PCCET Exam Questions - Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level Technician Updated: 2024
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Exam Code: PCCET Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level Technician Exam Questions January 2024 by Killexams.com team
PCCET Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level Technician
EXAM CODE: PCCET
EXAM NAME: Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry Level Technician (PCCET)
The PCCET certification is the first of its kind. It is aligned with the NIST/NICE (National Institute of Standards and Technology/National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) workforce framework, designed to cover foundational knowledge of industry-recognized cybersecurity and network security concepts as well as various cutting-edge advancements across all Palo Alto Networks technologies.
Main Areas covered by Questions;
Fundamentals of Cybersecurity 30%
Network Security Components 30%
Cloud Technologies 20%
Elements of Security Operations 20%
Domain 1 Fundamentals of Cybersecurity 30%
Topic 1.1 Distinguish between Web 2.0 and 3.0 applications and services
Topic 1.2 Describe port-scanning methodologies and their impact
1.2.1 Nonstandard ports
1.2.2 Identify applications by their port number
Topic 1.3 Recognize applications used to circumvent port-based firewalls
Topic 1.4 Differentiate between common cloud computing service models
Topic 1.5 Describe the business processes of supply-chain management
Topic 1.6 Describe the vulnerabilities associated with data being stored in the SaaS environment
1.6.1 Describe roles within a SaaS environment
1.6.2 Describe security controls for SaaS applications
Topic 1.7 Describe the impact of governance, regulation, and compliance
1.7.1 Differentiate between compliance and security
1.7.2 Identify major cybersecurity laws and their implications
Topic 1.8 Describe the tactics of the MITRE ATT&CK framework
1.8.1 Identify a leading indicator of a compromise
1.8.2 Describe how to use CVE
1.8.3 Describe how to use CVS
Topic 1.9 Identify the different attacker profiles and motivations
1.9.1 Describe the different value levels of the information that needs to be protected (political, financial, etc.)
Topic 1.10 Describe the different phases and events of the cyberattack lifecycle
1.10.1 Describe the purpose of command and control (C2)
Topic 1.11 Identify the characteristics, capabilities, and appropriate actions for different types of malware and ransomware
Topic 1.12 Differentiate between vulnerabilities and exploits
1.12.1 Differentiate between various business email compromise attacks
1.12.2 Identify different methodologies for social engineering
1.12.3 Identify the chain of events that result from social engineering
Topic 1.13 Identify what chain of events follows an attack
Topic 1.14 Differentiate between the functional aspects of bots and botnets
1.14.1 Describe the type of IoT devices that are part of a botnet attack
Topic 1.15 Differentiate the TCP/IP roles in DDoS attacks
1.15.1 Differentiate between DoS and DDoS
Topic 1.16 Describe advanced persistent threats
Topic 1.17 Describe risks with Wi-Fi networks
1.17.1 Differentiate between common types of Wi-Fi attacks
1.17.2 Describe how to monitor your Wi-Fi network
Topic 1.18 Describe perimeter-based network security
1.18.1 Identify the types of devices used in perimeter defense
Topic 1.19 Describe the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
Topic 1.20 Describe the transition from a trusted network to an untrusted network
1.20.1 Differentiate between North-South and East-West zones
Topic 1.21 Describe Zero Trust
1.21.1 Identify the benefits of the Zero Trust model
1.21.2 Identify the design principles for Zero Trust
1.21.3 Describe a microperimeter
1.21.4 Differentiate between Trust and Untrust zones
Topic 1.22 Describe the integration of services for network, endpoint, and cloud
Topic 1.23 Identify the capabilities of an effective Security Operating Platform
1.23.1 Describe the components of the Security Operating Platform
Domain 2 Network Security Components 30%
Topic 2.1 Differentiate between hubs, switches, and routers
2.1.1 Given a network diagram, Identify the icons for hubs, switches, and routers
Topic 2.2 Describe the use of VLANs
