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Palo Alto Gives Service Providers ‘Industry-First’ 5G Security Capabilities

Global 5G

Palo Alto Networks targeted 5G security with something new.

The vendor on Wednesday announced what it calls the “first 5G-native security offering.” In other words, Palo Alto has updated several of its next-gen firewalls to account for 5G protocol and network interfaces.

Oswal, Anand_Palo Alto

Palo Alto’s Anand Oswal

“For 5G to live up to its promise of transforming industries, companies need the confidence that 5G networks and services have enterprise-grade security,” said Anand Oswal, Palo Alto’s senior vice president and general manager of firewall as a platform. “We created 5G-native security in order to give enterprises the confidence they need to harness 5G for business transformation and to help service providers secure the new enterprise services.”

Johnson, Tanner_Omdia

Omdia’s Tanner Johnson

According to Palo Alto Networks, the 5G cybersecurity approach differs significantly from that of 4G, which “focused on securing perimeters.” 5G security, on the other hand, must deal with the containerized, multicloud nature of the network. Thus, these new capabilities help secure traffic across distributed, multivendor environments. The capabilities also include network slicing and real-time correlation of threats tied to the specific device and user.

Tanner Johnson, senior cybersecurity analyst for Omdia, said rich verticals like automotive, manufacturing and oil are turning to 5G networks.

“This presents a requirement for service providers and enterprises to integrate security across the entire 5G network, and establish secure connectivity services,” Johnson said. “The innovation with Palo Alto Networks’ 5G-native security speaks to this approach.”

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The PA-5200 and PA-7000 Series firewalls have the new capabilities. So do VM-Series software models that are PAN-OS 10.0 and higher. Palo Alto said it will soon add the 5G capabilities to its CN-Series containerized firewalls.

Partner Perspectives

StarHub, a Singapore-based telco, said it will deliver 5G to the country before any other provider. The carrier will utilize Palo Alto’s security protection for its 5G infrastructure.

Siew Loong Chong_StarHub

StarHub’s Siew Loong Chong

“Not only does this help us build a secure 5G network, it also enables us to launch new and innovative services,” said Chong Siew Loong, StarHub’s chief technology officer.

Jeremy Capell, who directs information security for Dish Network, praised Palo Alto for its highly reputed security acumen. Capell said Dish is is working to shore up security as it delivers on the 5G opportunity.

Capell, Jeremy_Dish

Dish’s Jeremy Capell

“We want a cybersecurity partner that can holistically protect our 5G network and shares our vision of 5G. Security should be simple to deploy and operate. For obvious reasons, I cannot discuss any security partner agreements. I can, however, say that Palo Alto Networks has already made significant strides in 5G innovation such as containerized 5G next-generation firewalls, which enables deploying firewalls automatically through a central cloud-native orchestrator.” Capell said.

Palo Alto last week announced the acquisition of Expanse. The $800 million purchase of the internet monitoring company helps it provide security visibility “from the outside.”


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