The modern enterprise network is increasingly a perimeter-less entity, with cloud usage and transient users presenting challenges for network security solutions, but that doesn't mean that the modern network can't be secured. Network security vendor Palo Alto Networks today announced an update to its software, the PAN-OS 7.1 operating system that powers its network security appliances, with new features to help secure cloud usage, improve threat intelligence and help secure user credentials, enabling the perimeter-less enterprise to continue to follow network security policy best practices.
Network security solutions updated
For cloud security, the PAN-OS 7.1 update now supports Microsoft's Azure cloud and the associated Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor for the Palo Alto VM-series. According to the Palo Alto Networks datasheet on the VM-Series for Azure, it supports the same next-generation firewall and advanced threat prevention features that are available in Palo Alto's physical network security solutions.
Beyond just Azure, Palo Alto is improving its Aperture technology, first announced in September, which the company is positioning as a Security as a Service offering for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. With the PAN-OS 7.1 update, Aperture now has extended support for Microsoft's Office 365.
The GlobalProtect security platform that first debuted in 2011 also benefits from the broad PAN-OS 7.1 update, which enhances compliance with network security policy best practices via an improved two-factor authentication system.
Palo Alto Networks is also turning its attention to Mac OS X, which now benefits from new support in PAN-OS 7.1 for malware and threat signatures that can be acted on by Palo Alto's WildFire threat prevention technology and Autofocus threat intelligence platform.
The latest updates to Palo Alto Network's network security solutions portfolio come just over a month after the company reported second quarter fiscal 2016 revenue of $334.7 million. During the company's earnings call, CEO Mark McLaughlin emphasized the critical role of threat intelligence in the competitive network security solutions landscape.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.