Palo Alto Networks Introduces GlobalProtect Cloud Service and New Application Framework


Earlier this year, Palo Alto Networks took a significant step in vastly growing its security platform with the release of a GlobalProtect cloud service and a new Application Framework. The launch was announced at its Ignite 2017 event held in Vancouver, Canada in June.

Palo Alto’s GlobalProtect services have provided threat protection, WildFire, traffic visibility services and policy enforcement potential to its customers and own employees for some time. Organizations are being forced to change their cybersecurity infrastructure in response to growing use of mobile devices, a more widely distributed workforce and the increasing use of cloud applications.

As Palo Alto found that its employees were increasingly accessing corporate networks beyond traditional perimeter walls, the security company decided it needed to expand its GlobalProtect services to the cloud for its internal users to help guard against cyberattacks.

The new cloud-based service similarly allows Palo Alto partners and companies to bring existing corporate security policies to mobile users and remote locations. As organizations increase their geographic spread, they can use GlobalProtect’s cloud-based service to improve cybersecurity whilst simultaneously reducing the complexity and cost of managing global security deployments. Customers and partners can pay for the service according to bandwidth requirements, and scale to meet growth demands.

Colin Bruce, infrastructure architect, Teck Resources Limited said, “The Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect cloud service streamlines the process of deploying security infrastructure for remote offices and mobile users. With the proper prerequisites in place, we had functioning gateways around the world in minutes.”

Palo Alto Networks will manage the multi-tenant cloud-based architecture out of its Santa Clara, CA headquarters.

Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect cloud service offers:

  • Scalable log collection via a new logging service that allows customers to collect ever-expanding rates of data from remote locations and users, without needing to plan for local compute and storage.
  • Central management through Panorama, providing customers with a single management interface across a diverse physical, virtual and cloud service infrastructure through the Panorama™ console.
  • Improved SaaS security functionality. With the new GlobalProtect cloud service and the Aperture™ service, customers can now use a comprehensive SaaS security feature set delivered in the cloud without the burden of deploying and scaling physical or virtual appliances for mobile users and remote locations.
  • SD-WAN and IPsec technology partner support for large-scale remote location deployments. Customers can connect their remote and edge networks to GlobalProtect cloud service via an on-premise IPsec VPN capable device, or they can utilize one of the technology integration partners that support SD-WAN or IPsec VPN connectivity options. Initial GlobalProtect cloud service integration partners include Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company; CloudGenix, Nuage Networks from Nokia, VeloCloud, Viptela and VMware. These initial GlobalProtect cloud service technology partners join existing SD-WAN technology partners that have integrated with our next-generation firewall and include Ecessa, Riverbed Technology, Silver Peak Systems and Talari.

The new Application Framework meanwhile allows security providers to build cloud-based applications on top of their existing platform. By building applications on the platform itself rather than point products, developers can take advantage of the data stores that are part of the Palo Alto Network, allowing them to leverage its user base, infrastructure and threat intelligence information.

Applications can be built for specific instances, including identification, analytics and incident response. As part of the launch, Palo Alto is providing cloud APIs, software services and compute to help deliver the developed apps to users. The benefit in turn for Palo Alto Networks is that entrepreneurs and developers are also building the security platform, leading it to greatly expand in size and diversity.

“Palo Alto Networks isn’t the only one making this [platform anymore … It’s an entire market of entrepreneurs and developers,” Scott Simkin, senior group said. “[We’re] vastly expanding the Palo Alto Networks platform.”

Palo Alto expects to make the Application Framework widely available in January 2018. The GlobalProtect cloud service is generally available and is licensed according to bandwidth requirements for remote locations and by user for mobile applications.

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