Palo Alto firewall uses machine learning to protect IoT devices

  • June 24, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Palo Alto Networks has launched a machine-learning powered firewall making security intelligent and proactive to defend networks and IoT devices against most known and unknown threats instantly.
As organisations defend their ever-increasing points of entry against cyber attacks that continue to morph and rise, California-based Palo Alto Networks has introduced the NGFW firewall, which embeds machine learning (ML) in its core to help proactively in intelligently stopping threats, securing IoT devices and recommending security policies.
“Thirteen years ago, we completely changed network security when we created the next-generation firewall,” said Nir Zuk, founder and chief technology officer at Palo Alto Networks. “As enterprise networks are widening with hybrid clouds, IoT devices and home offices, and attacks rapidly and automatically evolve, we again need a radical new approach to cyber security. Pan-Os version 10.0 ushers in the world’s first ML-powered NGFW, which is continuously learning and proactively improving security across multiple fronts, so security professionals don’t just keep up but get ahead.”
As attackers use machines to morph attacks automatically, signatures become less valuable in preventing these attacks. Previously, network security products only used machine-learning models for out-of-band detection, but the NGFW uses in-line machine-learning models to help prevent previously unknown attacks.
Palo Alto Networks is introducing zero-delay protection, which it says results in a 99.5% reduction in systems infected.
IoT devices are proliferating rapidly, often joining the network unsecured and without knowledge. Palo Alto Networks’ ML can deliver complete device visibility, including for never-before-seen devices. It highlights anomalies and vulnerabilities, and recommends appropriate security policies, all without the need for additional sensors or infrastructure.
NGFW uses machine learning to analyse vast amounts of telemetry data, and then recommend policies. With Pan-OS 10.0 and IoT security, customers will be able to view and adopt the IoT security policy recommendations for safe device behaviour. This will save time, reduce the chance of human error and help secure IoT devices.
By bringing these into a single system, NGFW can help organisations protect against up to 95% of unknown file and web-based threats instantly; automate policy recommendations to save time and reduce the chance of human error; adapt and provide instantaneous real-time protection; and extend visibility and security to all devices, including unmanaged IoT devices, without the need to deploy additional sensors.
In addition, Pan-OS 10.0 introduces the CN-Series, a containerised form factor for NGFW, and more than 70 capabilities, including easier decryption, high availability clustering, high-performance hardware card, threat prevention and DNS security enhancements.
Pan-OS version 10.0 is expected to be available in mid-July and will be available to all current customers of Palo Alto Networks with valid support contracts.