Topic 2.3 Differentiate between routed and routing protocols
Topic 2.4 Differentiate between static and dynamic routing protocols
2.4.1 Differentiate between link state and distance vector
Topic 2.5 Identify the borders of collision and broadcast domains
Topic 2.6 Differentiate between different types of area networks
Topic 2.7 Describe the advantages of SD-WAN
Topic 2.8 Describe the purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS)
2.8.1 Describe how DNS record types are used
2.8.2 Identify a fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
2.8.3 Describe the DNS hierarchy
Topic 2.9 Differentiate between categories of IoT devices
2.9.1 Identify the known security risks and solutions associated with IoT
Topic 2.10 Identify IoT connectivity technologies
Topic 2.11 Differentiate between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
2.11.1 Describe binary-to-decimal conversion
2.11.2 Describe IPv4 CIDR notation
2.11.3 Describe IPv4 classful subnetting
2.11.4 Given a scenario, identify the proper subnet mask
2.11.5 Describe the purpose of subnetting
2.11.6 Describe the structure of IPv4 and IPv6
2.11.7 Describe the purpose of IPv4 and IPv6 addressing
Topic 2.12 Describe the purpose of a default gateway
Topic 2.13 Describe the role of NAT
Topic 2.14 Describe OSI and TCP/IP models
2.14.1 Identify the order of the layers of both OSI and TCP/IP models
2.14.2 Compare the similarities of some OSI and TCP/IP layers
2.14.3 Identify the protocols and functions of each OSI layer
Topic 2.15 Describe the data-encapsulation process
2.15.1 Describe the PDU format used at different layers
Topic 2.16 Identify the characteristics of various types of network firewalls
2.16.1 Traditional firewalls
2.16.2 Next-generation firewalls
2.16.3 Differentiate between NGFWs and traditional firewalls
Topic 2.17 Describe the application of NGFW deployment options (i.e., PA-, VM- and CN-Series)
Topic 2.18 Differentiate between intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems
2.18.1 Differentiate between knowledge-based and behavior-based systems
Topic 2.19 Describe virtual private networks
2.19.1 Describe when to use VPNs
Topic 2.20 Differentiate between the different tunneling protocols
Topic 2.21 Describe the purpose of data loss prevention
2.21.1 Classify different types of data (e.g., sensitive, inappropriate)
Topic 2.22 Differentiate the various types of security functions from those that are integrated into UTM devices
Topic 2.23 Describe endpoint security standards
2.23.1 Describe the advantages of endpoint security
2.23.2 Describe host-based intrusion detection/prevention systems
2.23.3 Differentiate between signature-based and behavioral-based malware protection
2.23.4 Describe application block and allow listing
2.23.5 Describe the concepts of false-positive and false-negative alerts
2.23.6 Describe the purpose of anti-spyware software
Topic 2.24 Identify differences in managing wireless devices compared to other endpoint devices
Topic 2.25 Describe the purpose of identity and access management
2.25.1 Single- and multi-factor Authentication
2.25.2 Separation of duties and impact on privileges
2.25.3 RBAC, ABAC, DAC, and MAC
2.25.4 User profiles
Topic 2.26 Describe the integration of NGFWs with the cloud, networks, and endpoints
Topic 2.27 Describe App-ID, User-ID, and Content-ID
Topic 2.28 Describe Palo Alto Networks firewall subscription services
2.28.2 URL Filtering
2.28.3 Threat Prevention
2.28.4 DNS Security
2.28.5 IoT Security
2.28.7 Advanced Threat Prevention
2.28.8 Advanced URL Filtering
2.28.10 Enterprise DLP
2.28.11 SaaS Security Inline
2.28.12 Virtual Systems
Topic 2.29 Describe network security management
2.29.1 Identify the deployment modes of Panorama
2.29.2 Describe the three components of Best Practice Assessment (BPA)
Domain 3 Cloud Technologies 20%
Topic 3.1 Describe the NIST cloud service and deployment models
Topic 3.2 Recognize and list cloud security challenges
3.2.1 Describe the vulnerabilities in a shared community environment
3.2.2 Describe cloud security responsibilities
3.2.3 Describe cloud multitenancy
3.2.4 Differentiate between security tools in various cloud environments
3.2.5 Describe identity and access management controls for cloud resources
3.2.6 Describe different types of cloud security alerts and notifications
