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The Tech Break

Palo Alto Firewall: PAN-OS 7.0 is here!

Jul 10, 2015 / by Joseph Javien

Written By Larry Hoehn

Here’s a brief overview of a couple of the new features and upgrades included with the new release PAN-OS 7.0. At a high level, the new version addresses these issues:

  1. Turning alerts into action. According to a report from Ernst & Young, 33% of security professionals don’t know how long it takes to respond to alerts.
  2. Discovering unknown threats. According to the 2014 Verizon DBIR, there were $400M financial losses from 700 million compromised records. Much was from unknown threats and 75% of attacks spread from Victim 0 to Victim 1 within 24 hours.

To help with the first challenge, the ACC tab has been redesigned with actionable data:

That new widget shows application usage – the bigger the box, the more application usage on the network. Red means critical, orange means important. You can quickly get more detail to find critical information with a few clicks. For example, application and user activity:

And network activity with threat levels:

To help with the second challenge (discovering unknown threats): Since WildFire already analyzes 20 million samples per week (and growing), Palo Alto added multi-version detailed analysis with a single virtual machine for different versions of software. For example, a file can be run through several versions of Acrobat to see if malware is targeted to a specific version of that application. They’ve also added a new verdict to WildFire to quickly analyze threats. Previously just “malware” or “benign”, a new verdict includes “Grayware”, for things like Adware and Trackware.

A new feature is the automated correlation engine. It’s an analytics tool that verifies compromised hosts in your network. It scrutinizes isolated events across multiple logs on the firewall, examines patterns, and correlates events to identify actionable information such as host-based activities that indicate a compromised host. The engine includes correlation objects that are defined by the Palo Alto Networks Malware Research team. These objects identify a suspicious sequence of events that indicate a malicious outcome. Correlation objects trigger alerts when they match on patterns that indicate a compromised host on your network. For example:

In the example above, if these four indicators are present, we have an automated trigger to alert there is a compromised host. The following screenshot illustrates how the automated correlation engine combines indicators of threats and highlights the resulting situation as “critical”, which means it exhibits signs of worm activity to help you determine where to focus effort for fast remediation.

There are many more updated capabilities, but these were a few I though you would think are interesting. When you get a chance, take a look at the new version and let me know your thoughts!



Topics: Palo Alto Networks, PAN, PAN-OS 7.0, Security

Joseph Javien

Written by Joseph Javien

In 2006, Joseph joined Bird Rock Systems as a Sales Specialist II shortly after graduating from SDSU. Since then, he has risen through the ranks to the VP of Services role. With a passion for team success, Joseph seeks opportunities for improvement, motivation & coaching company wide.

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