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Palo Alto targets industrial environments with new firewall

Ruggedized PA-220R NGFW appliance built to prevent cyber-attacks in ICS and SCADA systems

Palo Alto targets industrial environments with new firewall
As ICS systems get modernised, so does their exposure to attacks rise, Klarich warns

Palo Alto Networks has launched a next-generation firewall designed for industrial settings. 

The ruggedized PA-220R NGFW appliance is designed to prevent successful cyberattacks in the network environments of industrial control systems, or ICS, and supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems. The PA-220R meets required performance and reliability standards for operating in demanding industrial settings, such as utility substations, power plants and factory floors, according to the company.

Lee Klarich, the chief product officer at Palo Alto Networks notes that ICS systems are being modernised to be more efficient through the use of more advanced IT technologies, often increasing exposure to attacks. “Better industrial cybersecurity offerings are required to safely enable OT modernisation; and the new Palo Alto Networks PA-220R next-generation firewall optimises the ICS-specific security that we already provide to our customers, now for deployment in the harshest of industrial environments and remote locations."

Organisations are evolving their understanding about the need to improve industrial cybersecurity. In their annual survey, Securing Industrial Control Systems, SANS Institute reports that the number of organisations perceiving the level of threat to control systems as “critical” or “high” increased by 26% to 69% in 2017.

Protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks poses unique challenges because the environments can be harsh, and systems often use specialised protocols. Advanced IT technologies in ICS and SCADA environments must often be connected to external networks, increasing exposure to risk and requiring sophisticated cybersecurity to ensure that successful cyberattacks are prevented.

The new PA-220R NGFW is built for environments with extreme temperatures, humidity, dust, vibration and electromagnetic interference, using the PAN-OS operating system to deliver granular, ICS-specific traffic visibility, network segmentation, and integrated threat prevention to industrial networks in harsh environments.

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