Palo Alto Networks is truly among the very top-rated names in cyber-security. They enjoy an almost mythical reputation among IT wonks, and their track record of innovation is a huge reason for this. The Palo Alto PA-415 certainly upholds the Palo Alto reputation.
The Palo Alto PA-415 is part of the 400 series of Next Generation firewalls. The others in this line are the PA-410, PA-415, PA-440, PA-445, PA-450, and PA-460. The big deal with this series is that is the first Next-Gen firewall family powered by machine learning. In order to understand why this is a big deal, we need a decent working definition of ML, so here goes:
“Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world interactions.” This isn’t our definition, but it’s a pretty good one.
Why it’s a big deal
In short, ML is the science of getting computers to get smarter over time, on their own, like humans do. It is not exactly the same as Artificial Intelligence, but for our purposes, it’s close. There’s an old axiom about computers; they don’t do what you want them to; they do what you tell them to.
So it’s not hard to see why you might want a firewall that can think, spot patterns, and act without being specifically programmed. In other words, it does what you want, without having to be told. ML is simply a device harnessing data, observations, and interactions in order to correctly generalize to new settings.
This allows the PA series to provide dynamic security actions based on user behavior to restrict suspicious or malicious users. They can also consistently authenticate and authorize your users. And they can do it regardless of their location and where user identity stores live. This enables a quick move toward a Zero Trust security posture with Cloud Identity Engine; an entirely new cloud-based architecture for identity-based security.
The controlling element of the PA-400 Series is PAN-OS. It’s the same software that runs all Palo Alto firewalls. PAN-OS natively classifies all traffic, inclusive of applications, threats, and content. It then ties that traffic to the user regardless of location or device type The application, content, and user (the elements that run your business) then serve as the basis of your security policies. This results in improved security posture and reduced response times.
Features of the Palo Alto PA-415
The Palo Alto PA-415 is loaded with capabilities, as you would expect from anything that wears the Palo Alto logo. It identifies and categorizes all applications, on all ports, all the time, with full Layer 7 inspection. And, it identifies the applications traversing your network irrespective of port, protocol, evasive techniques, or encryption (TLS/SSL).
The PA-400 series also enables you to safely implement SD-WAN.
The Palo Alto 400 series benefits from centralized management, configuration, and visibility for multiple firewalls. Of course, this is irrespective of location or scale. This is offered through Panorama network security management, in one unified user interface. Panorama makes setup and configuration sharing easy, and scales logging collection as logging needs grow over time.
This firewall performs networking, policy lookup, application / de-coding, and signature matching in a single pass. And that’s for all threats and content. This greatly reduces the amount of processing overhead required to perform multiple functions in one firewall.
It reaches up to 1.6 Gbps of Firewall Throughput, .685 Gbps of Threat Prevention Throughput, and .93 Gbps of IPsec VPN Throughput. It is capable of 12,000 new sessions per second and 64,000 sessions total.
Palo Alto PA-415 highlights
|Total Firewall Throughput: 1.6 Gbps|
|IPSec VPN Throughput: .93 Gbps|
|Threat Prevention Throughput: .685 Gbps|
|Single-pass traffic scanning reduces latency|