Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), the next-generation security company, today announced availability of Aperture, a new security-as-a-service offering to help organizations safely enable and strengthen security for sanctioned SaaS applications, such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Salesforce.

Typically accessed by users via both corporate and personal devices, SaaS applications provide productivity and collaboration benefits for organizations; however, these applications and the often sensitive data stored in the public cloud present unique security challenges and risks, such as accidental data exposure by users.  To prevent this exposure and ensure threats do not propagate through these SaaS applications, granular visibility and control of sanctioned SaaS applications with security policies applied to all data and users is essential.

Aperture – based on technology acquired from CirroSecure in May 2015 – gives security teams this visibility and control of sanctioned SaaS application activity, and provides a detailed analysis of usage by user and device to easily determine if there are any data risks or compliance-related policy violations.  In addition to granular policy controls, Aperture is integrated with the Palo Alto Networks WildFire™ cloud-based malware prevention offering to identify known and unknown malware and prevent a SaaS application from becoming an insertion point for advanced threats into an organization’s computing environment.

QUOTES

  • “Global organizations are transitioning to new models of productivity and collaboration, powered by mobile-first, cloud-based solutions. With this new approach, IT leaders must adopt security policies that protect business critical information while still enabling employees to be agile and connected. We’re incredibly excited to be working with Palo Alto Networks to advance content security in the cloud and transform the way today’s leading enterprises work.”
    –  Chris Yeh, senior vice president, Product at Box
  • “Until now, this combination of visibility, analysis, and contextual control of SaaS applications hasn’t existed and it forced many organizations to shoulder the risks associated with sanctioning the use of SaaS applications.  Now, the granular control provided by Aperture, along with malware protection through WildFire, can help organizations enjoy the productivity benefits of sanctioned SaaS applications while reducing the risk of data exposure and cyberthreats compromising their networks.”
    –  Lee Klarich, senior vice president, product management at Palo Alto Networks

Secure SaaS applications with visibility, analysis and control
Aperture, which complements the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall that identifies and controls access to unsanctioned applications, allows IT teams to control sanctioned SaaS applications and associated data by examining and controlling how data is shared while preventing malware from being introduced.

Aperture, a cloud-based, device-agnostic offering that requires no agents, has little impact on the user’s experience or changes to the network infrastructure.  If a use violation occurs, Aperture enables quick enforcement of security policies to quarantine folders and data. (Original Source)

Shares of Palo Alto Networks closed yesterday at $179.54. PANW has a 1-year high of $200.55 and a 1-year low of $87.83. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $172.77 and its 200-day moving average is $163.44.

On the ratings front, Palo Alto Networks has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 11, William Blair analyst Jonathan Ho reiterated a Buy rating on PANW. Separately, on September 10, UBS’s Brent Thill reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $202.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jonathan Ho and Brent Thill have a total average return of 14.1% and 13.0% respectively. Ho has a success rate of 65.6% and is ranked #548 out of 3757 analysts, while Thill has a success rate of 66.4% and is ranked #133.

Overall, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 18 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $202.27 which is 12.7% above where the stock closed yesterday.

Palo Alto Networks Inc offers an enterprise network security platform that allows enterprises, service providers, and government entities to secure their networks and safely enable applications running on their networks.