Palo Alto Networks Firewalls Now Protect Apple iOS Devices

Dave Courbanou

November 8, 2011

3 Min Read
Palo Alto Networks Firewalls Now Protect Apple iOS Devices

Palo Alto Networks is updating its network security portfolio with a new trio of products, specifically designed to deal with new threats, protecting branch offices and adopting consumerization of IT practices. The effort includes security solutions that now blanket Apple iOS devices. I spoke to Rene Bonvanie, VP of marketing at Palo Alto Networks, about the new efforts and the all-important channel perspective. Here’s the scoop…

The three new products are as follows:

  • The New PA-200 Next Generation Firewall: The PA-200 has been designed specifically with enterprise branch offices in mind, bringing granular and user-level content control over web traffic, ensuring that branch offices don’t miss out on the security that home base provides. Rene Bonvanie provided more details on the box, addressing its use case. “What this is not is a SOHO box or a box for small business. Our strategy with this is clearly focused on the enterprise and [enterprise] network security technology.”

  • Global Protect Protects iOS: Palo Alto has expanded laptop protection to iOS devices and Apple computers. Through a few small network configuration tweaks, or a lightweight client install, Palo Alto can ensure mobile devices and computers connect to the ‘net following the same rules and policies that would be applied internally on the network. IT admins will also have visibility and network control over those devices, including iOS devices. Bonvanie said that Palo Alto has seen an “incredibly influx of Apple technology into the enterprise,” so this move was a no brainer.

  • WildFire Malware Protection: It’s not enough to just have protection at the endpoint anymore, so Palo Alto Networks is bringing a new layer of protection to their firewalls. WildFire is designed to detect threats in the network by taking unknown files and running them inside a virtualized cloud environment to determine their safety. This method also helps detect new threats and creates new signatures which are subsequently shared with other WildFire users.

These three big release also come in tandem with PAN OS 4.1, promising over 40 new features inside a free software upgrade for all customers using existing Palo Alto products.

Channel Partner Considerations

So where does the channel fit into this new lineup? Bonvanie said Palo Alto understands their VARs are looking to make money “in a few ways” and that these new products fit perfectly into that idea, specifically since they bring more “gear” and more subscription-based protection offerings. But Palo Alto is also “…addressing more customer networking scenarios than [VARs are] used to,” meaning Palo Alto is laying the groundwork to handle a variety of obscure or complex networking road bumps VARs may encounter as companies grow.

“There’s lots of consulting and implantation opportunities [with] more options and services to help organizations move to a distributed model. Lots of migration opportunities to get people off VPN in the branch [office]. The malware protection play [comes from what] we hear from a lot of VARS. [It’s] becoming increasingly critical. [We understand] VARs don’t want another box, they want to have a service available.”

The PA 200 has a MSRP of $2000 USD, while WildFire and Global Protect prices vary on a customer’s consumption model. Bonvanie says VARs should be able to make a “good and high” margin on these products, so interested parties should check in here. As malware becomes more sophisticated and consumerirzation of IT trends carry on, networking VARs may find themselves with more opportunities than in the past and Palo Alto Networks technology could hold the key to success.

You can also check out Palo Alto’s other moves, including a boost to the company’s Technology Partner Program.

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