Data Integration partners with Palo Alto Networks to bring new generation of firewalls to UK organizations

01 Dec 2008

Through a new partnership with Palo Alto Networks, IT specialist and systems integrator Data Integration is introducing a fundamentally new concept in firewalling to customers in the UK.

With traditional firewalls unable to "see" the increasing number of consumer and business applications using sophisticated security evasion techniques such as dynamic or random port numbers, and application emulation/tunnelling, enterprise networks are rife with unapproved and uncontrollable applications, bringing unwanted exposure to a wide range of security and compliance-related risks.

Data Integration’s Strategist, Jon Murphy says:

The kind of application traffic we are talking about simply wasn’t around when most installed firewalls were designed. Palo Alto’s firewalls adopt a fundamentally different approach that identifies actual users and the applications they access. This is an issue we have seen customers grappling with for about the past 12 months, particularly for the inspection and control of SSL encrypted traffic, which is why we have decided to add Palo Alto to our portfolio. Palo Alto’s products simultaneously increase security and reduce the complexity of security arrangements.

Applications and user behaviour have changed radically over the past few years, with the rise of Web 2.0 applications, mobile devices and social networking, but firewalls haven’t kept pace with these changes. Originally designed to block applications based on ports and protocols, they can’t differentiate between different types of web traffic and encrypted traffic. Until now, the response from security technology vendors has been to augment firewalls by adding more technologies – intrusion detection and prevention, web content filtering, gateway antivirus into the network. However, even companies using these multiple technologies are exposed to threats hidden within applications.

In addition, employees are increasingly using both allowed and prohibited web-based applications. Recent research* revealed that 85% of employees were downloading programmes, but only 40% of companies were in control of that activity. 72% were using work computers for social networking, with only 19% of companies in control.

Further research just published by the Ponemon Institute found that 78% of IT security practitioners claimed to have policies prohibiting the use of specific applications. However, almost half (48%) of respondents were not certain if employees were using them or not. As a result, IT security practitioners didn’t know how vulnerable their organizations were to such risks as increased infection of malware and viruses, disclosure of confidential or sensitive company information, and external threats to networks. If they did know, it was through network surveillance (46%), informal observations (43%), device scanning (28%), and periodic monitoring and auditing (21%).

Palo Alto VP Sales – EMEA, Karl Driesen comments, The findings in this report are astonishing, and the problem will only get worse with a new generation of IT users completely comfortable with web-based applications. We are delighted, therefore, to be working with Data Integration, a company known for its innovative and creative approach to networking and security issues, and a proven track record with emerging products.

Source: SC Magazine

About Data Integration

Founded in 1997, Data Integration is a specialist provider of high performance, secure network solutions, consultancy, and managed services. The company works closely with best-of-breed, leading technologies to provide its clients with an IT infrastructure that will drive their businesses to bring competitive advantage whilst reducing operating expenses.

Data Integration works with clients in enterprise, health, education, finance, and local government as well as systems integrators and outsourcers. Much of its business comes from existing clients with whom a strong working relationship has been built, and who enjoy working with Data Integration because of their immersion into their client’s culture and methodologies, solution planning and deliverability.

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For press information contact:

Virginia Harry
The Insight Group
Tel. 01344 871900

Hannah Crease
Data Integration
Tel: 0844 561 0071