Topic 3.3 Identify the 4 Cs of cloud native security
Topic 3.4 Describe the purpose of virtualization in cloud computing
3.4.1 Describe the types of hypervisors
3.4.2 Describe characteristics of various cloud providers
3.4.3 Describe economic benefits of cloud computing and virtualization
3.4.4 Describe the security implications of virtualization
Topic 3.5 Explain the purpose of containers in application deployment
3.5.1 Differentiate containers versus virtual machines
3.5.2 Describe Container as a Service
3.5.3 Differentiate a hypervisor from a Docker Container
Topic 3.6 Describe how serverless computing is used
Topic 3.7 Describe DevOps
Topic 3.8 Describe DevSecOps
Topic 3.9 Illustrate the continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline
Topic 3.10 Explain governance and compliance related to deployment of SaaS applications
3.10.1 Describe security compliance to protect data
3.10.2 Describe privacy regulations globally
3.10.3 Describe security compliance between local policies and SaaS applications
Topic 3.11 Describe the cost of maintaining a physical data center
Topic 3.12 Differentiate between data-center security weaknesses of traditional solutions versus cloud environments
Topic 3.13 Differentiate between east-west and north-south traffic patterns
Topic 3.14 Describe the four phases of hybrid data-center security
Topic 3.15 Describe how data centers can transform their operations incrementally
Topic 3.16 Describe the cloud-native security platform
Topic 3.17 Identify the four pillars of Prisma Cloud application security
Topic 3.18 Describe the concept of SASE
Topic 3.19 Describe the SASE layer
3.19.1 Describe sanctioned, tolerated, and unsanctioned SaaS applications
3.19.2 List how to control sanctioned SaaS usage
Topic 3.20 Describe the network-as-a-service layer
Topic 3.21 Describe how Prisma Access provides traffic protection
Topic 3.22 Describe Prisma Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
Domain 4 Elements of Security Operations 20%
Topic 4.1 Describe the main elements included in the development of SOC business objectives
Topic 4.2 Describe the components of SOC business management and operations
Topic 4.3 List the six essential elements of effective security operations
Topic 4.4 Describe the four SecOps functions
Topic 4.5 Describe SIEM
Topic 4.6 Describe the purpose of security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR)
Topic 4.7 Describe the analysis tools used to detect evidence of a security compromise
Topic 4.8 Describe how to collect security data for analysis
Topic 4.9 Describe the use of analysis tools within a security operations environment
Topic 4.10 Describe the responsibilities of a security operations engineering team
Topic 4.11 Describe the Cortex platform in a security operations environment and the purpose of Cortex XDR for various endpoints
Topic 4.12 Describe how Cortex XSOAR improves security operations efficiency
Topic 4.13 Describe how Cortex Data Lake improves security operations visibility
Topic 4.14 Describe how XSIAM can be used to accelerate SOC threat response
|Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level Technician
Palo-Alto Cybersecurity Exam Questions
Other Palo-Alto examsACE Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE)
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PCNSA Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Administrator
PCNSE-PANOS-9 Palo Alto Networks Certified Security Engineer (PCNSE PAN-OS 9.0)
PCCET Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level Technician
PSE-Strata Palo Alto Networks System Engineer Professional Strata
PCCSE Prisma Certified Cloud Security Engineer
PCSAE Palo Alto Networks Certified Security Automation Engineer
PCNSC Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Consultant
PSE-SASE Palo Alto Networks System Engineer Professional ? SASE (PSE-SASE)
PCSFE Palo Alto Networks Certified Software Firewall Engineer (PCSFE)
PCDRA Palo Alto Networks Certified Detection and Remediation Analyst
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PCCET Real Questions
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Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-level
SecOps consists of interfaces, visibility, technology, and which other three elements? (Choose three.)
