The New PA-7080: Delivering Breach Prevention at Scale

Today we announced the release of our highest-end firewall, the PA-7080. It is pretty common in our industry for vendors to come out with a new bigger chassis with more speeds and feeds. So why is the PA-7080 big news and why is it important?

There is a yawning gap between what large enterprises, cloud providers and telecom service providers need in order to meet their security challenges and the capability of the technologies they have in place today. The basic limitations of those technologies create that gap.

Traditional firewall vendors have focused their efforts on building faster and bigger chassis firewalls but have missed the bigger picture. Their concept of security and scale is confined to how many packets per second their device can process in the course of making traffic decisions based on port, protocol and IP address. While these devices can certainly pass traffic, they are not adding value. They fail to identify and control applications, fail to detect threats and fail to provide an automated closed loop response that actually prevents successful attacks. In effect, they are passively passing traffic, making security decisions at a layer in the protocol stack that is irrelevant to the modern threats on large-scale networks.

Attempts to address this problem by adding “firewall helpers” in the network or adding full traffic security into old chassis firewalls have not worked.  The performance impacts and operational hurdles are too great and ultimately do not add much security value. As a result, our largest and most critically important networks have the least effective security. This is why the PA-7080 is so important.

The PA-7080 architecture provides a prevention capability that scales not just speeds and feeds, but in the ability to control applications, to identify threats and deliver real time automated response.  Combining power, intelligence and simplicity it gives large enterprises and service providers a security capability that is relevant to threats they face — without compromising the performance integrity of their networks, data centers and cloud infrastructure.

Our engineers made a lot of thoughtful and clever design decisions to make the PA-7080 ideally suited for operation in service provider and large enterprise environments.

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