will likely sit behind the firewall in an enterprise and help refine the policy enforcement mechanisms used to control user access, Stevens says. The hardware is available in a 10-Gbit/s model and a 2-Gbit/s model, and adds only 20 microseconds to network latency in a typical transaction, officials say.

"The PA-4000 can work completely inline without affecting performance," Stevens says.

The PA 4050, which operates at 10 Gbit/s, is available now for a list price of $60,000. The PA-4020, which operates at 2 Gbit/s, costs $35,000.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

  • Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP)
  • Palo Alto Networks

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Commentary
    Ransomware Is Not the Problem
    Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
    Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
    How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
    John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
    News
    New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
    Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
    In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
    Flash Poll
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
    Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2021-20733
    PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
    Improper authorization in handler for custom URL scheme vulnerability in ????????? (asken diet) for Android versions from v.3.0.0 to v.4.2.x allows a remote attacker to lead a user to access an arbitrary website via the vulnerable App.
    CVE-2021-20734
    PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
    Cross-site scripting vulnerability in Welcart e-Commerce versions prior to 2.2.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script or HTML via unspecified vectors.
    CVE-2021-20735
    PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
    Cross-site scripting vulnerability in ETUNA EC-CUBE plugins (Delivery slip number plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.10 and earlier, Delivery slip number csv bulk registration plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier, and Delivery slip number mail plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier) allows remote attackers to ...
    CVE-2021-20736
    PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
    NoSQL injection vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to obtain and/or alter the information stored in the database via unspecified vectors.
    CVE-2021-20737
    PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
    Improper authentication vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to view the unauthorized pages without access privileges via unspecified vectors.