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Palo Alto Networks Rolls Out New Next-Generation Firewall Software

PAN-OS 3.1 software enables finer-grained control over business and Web 2.0 applications for enterprises and distributed computing environments
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Palo Alto Networks(TM), the network security company, has extended its technology and market leadership with new next-generation firewall software and a major customer milestone. With its PAN-OS 3.1 software, Palo Alto Networks enables finer-grained control over business and Web 2.0 applications for enterprises and distributed computing environments. The company has surpassed the 1,000 enterprise customer milestone, which includes Fortune 500 organizations such as Constellation Energy, DTE Energy, Qualcomm and Western & Southern Financial Group.

"Palo Alto Networks is at an inflection point in terms of market penetration and growth, as more enterprise companies conclude that they need next-generation firewalls in their network security infrastructure," said Rene Bonvanie, vice president of worldwide marketing at Palo Alto Networks. "Since we offer the industry's only next-gen firewall to classify and control applications within the firewall, instead of using clumsy bolt-on functionality, Palo Alto Networks is the clear choice for companies that want to enforce complete network security with the best available price performance."

Control Enterprise 2.0 Risks with PAN-OS 3.1

With or without their company's acknowledgement, workers increasingly rely upon Enterprise 2.0 applications such as Facebook, SharePoint, Twitter, and other social networking and collaborative applications to help them do their jobs. Despite their benefits, these applications also carry inordinate risk, including data leaks, compliance issues, viruses, exploits, and many more security threats. IT managers can neither block these applications, nor can they blindly allow them to run across their network. IT professionals must safely enable applications by enforcing appropriate usage policies tailored for their workforce.

Next-generation firewalls from Palo Alto Networks 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, such that a single network device can accurately identify applications, scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage.

Enhancements to PAN-OS 3.1 software advance Palo Alto Networks' technology lead with even more visibility and control. New features include:

-- App-ID has a new function-based hierarchy (versus a flat structure) for better control over application enablement. This means organizations can easily enable an application and disable certain functions - like enabling Facebook while disabling Facebook apps. This new hierarchical structure in PAN-OS 3.1 allows more powerful, finer-grained policies that are easier to manage. -- User-ID now offers pervasive coverage with support for LDAP directories such as eDirectory and OpenLDAP, in addition to Microsoft Active Directory, so IT managers can link application traffic to specific users and groups - not just IP addresses. User-ID also now features an API for integration with other repositories. User-ID is unique in the firewall market in its ability to provide enterprises with both visibility and policy control of users and groups. -- Content-ID offers even better protection with daily threat signature releases as well as the ability to customize threat signatures for specific applications and vulnerabilities. Additionally, because threat developers continue to exploit the Web 2.0 movement, Palo Alto Networks has added protections against JavaScript and HTML viruses to Content-ID in PAN-OS 3.1. As a result, Content-ID is a more powerful, real-time threat prevention engine that detects and blocks a wide range of threats, limits unauthorized transfer of files and data, and controls non-work related Web surfing.

With these and other improvements, Palo Alto Networks has solidified its position as the only network security vendor with application visibility and control in the firewall, allowing enterprise IT managers to make informed policy decisions that improve their overall security posture. For a complete list of new features in PAN-OS 3.1, please see the company's data sheet at http://www.paloaltonetworks.com/literature/datasheets/PAN-OS3.1.pdf.

Pricing and Availability

PAN-OS 3.1 will be available in March 2010 as a free update to all customers on maintenance programs with Palo Alto Networks.

Visit the Palo Alto Networks Research Center, the company's online resource, to find the latest news, commentary, and discoveries on applications and threats at http://www.paloaltonetworks.com/researchcenter/.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks(TM) is the network security company. Its next-generation firewalls enable 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(TM) 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 http://www.paloaltonetworks.com.