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June 04, 2010

Apps All Behave Differently: Shouldn't the Firewall?

(Editor's Note: This article refers to a video interview shot at Interop (News - Alert) 2010. To view TMCnet's entire library of videos from Interop and other industry shows, demonstrations and interviews in our in-house studio, visit our Video News home page.)

TMCnet took advantage of the excitement of Interop 2010 to speak with a number of key industry players at Interop this year, including Palo Alto Networks. Howard Ting (News - Alert) Director of Marketing with Palo Alto Networks, visited the TMCnet media booth for an interview captured on video.
Palo Alto (News - Alert) Networks is a company focused on building a next generation firewall. Ting highlighted that in the past, firewalls worked based on their protocol to apply to all available applications. Now, all apps behave differently and this changes the risks involved. People now buy firewalls so they can better control apps and protect the network.
All solutions providers seek to solve some sort of problem for the client; for Palo Alto Networks, they mainly focus on compliance. In some cases, compliance requires a company to keep certain apps on certain segments of the networks. Banks, for instance, have regulations that say they have to log everything. If apps on the network cannot be controlled; that leads to other problems.
"All the new threats these days are a found in web applications, particularly social web applications," said Ting. "Threats today are increasingly targeted towards users and are often times coming in over social networks. The biggest threat we see today is someone who posts a comment on your Facebook (News - Alert) wall and it looks like it is from your friend. It will say 'click here to look at my latest pictures' and by clicking on that, they have a botnet on their machine."
That botnet can then capture information conducted on that machine in the future. For any company, controlling these functions is a huge challenge.

With solutions from Palo Alto, companies can regulate who can use certain applications. For instance, who has a legitimate business need for things like Facebook? It is also important to scan applications for threats and then block them. Firewall helpers are also in place to improve the end user experience and protect the network.

View the full video interview below (Apple (News - Alert) users click here):

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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