Asia's Source for Enterprise Network Knowledge

Monday, May 1st, 2017


Palo Alto Networks announces new threat prevention capabilities for its security platform

Palo Alto Networks announces new threat prevention capabilities for its  security platform

Palo Alto Networks has announced advancements to its Next-Generation Security Platform that provide customer organizations with the ability to prevent the theft and abuse of stolen credentials, one of the most common methods cyber adversaries use to successfully compromise and maneuver within an organization to steal valuable assets.

The majority of breaches involve password theft at some stage of the attack lifecycle. According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report (DBIR), nearly two-thirds of the breaches analyzed were, in some part, the result of stolen credentials. Because the vast majority of organizations continue to use simple password-based credentials as the primary means of enabling user access to systems, it is often easier for an attacker to steal passwords than it is to find and hack a vulnerable system or successfully bypass malware detection and threat prevention technologies.

Traditional approaches to stopping credential phishing are rudimentary, manual, limited, and rely primarily on educating employees and classifying a phishing site before someone encounters it. If the organization’s security products miss a new phishing site, the only recourse is hoping the user doesn’t proceed to enter his or her credentials. Further, password-only-based approaches to authentication remain very common due to the traditional complexities of implementing multi-factor authentication, leaving many applications exposed to simple credential abuse-based access by attackers.

Palo Alto Networks now delivers a multi-method, scalable and automated approach designed to prevent credential-based attacks. These capabilities, delivered from the next-generation firewall, prevent the theft and abuse of stolen credentials and complement additional malware and threat prevention and secure application enablement functionality, to extend customer organizations’ ability to prevent cyber breaches.

Among the more than 70 new features introduced to the Next-Generation Security Platform as part of PAN-OS security operating system version 8.0, credential theft prevention feature highlights include:

  • Automatically identify and block phishing sites by sending suspicious links from emails to the WildFire service for enhanced machine learning-based analysis. If the site is determined to be phishing, PAN-DB will automatically update the phishing URL category, block the site, and prevent users from accessing it.
  • Prevent users from submitting credentials to phishing sites; by integrating with User-ID technology, the firewall can recognize the movement of enterprise credentials in the traffic. If a user unknowingly attempts to transmit a username and password to an unauthorized site, policies within the firewall can alert or drop the traffic and stop the transmission of corporate credentials.
  • Prevent the use of stolen credentials by providing a policy-based multi-factor authentication framework natively in the next-generation firewall. This unique capability makes it easy to enforce multi-factor authentication from the firewall to stop cyber adversaries from moving laterally in a network and accessing sensitive resources with the help of stolen credentials or compromised endpoints. This is achieved by working at the network level in conjunction with authentication and identity management frameworks, such as single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, and integrating with a number of next-generation identity access management vendors, including Okta®, Ping Identity® and Duo Security, as well as policy enforcement tools. In addition to simplifying the overall administrative overhead, with this new centralized policy-based approach in PAN-OS 8.0, administrators will now be able to protect internal and custom applications with multi-factor authentication, a step that is often impossible to deploy with today’s existing tools. 

Additional threat prevention, management and hardware highlights are also available with the introduction of PAN-OS 8.0.