Security leaders must grow out of locking-and-blocking security: Palo Alto

Information-security executives this year need to move past their traditional “legacy mindset of locking and blocking” to a flexible approach tailored to employees' application requirements and usage, the local head of security firm Palo Alto Networks has advised.

Speaking to CSO Australia in the wake of Palo Alto's acquisition of security startup Morta Security, Australia-New Zealand country manager Armando Dacal said the long-running focus on port-based blocking had proved inadequate as attackers increasingly used masking techniques to work their way around such controls.

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) allowing administrators to classify traffic based on applications, by contrast, did away with traditional stateful-inspection techniques to facilitate the creation of security policies “that maps the way your business runs”, Dacal explained.

“It really boils down to the specific user and the content they should be accessing,” he continued, noting the importance of new security thinking as cloud-computing investments increasingly complicated the security picture.

“Cloud is a moving target, and more and more of enterprises' critical data is sitting outside of their network,” Dacal said. “This is why it's absolutely critical to have a security posture that addresses the way your business actually runs.”

That includes the use of policies to manage users “irrespective of the device or platform they're running on” rather than focusing on network traffic alone, he continued. “We see 2014 as being a critical year for security leaders in making that shift to a world where you safely enable applications that your employees are looking to use.

“It's a much stronger security architecture and strategy, and we continue to see more and more being done with the technology every day. It's critical that enterprise leaders address that.”

Palo Alto will eventually build on its Morta acquisition to expand its threat-intelligence capabilities, but in the meantime the company has built out its WildFire NGFW offering with additional features that it says are optimised to detect unknown malware, zero-day exploits and advanced persistent threats.

The technology's 'closed loop' approach uses an ongoing feedback loop to detect known and unknown security compromises based on behaviour and file analysis. Malware controls are continually built and refined, then added to the evolving malware defence.

Such capabilities will become increasingly important as exploding mobile malware volumes force CSOs into a reckoning of their mobile ambitions, Dacal said.

“The reality is that users are bringing devices onto the network, and that enterprises need to find ways of enabling the applications that employes want to use, but enabling them safely. That's really at the heart of what every CSO is thinking about.”

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Palo Altosecurity

More about CSOPalo Alto Networks

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts