Palo Alto Networks, Inc. is a network and enterprise security company based in Santa Clara, California. The company’s core products are a platform that includes advanced firewalls designed to provide network security, visibility, and granular control of network activity based on application, user, and content identification and cloud-based offerings that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of security.
Palo Alto Networks was founded in 2005 by Nir Zuk, a former engineer from Check Point and NetScreen Technologies. Zuk served in the elite Unit 8200 of the Israel Defense Forces and was the principal developer of the first stateful inspection firewall and the first intrusion prevention system. When asked why he started Palo Alto Networks, Zuk cited his objective of solving a problem enterprises were facing with existing network security solutions: the inability to safely enable employees to use modern applications, which entailed developing a firewall that could identify and provide fine-grained control of applications.
The company produced and shipped its first firewall in 2007 and debuted on the NYSE with its July 20, 2012 initial public offering.
In 2009, the company released a publication defining the "next-generation firewall." Palo Alto Networks defined this next generation firewall as containing application awareness, full stack visibility, extra-firewall intelligence, and upgrade paths in addition to the full capabilities of both traditional firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Additionally, the company defines its firewall technology by the following abilities:
The company is listed in the "leaders quadrant" of research firm Gartner, Inc.'s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise firewalls.
In 2013 MSM - Mobile Security manager was added to extend the firewall security down to mobile devices. In 2014 TRAPS was added to the product list. Traps serves as a version on endpoint protection, client protection without the standard virus file - rather it takes a different view and attempts to monitor, detect, and thwart the entry of the virus into the client by monitoring common entry points.
Recognition from industry analysts and labs for Palo Alto Networks firewalls include: