Palo Alto Networks Updates Prisma Cloud with New Cloud Security Features

Palo Alto Networks Updates Prisma Cloud with New Cloud Security Features

Palo Alto Networks Inc. is updating its Prisma Cloud cybersecurity platform with new features to detect vulnerabilities and malicious activity in cloud environments.

The features are being rolled out as part of a new version of the platform that debuted today.

Prisma Cloud is designed to help companies find vulnerabilities in their cloud environments, detect hacking attempts, and comply with cybersecurity regulations. The platform is based on technologies that Palo Alto Networks obtained in recent years through a start-up acquisition series. According to the company, Prisma Cloud is used by 77% of the Fortune 500.

The new version of Prisma Cloud that debuted today adds more features to protect cloud environments. According to the company, a particular focus of the release is to make it easier to detect indicators of breach in the network traffic of a cloud environment.

Organizations often search for malicious network activity using an approach called online scanning. This approach involves routing traffic traveling between two applications through a cyber security system, which scans the traffic for signs of a breach.

Online scanning is not always practical to implement in cloud environments. Redirecting traffic traveling from one workload to another through a cybersecurity system can slow down the rate at which traffic reaches its destination, impacting application performance. In addition, certain maintenance tasks become more complicated.

With the new release of Prisma Cloud, Palo Alto Networks introduces the so-called out-of-band scanning feature that promises to make cybersecurity operations easier for customers. Out-of-band scanning eliminates the need to route network traffic through a cybersecurity system. Instead, an enterprise can create a copy of the traffic and scan the copy for malicious activity, which does not affect the ability of applications to exchange data.

“Enterprises no longer have to decide between security and application performance,” said Ankur Shah, senior vice president of Prisma Cloud products at Palo Alto Networks. “By adding out-of-band WAAS to the Prisma Cloud, we provide customers with flexible security options that adapt to the needs of their ever-evolving applications.”

The feature joins a new machine learning tool to identify malicious Domain Name System, or DNS, traffic. The Domain Name System is a key component of the Internet responsible for translating URLs to IP addresses, which is a prerequisite for establishing many network connections. Prisma Cloud can now help businesses more effectively block hacking campaigns involving malicious DNS requests.

The new version of Prisma Cloud also includes other improvements. According to Palo Alto Networks, the release includes features that make it easier to map what applications, containers, and other components make up a multicloud environment. Prisma Cloud also simplifies the task of scanning those components for potential vulnerabilities.

A new alert prioritization tool will help administrators organize potential security issues Prisma Cloud detects by severity and address the most urgent incidents first. The tool prioritizes breach alerts using MITER ATT&CK, a widely used cybersecurity framework. MITER ATT&CK provides technical data on common hacking tactics to help businesses more effectively detect and remediate attempted breaches.

Prisma Cloud is an important element of Palo Alto Networks’ revenue growth strategy. Between Q4 2020 and Q4 2021, the number of cloud workloads the platform helps secure more than double north of 2 million. In the same time period, the number of organizations using Prisma Cloud increased by 47%.

Palo Alto Networks’ strategy to continue to grow the platform’s popularity in the enterprise places a particular emphasis on adding more features. As part of the effort, the company last year acquired a cybersecurity startup called Bridgecrew for $156 million. Bridgecrew’s platform, which has since been integrated into Prisma Cloud, helps enterprise software teams find and fix vulnerabilities in application code.

Photo: Palo Alto Networks

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