Palo Alto Networks to launch next-gen firewall for 5G networks

5G networks will bring more speed, less latency and probably more security headaches. Enter Palo Alto Networks, which will court carriers who will be on the hook for securing 5G.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Palo Alto Networks is planning to launch a next-generation firewall for 5G networks launching in February.

The move was disclosed by Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora on the company's fiscal first quarter earnings conference call. He said:

We're excited to announce a new product for our service provider partners, an area we plan to focus on and invest in for future growth. Our service cloud providers are facing a major mobile infrastructure transition from 4G to 5G. We're announcing a new super scale next-generation firewall that has been developed specifically for service providers with their high-throughput needs, taking into account the price considerations upcoming 5G and IoT transition.

Janet Matsuda, senior vice president of product marketing, said the company's plan is to secure the Internet of things and networks that will ride on speedier 5G technology.

What remains to be seen is what entity will be ultimately responsible for security of these networks. "The service providers are going to need to do it," said Matsuda.

Also: On a roof, inside London's 5G mobile trial | True 5G standard to be set in December 2019: Samsung | Intel announces 5G modem for 2019

Autonomous vehicles and other connected things like machinery will have a dedicated slice of a 5G network and have higher expectations for latency and bandwidth. Security services will also be part of service level agreements.

Matsuda said the 5G network will most likely be similar to a cloud model. Cloud providers are responsible for securing the infrastructure and customers need to secure customer data.

In a 5G world, carriers will be responsible for that base layer of security, she said. The company's platform approach and ability to connect partners via APIs may also help develop a 5G security ecosystem.

Palo Alto Networks already has telecom carriers as customers for 4G networks, but the next-gen 5G firewall is likely to expand its base of customers. Government entities may also be customers for 5G security infrastructure.

The business model for Palo Alto Networks will align with what it does today. The next-gen firewall will be sold under a licensing model with integrated hardware and software with additional services over the top.

Also: Palo Alto Networks names Google's Amit Singh as new president | Palo Alto Networks buys cloud security startup RedLock

Palo Alto Networks reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $38.3 million, or 41 cents a share, on revenue of $656 million, up 31 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.17 a share. Arora said the company was off to a strong start and it completed the purchase of RedLock.

Wall Street was looking for first quarter non-GAAP earnings of $1.05 a share on revenue of $631.9 million.

The company said second quarter revenue will be between $675 million and $685 million with non-GAAP earnings of $1.20 a share to $1.22 a share.

Pictures: London's 5G trial takes to the rooftops

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