Which IoT connectivity technology is provided by satellites?
What does Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR do first when an endpoint is asked to run an executable?
A. run a static analysis
B. check its execution policy
C. send the executable to WildFire
D. run a dynamic analysis
What is the key to taking down a botnet?
A. prevent bots from communicating with the C2
B. install openvas software on endpoints
C. use LDAP as a directory service
D. block Docker engine software on endpoints
How does Prisma SaaS provide protection for Sanctioned SaaS applications?
A. Prisma SaaS connects to an organizations internal print and file sharing services to provide protection and sharing
B. Prisma SaaS does not provide protection for Sanctioned SaaS applications because they are secure
C. Prisma access uses Uniform Resource Locator (URL) Web categorization to provide protection and sharing
D. Prisma SaaS connects directly to sanctioned external service providers SaaS application service to provide
protection and sharing visibility
Which type of Software as a Service (SaaS) application provides business benefits, is fast to deploy, requires minimal cost
and is infinitely scalable?
How does DevSecOps improve the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline?
A. DevSecOps improves pipeline security by assigning the security team as the lead team for continuous deployment
B. DevSecOps ensures the pipeline has horizontal intersections for application code deployment
C. DevSecOps unites the Security team with the Development and Operations teams to integrate security into the
D. DevSecOps does security checking after the application code has been processed through the CI/CD pipeline
Which type of LAN technology is being displayed in the diagram?
A. Star Topology
B. Spine Leaf Topology
C. Mesh Topology
D. Bus Topology
An Administrator wants to maximize the use of a network address. The network is 192.168.6.0/24 and there are three
subnets that need to be created that can not overlap. Which subnet would you use for the network with 120 hosts?
Requirements for the three subnets:
Subnet 1: 3 host addresses -
Subnet 2: 25 host addresses -
Subnet 3: 120 host addresses -
Which two network resources does a directory service database contain? (Choose two.)
B. /etc/shadow files
D. Terminal shell types on endpoints
Which model would a customer choose if they want full control over the operating system(s) running on their cloud
What is a key advantage and key risk in using a public cloud environment?
B. Dedicated Networks
C. Dedicated Hosts
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Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW) is set to continue to benefit from massive demand for cybersecurity even amid possible macroeconomic weakness.
The stock has already rallied in 2023, and is the second best performer among peers after Crowdstrike (CRWD). That could spell its undoing in 2024 if investors think it's overvalued.
2023 Stock Performance
Palo Alto (PANW) is up 117% in 2023. Shares reached a 52-week high of $318 this week. On Friday, the stock climbed 2.3%, to close at $307.30.
Over a five-year timeframe, the stock has advanced more than 389%.
What Quantitative Measures Say
Countering this somewhat are high grades in other areas. Palo Alto receives an A+ for profitability and an A for momentum.
What Wall Street Says
There are skeptics, however. Seven analysts give Palo Alto (PANW) a Hold rating, and one gives it a Sell rating.
SA analyst Richard Durant said earlier this month that the stock is starting to look fully valued. Palo Alto is facing headwinds on the hardware side of its business, although, given its current revenue mix, that is not a significant concern, he said.
"There is a risk of growth deceleration as Palo Alto begins to saturate its existing customer base though," Durant said. "Palo Alto’s stock likely continues to do ok going forward, provided the macro environment remains stable, but there may not be much more room for multiple expansion."
In late November, SA author Lighting Rock Research called Palo Alto (PANW) a Buy, noting it is one of the largest cybersecurity companies, with almost 80% of revenue coming from services and subscriptions. The business has evolved from network security to cloud security and, most recently, to the next generation of Security Operations Centers transformation.
