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Palo Alto Networks Extends Cloud Reach into Governance

Palo Alto Networks this week launched Aperture, a SaaS application that both discovers what cloud services are being used by whom on what device and then provides a mechanism for controlling who gets access to them.

Mike Vizard

September 16, 2015

2 Min Read
Samantha Madrid head of network security product marketing for Palo Alto Networks
Samantha Madrid, head of network security product marketing for Palo Alto Networks

Now that most IT organizations have come to terms with the fact that software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and other cloud services are going to be a permanent fixture within their IT environments most of them are now turning their attention towards how best to go about actually governing them.

With that issue in mind Palo Alto Networks this week launched Aperture, a SaaS application that both discovers what cloud services are being used by whom on what device and then provides a mechanism for controlling who gets access to them.

Sold via the channel, Samantha Madrid, head of network security product marketing for Palo Alto Networks, said Aperture represents a significant opportunity for existing Palo Alto Networks partners to expand the scope and reach of their security practices into the realm of governance. At the same time, Palo Alto Networks is also looking to engage new partners that have established cloud application and services relationships, said Madrid.

Given the fierce nature of competition in the firewall space that Palo Alto Networks traditionally plays in, an expansion into a new SaaS category clearly creates an opportunity for the company’s partners to sell a service that generates recurring revenue. The challenge facing those partners, however, is that individuals inside an organization that are responsible for acquiring firewalls are not always the same people tasked with managing governance or compliance. As such, traditional IT security solution providers looking to expand into the realm of governance may have to expand the number of relationships they have within existing and prospective new customers.

All that considered, however, Madrid said Aperture also represents an opportunity to consolidate the number of vendors that solution providers and their customers need to engage to address both IT security and governance. For example, Madrid noted that Aperture is tightly integrated with the WildFire malware prevention service that Palo Alto Networks delivers as a cloud service.

In general, Madrid said that when it comes to cloud applications and services most customers have come to the conclusion that ignorance is no longer bliss. That creates a significant opportunity for solution providers to provide both security and governance services that can address both the on premise and cloud services needs of the customer.

In fact, it’s even arguable that solution providers will make more money delivering those security and governance services than anything they make reselling the cloud applications that created the opportunity in the first place.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Vizard

Contributing Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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