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Batra Threatens Competitors by Raising Funding
si Team
Friday, September 26, 2008
The existing enterprise firewall vendors – Cisco, Juniper Networks, and Check Point – have not innovated in the last 15 years since the invention of stateful packet inspection,” claims Rajiv Batra, Founder and Vice President, Engineering, Palo Alto Networks.

The application and threat landscape have dramatically changed, and the traditional port and protocol method of traffic classification is ineffective since most applications and threats now tunnel over ports 80/443 (HTTP or HTTPS), or even worse port-hop. “Unfortunately for them, the only solution is to completely redesign the firewall from the ground up, which Palo Alto Networks has done two years ago,” says Batra.

But still, to build up the business in Europe and Asia and strengthen its sales, marketing, and customer services functions in North America, the Sunnyvale based Palo Alto Networks has raised $27 million in a third round of funding for its firewall appliance business. The round was led by Lehman Brothers Venture Partners with its other investors Globespan Capital Partners, Greylock Partners, and Sequoia Capital.

The firewalls of the past were designed to stop threats coming in from emails and websites. But as employees adopt new Web based services, they open up the networks to new threats. Instead of offering generic firewall protection, Palo Alto Networks’ products can set corporate firewall protocols on more granular levels so that each user has a distinct set of permissions on a network. As a tool, it gives network administrators more control over their networks by letting them see all applications on a network. “We can monitor what the employees are using on the Web,” says Batra.

The stints Lane Bess, the newly appointed CEO, has had in security technology would help the company to gain momentum in the market. The Palo Alto Networks’ 75-member team is in the process of shaking up the market and deliver the next-generation firewall that enterprise customers require for their most critical element of the security infrastructure.
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