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Palo Alto Networks Introduces Fastest-Ever Next-Generation Firewall and Integrated Cloud-Based DNS Security Service to Stop Attacks

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW), the global cybersecurity leader, underscored the need for increased IT security by releasing several new capabilities that predict malicious attacks and use automation to stop them in progress. Next-generation firewall customers who upgrade to PAN-OS version 9.0 will get access to these new security capabilities, over 60 new features and new tools for easily implementing security best practices.  

"At Palo Alto Networks, we're focused on simplifying security by using analytics and automation," said Lee Klarich, chief product officer. "Customers choose our next-generation firewall platform because of our commitment to continuous innovation and our focus on reducing the need for standalone products. Today's announcements include our new DNS Security service, which uses machine learning to stop stealthy attacks aimed at stealing information from legitimate businesses."

Among the new capabilities announced, Palo Alto Networks unveiled software and hardware enhancements to the leading next-generation firewall platform that will help organizations strengthen security and simplify protections across their hybrid cloud environments:

  • Predict and prevent: According to Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers, nearly 80 percent of all malware uses DNS to establish command-and-control, making it difficult to spot and stop attacks. The new DNS Security service uses machine learning to proactively block malicious domains and stop attacks in progress.
  • Performance: Palo Alto Networks recognizes that customers with large data centers, high volumes of encrypted traffic, and a growing ecosystem of IoT devices need performance without compromising security. The PA-7000 Series, with new network processing cards, offers threat prevention at speeds twice as fast as the nearest competitor and delivers decryption three times faster than before.
  • Simplicity: Legacy firewall rules leave dangerous security gaps. The new Policy Optimizer helps security teams replace legacy rules with intuitive policies that provide better security and are easier to manage. Taking the complexity out of managing scores of rules reduces human error, which is a leading cause of data breaches.
  • Broader, faster cloud security: Organizations want consistent security across multiple public clouds and virtualized data centers. The VM-Series now provides the broadest range of public cloud and virtualized data center environments by adding support for Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Cisco Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) and Nutanix. Firewall throughput performance improvements for AWS and Azure of up to 2.5X, combined with autoscaling and transitive architectures, allow customers to automate security for dynamic and large-scale public cloud deployments. 

Over the last year, Palo Alto Networks completed extensive customer research to guide the product changes. Customers overwhelmingly reference ease of operations as a reason they choose Palo Alto Networks. They want an integrated platform that reduces operational complexity and gives security teams confidence they can use best practices and minimize human error.

"We listened and responded to customer feedback and found that what customers want above all is simplicity and control," said Klarich. "With this release, we're not only adding features like the DNS Security service, which eliminates the need for security teams to bolt on yet another standalone tool, we are minimizing manual efforts that are error-prone, so teams can focus on projects aimed at growing their business." 

K2-Series Now Available for Service Providers 
Additionally, Palo Alto Networks announced the general availability of the K2-Series, the industry's first 5G-ready next-generation firewall, specifically developed for service providers with 5G and IoT requirements in mind. With the K2-Series, service providers can prevent advanced cyberattacks targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks, IoT devices, and mobile users with unprecedented visibility into network traffic.

Pricing and Availability 
PAN-OS version 9.0 will be available to all current customers of Palo Alto Networks with valid support contracts. The new network processing cards for the PA-7000 Series are available for order today, starting from $180,000. The new DNS Security service is available for order today, priced per next-generation firewall hardware or virtual appliance.

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