Palo Alto takes on home network security with SASE

LOS ANGELES – MWC LA – Palo Alto's Lee Klarich says the emergence of a hybrid workforce during the pandemic has resulted in a greater need for zero-trust access to be ubiquitous on all employee's devices – especially those used in home networks.

Work-from-home enterprise employees are increasingly using a broader range of devices – both corporate and personal devices – to access enterprise applications from the home. Klarich says this means bad actors have an even larger landscape of potential avenues into enterprise networks.

"The work environment has evolved; what we've observed is the employee uses multiple devices to get their work done," says Klarich, EVP and CPO of Palo Alto Networks. "They have their laptop from work, but they also have their home computer, they have their phone and they have a bunch of IoT devices in their home environment. All of that becomes the attack surface area for attackers, not just the work computer."

Palo Alto's solution for securing employees working anywhere is primarily via its SASE platform, Prisma Access, which the security company integrated with its CloudGenix SD-WAN services in September.

Palo Alto's acquisition of CloudGenix was a logical next-step in the company's SASE strategy, Lee Doyle, principal analyst for Doyle Research, told Light Reading earlier this year. Doyle said the acquisition positioned Palo Alto well in the SASE market "as a leading network security vendor to compete against the likes of Fortinet, Cisco, and Juniper that have strong SD-WAN capabilities."

The company also recently launched Okyo Garde, an enterprise-grade cybersecurity service deployed via a mesh-enabled Wi-Fi 6 system, to improve cybersecurity in home networks for enterprise employees.

In addition, Palo Alto recently integrated Prisma Access and Prisma SD-WAN under the Prisma SASE umbrella to provide SASE as a cloud-delivered service for its 2,500 SASE customers. Palo Alto also integrated its SD-WAN services with 5G last month.

"With Prisma Access, we can actually provide all-home security, to make sure that all those other devices are also secured, and then the work device or devices, depending on the user situation," says Klarich. "They specifically will have access to corporate applications and things like that."

Many of the larger security companies such as Palo Alto and Fortinet began their SD-WAN journey partnering with SD-WAN vendors, appealing to customers that desired a "brand-name" security service, or smaller organizations that couldn't previously afford Palo Alto's security, for example. As Palo Alto builds out its own SD-WAN and SASE services, Klarich says third-party integrations with other SD-WAN providers continue to be a priority for Palo Alto.

"It's always been our product philosophy to make sure that we work very, very well with third parties, even when third parties are potentially competitors of ours," says Klarich. "Our first priority is to our customers, and to provide the best capabilities we can."

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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