"The SEC's new rules on cybersecurity will serve as a notable catalyst for Palo Alto, and I initiate coverage with a 'Buy' rating and a fair value of $290 per share," Lighting Rock said.
In its last earnings report, Palo Alto (PANW) reported revenue and profit that topped estimates. Revenue of $1.9B compared to the average analyst estimate of $1.84B and non-GAAP earnings came in at $1.38 per share, above the estimate of $1.16 per share.
Looking ahead, for fiscal 2024, the company expects total billings in the range of $10.7B to $10.8B. That compares to a prior estimate of $10.9B to $11B.
Revenue is forecast in the range of $8.15B to $8.20B versus the estimate of $8.19B and non-GAAP net income per share is forecast in the range of $5.40 to $5.53 compared to the estimate of $5.34 per share.
"An unprecedented level of attacks is fueling strong demand in the cybersecurity market," said CEO Nikesh Arora last month.
Analysts expect the company to report $1.30 in earnings per share for the current quarter on revenue of about $1.97B.
In an interview with CRN, Arora speaks about why the industry needs to shift to a cybersecurity platform approach and how Palo Alto Networks is ‘beginning to switch the perception’ in the debate over platforms versus stand-alone products.
Five years in as CEO of cybersecurity giant Palo Alto Networks, Nikesh Arora believes the industry transition he and his company have been pushing for—to a security platform approach rather than a reliance on stand-alone products—is now underway. Discussions about “tool sprawl” in cybersecurity are now ubiquitous, for one thing. But even more importantly, partners and customers are increasingly recognizing that there is an array of major benefits from adopting a unified platform of security products that are tightly integrated across numerous segments, according to Arora.
The industry is still in the “early stages of this transformation,” Arora said in an interview with CRN in July. However, there are now many customers who are “beginning to think about a long-term cybersecurity strategy [and] starting to build longer-term cybersecurity architectures to create this integrated platform, which gives a better outcome,” he said.
Channel partners are pivotal to this equation as well, given that many have embraced a solutions- and outcome-oriented approach to helping their customers with security, Arora said. This, too, should only accelerate as more solution and service providers realize the advantages of working with a consolidated platform, he said. “I think as consolidation happens and integration happens, what’ll happen is the partner ecosystem should see a better economic outcome because now you don’t need to understand 200 solutions, you can understand a lot less,” Arora said. “And hopefully, that means that if they understand Palo Alto Networks really well, they should be able to do really well with us.”
For his role in leading the reinvention of Palo Alto Networks over the past five years — turning it from a firewall-focused network security vendor into the provider of a platform covering most of today’s essential cybersecurity capabilities — Arora has been named the No. 1 Most Influential Executive on CRN’s Top 100 Executives list for 2023. The Palo Alto Networks platform offers security capabilities spanning from cloud and applications, to SASE (secure access service edge) and zero trust, to AI-powered threat detection and security operations.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has completed 14 acquisitions under Arora to date, although he said that Palo Alto Networks has gone the extra mile to integrate the acquired technologies as a “first-class citizen” on its platform, so that they work “seamlessly” together. Doing that is far more difficult than the typical approach to M&A taken by many tech companies, Arora said.
Ultimately, as the number of cyberattacks and breaches continues to surge, it should become more and more clear to customers and partners that “the current paradigm is broken” in cybersecurity, he said. “The best-of-breed, single-vendor strategy is not working.”
When it comes to the cybersecurity platform debate, “hopefully we’re beginning to switch the perception,” Arora said. But if Palo Alto Networks’ most recent financial report is any indication, this is more than just a hope at this point: The company generated $1.72 billion in revenue for its fiscal third quarter of 2023, ended April 30, up 24 percent year over year. That beat the consensus estimate from Wall Street analysts for the quarter, despite the challenging economic environment.
Palo Alto Networks is also easily the top-valued publicly traded cybersecurity vendor with a market capitalization of $75 billion as of this writing and is nearing Arora’s goal of becoming the first to reach a $100 billion valuation.
During the interview with CRN, Arora also discussed how he dealt with his cybersecurity learning curve after joining Palo Alto Networks, his vision for making the vendor an “evergreen security company” and the revenue opportunities he sees around generative AI.
What follows is an edited portion of CRN’s interview with Arora.
What would you point to as your biggest achievement in five years at Palo Alto Networks?
As most people know, when I started five years ago, I knew nothing about cybersecurity. And I knew nothing about selling to enterprises. Primarily, I worked at Google in an ad sales role for a consumer product. I also had never been a public company CEO. So I think part of my discovery process was to sit back and think about the security industry and say, ‘What needs to happen here?’ I was faced with what perhaps was what all the traditional security specialists in the industry would say: ‘The industry wants best-of-breed. They don’t want a vendor to give them more than one thing, for the most part. They want the best thing from the best vendor in the space. And integration is not as critical. What’s critical is best-of-breed.’
The other observation I had was cybersecurity is one of the largest technology subsectors and it is most fragmented. [Palo Alto Networks was] still No. 1 at that time for [market share], and we had a 1.5 percentage share of the industry, which is not true in any other subsector in tech.
I think the part that got me the most is there has never been an evergreen security company. Security companies came in waves—there was a wave of firewalls, and Palo Alto rode that wave. And now there’s an endpoint wave. There was a SASE wave. There were other waves before that. I think the aspiration we had five years ago—at least for me and the leadership team—was how do we build an evergreen security company? So we took a slightly different perspective toward the security industry. And let’s just say we had our fair share of naysayers early on. Hopefully we’re on our way to proving them inaccurate.
What to you constitutes an evergreen security company?
If you look a decade ago, the No. 1 security company on people’s lips, or the most relevant [company], was a different one. Then five years later, it was a different one. And we’re hoping that we continue to stay relevant for our customers for as long as we can. And that requires us to be nimble and deliver the solutions they’re looking for, at the moment, not just rest on laurels and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to get a firewall.’
In terms of this notion of needing to transform the product portfolio, was that something that was pretty clear to you before you even started the job?
No, I think [that] became clearer as I understood the industry. I can’t say I knew the industry or understood it much when I took the job. I kind of understood it, but I had to spend time with the leadership, and spend time thinking about each and every [industry] player. And it became clear that there were swimlanes—there’s the endpoint swimlane, the identity swim lane, the firewall swimlane, the cloud security swimlane, the SASE swimlane. For the most part, very few companies traversed swimlanes, which in the enterprise space is a bad thing. Because in the enterprise space, if you look at the largest companies, they sell very large deals. If you look at the trillion-dollar companies, they sell security, they sell cloud computing, they sell office productivity software, to take one example. Or look at the largest enterprise companies—they sell a lot of things to their customers. So if you have the aspiration of being a large enterprise company, you have to aspire to own multiple swimlanes and deliver value across all of them.
So that realization came through speaking to others on the leadership team and getting to know the industry better? How much of it was due to being at a cloud-focused company [Google] previously?
Some of it came from watching people like Larry Page. If you look at the tech industry, the legendary tech founders, whether it’s Steve Jobs turning Apple around, or whether it’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin founding Google. Or it’s Mark Zuckerberg reorienting Facebook—and you realize, at the end of the day, a great tech company is one that constantly obsesses about delivering value to its customers in terms of great product. Larry used to joke with me, ‘No tech company became great because they have a great sales guy.’ Tech companies are great because they can constantly reinvent the products and deliver great experiences and solutions to their customers. I think that stuck with me when I was at Google—that if the management team and the leadership of the company doesn’t obsess about building great products and delivering great solutions, it doesn’t matter how good your marketing team is, how good your sales team is—eventually it’ll come back to bite you.
So you’d say that thinking about the customer is what led you to focus on this platform approach?
