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Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

Companies

Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

Palo Alto Networks (PANW)

Security

Description

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. is an American multinational cybersecurity company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Its core products are a platform that includes advanced firewalls and cloud-based offerings that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of security. The company serves over 70,000 organizations in over 150 countries, including 85 of the Fortune 100. It is home to the Unit 42 threat research team and hosts the Ignite cybersecurity conference.

In 2018, Palo Alto Networks was listed 8th in the Forbes Digital 100. In June 2018, former Google and SoftBank executive Nikesh Arora joined the company as Chairman and CEO.

History

Palo Alto Networks was founded in 2005 by Israeli-American Nir Zuk, a former engineer from Check Point and NetScreen Technologies, and was the principal developer of the first stateful inspection firewall and the first intrusion prevention system. When asked why he started Palo Alto Networks, Zuk cited his objective of solving a problem enterprises were facing with existing network security solutions: the inability to safely enable employees to use modern applications, which entailed developing a firewall that could identify and provide fine-grained control of applications.

In 2007, the company produced and shipped its first product, an advanced enterprise firewall, which it branded the world's first "next-generation firewall". In 2009, Gartner released a publication defining the next-generation firewall. In contrast to traditional firewalls of the time which relied on simple rules such as port numbers and protocol to block traffic, the authors stated that next-generation firewalls should operate on and inspect all layers of the network stack and be intelligent enough to block threats independently of port numbers or protocols used. In particular, the publication defined this next-generation firewall as containing (in addition to the full capabilities of both traditional firewalls and intrusion prevention systems): Support for in-line deployment without disrupting network operations, application awareness and full stack visibility allowing for fine-grained detection and control of applications, extra-firewall intelligence, and upgrade paths.

Starting in 2011, Gartner began listing Palo Alto Networks as a leader on its enterprise firewall Magic Quadrant. In 2019, they were named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls for an 8th year in a row. The company debuted on the NYSE on July 20, 2012, raising $260 million with its initial public offering, which was the 4th-largest tech IPO of 2012. It remained on the NYSE until October 2021 when the company transferred its listing to Nasdaq.

In 2014, Palo Alto Networks founded the Cyber Threat Alliance with Fortinet, McAfee, and Symantec, a not-for-profit organization with the goal of improving cybersecurity "for the greater good" by encouraging collaboration between cybersecurity organizations by sharing cyber threat intelligence amongst members. By 2018, the organization had 20 members including Cisco, Check Point, Juniper Networks, and Sophos.

The company expanded over the years, offering a wide selection of enterprise cybersecurity services beyond its original next-generation firewall offering, such as Traps endpoint protection and Wildfire malware prevention. In 2017, Palo Alto Networks announced Logging Service, a cloud-based service allowing customers to amass their own data for machine learning and data analytics.

In 2018, the company began opening dedicated cybersecurity training facilities around the world as part of the Global Cyber Range Initiative.

In May 2018, the company announced Application Framework, an open cloud-delivered ecosystem where developers can publish security services as SaaS applications that can be instantly delivered to the company's network of customers.

In 2018, several high-profile tech executives joined Palo Alto Networks. In June 2018, former Google Chief Business Officer and SoftBank President Nikesh Arora joined the company as chairman and CEO. His predecessor, Mark McLaughlin, became vice chairman of the board of directors. Arora received a pay package worth about $128 million, making him one of the highest paid executives in the United States. In September 2018 Liane Hornsey, formerly Chief People Officer at Uber, joined Palo Alto Networks as Chief People Officer. In October 2018, Amit Singh, formerly President of Google Cloud, succeeded Mark Anderson as President of Palo Alto Networks. In August 2021, William (BJ) Jenkins succeeded Singh as president, with Singh assuming the role of Chief Business Officer.

In 2019, the company announced the K2-Series, a 5G-ready next-generation firewall developed for service providers with 5G and IoT requirements in mind. In February 2019, the company announced Cortex, an AI-based continuous security platform. CEO Nikesh Arora described Cortex as "Application Framework 2.0".

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