Palo Alto Networks
|Traded as||NYSE: PANW|
|Headquarters||Santa Clara, CA, U.S.|
|Mark D. McLaughlin (CEO)
Founder and CTO
Founder and Vice President, Engineering
|Revenue||USD 1.4 Billion (FY 2016)|
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. is a network and enterprise security company based in Santa Clara, California. The company’s core products are a platform that includes advanced firewalls designed to provide network security, visibility, and granular control of network activity based on application, user, and content identification and cloud-based offerings that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of security.
Palo Alto Networks was founded in 2005 by Nir Zuk, a former engineer from Check Point and NetScreen Technologies. Zuk served in the elite Unit 8200 of the Israel Defense Forces and was the principal developer of the first stateful inspection firewall and the first intrusion prevention system. When asked why he started Palo Alto Networks, Zuk cited his objective of solving a problem enterprises were facing with existing network security solutions: the inability to safely enable employees to use modern applications, which entailed developing a firewall that could identify and provide fine-grained control of applications.
In 2009, the company released a publication defining the "next-generation firewall." Palo Alto Networks defined this next generation firewall as containing application awareness, full stack visibility, extra-firewall intelligence, and upgrade paths in addition to the full capabilities of both traditional firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Additionally, the company defines its firewall technology by the following abilities:
- Identify applications regardless of port, protocol, evasive tactic or Secure Sockets Layer
- Identify and control users regardless of IP address, location or device
- Protect against known and unknown application-borne threats
- Fine-grained visibility and policy control over application access/functionality
- Multi-gigabit, low latency, in-line deployment
In 2013 MSM - Mobile Security manager was added to extend the firewall security down to mobile devices. In 2014 TRAPS was added to the product list. Traps serves as a version on endpoint protection, client protection without the standard virus file - rather it takes a different view and attempts to monitor, detect, and thwart the entry of the virus into the client by monitoring common entry points.
- Morta Security was acquired for an undisclosed sum in January 2014
- Cyvera was acquired for approximately $200 million in April 2014
- CirroSecure was acquired for an undisclosed sum in May 2015
- LightCyber was acquired for approximately $100 million in March 2017 
Recognition from industry analysts and labs for Palo Alto Networks firewalls include:
- The 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant identified Palo Alto Networks as a leader in the enterprise firewall.
- NetworkWorld granted short list status to Palo Alto Networks’ firewalls in its next-generation firewall review in 2011 and 2012.
- NSS Labs rated Palo Alto Networks firewalls “Recommended” in 3 network security tests:
- IPS Group Test (2011) in which NSS Labs notes it exceeded datasheet performance
- Traditional Firewall Group Test (2011); additionally, evaluated as best cost solution per protected megabit
- Next-Generation Firewall Group Test (2012) also receiving an evaluation as best cost solution per protected megabit
- The Forrester Research Market Overview for Intrusion Prevention Systems in 2011 credited Palo Alto Networks with “[disrupting] the detente between IPS and firewalls” and “pushing the entire vendor community toward further innovation.”
- Melby, Caleb. "Nir Zuk's Palo Alto Networks Is Blowing Up Internet Security". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
- Leyden, John (22 October 2010). "US and UK gov cyber defences = big boys' trough-slurp". The Register. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "The Entrepreneur Questionnaire: Nir Zuk, Founder and CTO of Palo Alto Networks". Greylock Partners. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Vance, Ashlee (20 October 2011). "Building a Firewall for the Facebook Generation". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Savitz, Eric (20 July 2012). "Kayak, Palo Alto Networks IPOs Off To Strong Debuts". Forbes. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Pescatore, John; Young, Greg, Defining the Next Generation Firewall (PDF), retrieved 2 December 2012
- Next-Generation Firewall Overview (PDF), 2011, retrieved 2 December 2012
- Rao, Leena (6 January 2014). "Palo Alto Networks Buys Cyber Security Startup Founded By Former NSA Engineers, Morta". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Palo Alto Networks® Acquires Morta Security". Palo Alto Networks. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Rao, Leena (24 March 2014). "Palo Alto Networks Buys Cyber Security Company Cyvera For $200M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Palo Alto Networks® Completes Acquisition of Cyvera". Palo Alto Networks. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- King, Rachel (27 May 2015). "Palo Alto Networks acquires cybersecurity company CirroSecure". Zdnet. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "Palo Alto Networks acquires LightCyber".
- "Palo Alto Networks Hits The Magic Quadrant For Firewalls". The Wall Street Journal. December 16, 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Snyder, Joel (22 August 2011). "Palo Alto earns short list status". Network World. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls Earns "Recommended" Rating in NSS Labs Network Firewall 2011 Comparative Test". Palo Alto Networks. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "Palo Alto Networks Earns 'Recommended' Rating in NSS Labs' Next-Generation Firewall Group Test". Palo Alto Networks. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Kindervag, John (4 May 2011). "Market Overview: Intrusion Prevention Systems, Q2 2011". Forrester. Retrieved 8 September 2014.