What led us to this platform approach was that most of our customers have more cybersecurity vendors than IT vendors. It sounds bizarre because cybersecurity is 10 percent of total IT spend, at most. This 10 percent of spend has more vendors than the other 90 percent. This is a problem. The only way you bridge the challenge is to say to the customer, ‘What if I gave you best-of-breed in this category yet I deliver it in an integrated fashion?’ Today, we’re leaders in north of 14 categories in cybersecurity. We’re in the leadership quadrant for SD-WAN, for SASE, for network firewalls, for cloud security. So we can go back and say, ‘Listen, you want to buy best-of-breed in the top right corner of any quadrant? We’ve got it.’ Plus, on top of that, we’ll give it to them in such a way that they work together.
Think about the example that if you are suddenly suffering some intrusion in your enterprise infrastructure, and it passes through an endpoint, the endpoint sends an alert. It passes you through a whole bunch of other security vendors, and sends you an alert. It passes through a firewall, it sends you an alert. It passes through your cloud infrastructure, it sends you an alert. Then you say, ‘Oh my god, I got 17 alerts—but it actually is one event. Because you have 17 different vendors deployed, everybody alerts you in their own way. And it’s some poor security analyst’s job to try and stitch it back into one event. What if I could say, ‘Don’t worry about it—this is one event.’ I’ve reduced their alerts by 50 percent. The problem was, the industry had never seen solutions that work together that well.
This was obviously a little bit of a leap when you first started on this idea, but do you feel like it’s still contrary to the usual assumption about how to deploy cybersecurity tools today?
Hopefully we’re beginning to switch the perception. That’s what we see with some of our largest customers. They understand. If you look back historically, the number of breaches and attacks are the highest today than they’ve ever been. So clearly, this idea of chasing best-of-breed and integrating [the tools] yourself is not working because there’s still more breaches, more attacks, more ransomware. If the idea was working, it should be the reverse. So clearly, people have seen that the last strategy has not worked. They’ve got to look for a different strategy. And today, the conversation is about, how quickly can I detect a threat? How quickly can I remediate it? And if I get breached, how quickly can I stand back up again? So the conversation is becoming not just about cybersecurity—it’s becoming about cyber resilience, it’s becoming about mean-time-to-resolution. And that’s something we offer.
In terms of you coming in without a security background and without an enterprise sales background, what were some advantages and disadvantages of that?
The advantages were we could take a look at the industry slightly differently, from first principles and say, ‘What the customer eventually needs has to be more automation-driven, has to be more machine-learning-driven. And it has to be something where multiple things work together.’ However, what we cannot do is we cannot go and reinvent the past. We can’t go back and say, ‘All this stuff is outdated, you’ve got to take it out.’ So we have to identify the trends of the future and deliver that integrated experience and the trends of the future. So we identified the cloud as a big trend, which is clearly proving itself out. We built an integrated cloud security platform. And we built an integrated SASE platform to navigate cloud traffic.
I think you will see more and more consolidated outcomes in the industry. And I think you’ve got to distinguish [the difference with] ‘true’ consolidation. One way you can interpret consolidation is, ‘Oh, let’s buy some companies in identity and email security and cloud security and put them together,and sell them together.’ Well, that’s consolidation, yes, but that’s economic consolidation and financial consolidation. I think a better word for what we did is that we did an acquisition-integration. Because customers need to make sure everything works together. And that’s a little harder [than financial consolidation]. The way we’ve done it in the last five years is we actually go look for companies where we believe that their offering would build value to our customers. Then we spend time working with them in an integration plan. Then we spend anywhere from six to 18 months integrating their tech into our stack, and making sure that it’s not sending you two alerts, it’s sending you one alert—and hopefully, one less alert. That’s a very different bar toward consolidation-integration.
One of the common conversations that I’ve had in the last few years with many of our customers, as well as our investors is, ‘Nikesh, a lot of M&A doesn’t work.’ And I agree, it doesn’t work. It only works if you don’t actually treat it as a merger and acquisition, which is a financial term —but you see it as a product integration opportunity. You ensure you can integrate that as a first-class citizen as part of your platform, so it works seamlessly. And that [approach is] just harder. I f you look at what we’ve already done, I’d say more than half of our acquisitions have been in net-new spaces where we haven’t played. So there’s very little overlap, very little contention. That’s why we steer clear from overlapping acquisitions. We always look for adjacent spaces and then we try and figure out the points of integration and how we deliver value to our customers as an integrated solution.
Palo Alto Networks CPO Lee Klarich
What were the challenges of not knowing the industry when you started?
There’s two different sets of challenges. One set of challenges from not knowing the industry is I always needed the support and wisdom of my product colleagues and my founder. Because these are the people who have done security forever. It’s something they understand. [Founder and CTO] Nir [Zuk] and [Chief Product Officer] Lee [Klarich]—I call them ‘my partners in crime’—are amazing first-principle guys. They can sit back and think about the problem and say, ‘Yes, this is going to enhance our ability to deliver a solution.’ Or, ‘No, this is not going to enhance our ability to deliver a solution.’ So [I’ve had] them be my sounding boards, my co-conspirators—somebody who I can rely on heavily to help make great decisions for the company.
[Before] I joined Palo Alto I went through the interview process, and the board said, ‘Yes, we’d like you to come take this role.’ And I said, ‘Wait, I’d like to go back and talk to Lee Klarich and Nir Zuk’—the two technical founders. And I said to them, ‘Listen, I’m coming in and I don’t understand a lot about security, so I’m going to rely on you, No. 1. And No. 2, I might have some disruptive, nonconventional ideas so you should understand what you’re signing up for.’ And so they wholeheartedly embraced the idea that we were going to be disruptive and do something different. And I would say, down to a tee, they have both been supportive and very forward-leaning in what we’ve been able to do from an M&A perspective.
I think one of the other challenges was, we were a firewall company. We had 5,000 people in the company [in 2018]. We really do a phenomenal job of being the best firewall company in the world. The question was, how were we going to transform from being just a firewall company to being a great cloud security company, to being a great AI-driven SOC company, to being a great SASE company? That required both a transformation in our processes and our technology and our systems but also a constant training of our people, them being open and willing to participate in this transformation, us making acquisitions and integrating them. So today, we’re about 14,000 people, almost three times from what I inherited five years ago. So between retraining people and their willingness to embrace the fact that we were going to transform Palo Alto Networks, and the acquisitions we made, we’ve had the opportunity to transform the culture and, I’d say, create this innovation mindset.
Do you feel like it was pivotal that you didn’t come in with an attitude that you knew everything already? That you were open to learning?
I still don’t know enough. Literally the next two phone calls I have is on network security and cloud security because I have a few questions. And I read a few things, and I was curious about something. That constant curiosity—that constant desire to disrupt ourselves—is something that I brought to the team. People today will say, ‘Oh come on, Nikesh. Don’t say that, we don’t believe you.’ But I still don’t know enough [about security]. And I’m very open about not knowing it. But that is what allows me to ask the questions. Sometimes that forces [others] to ask the question, and say, ‘That’s a good question, we never thought about that.’ So I don’t know the answer, but I’m good at asking questions. So maybe that’s what’s been helpful for us.
On the flip side, I do have a sense of how businesses need to operate. I do understand relentless execution. That was something we did at Google. When I joined Google, [it was] a $2.5 billion revenue company. I think they do that [revenue] in a day or two now. So we built this huge execution machine at Google over time, in partnership with all my colleagues there. And I think I brought that to Palo Alto—how do you take something and build a scaled business out of it? So I think combining that with Nir and Lee’s foundational thinking [was important]. And I’ve had lots of amazing partners in crime—our president, BJ Jenkins, who used to be CEO of Barracuda, he’s one of the best go-to-market people out there. Or [Chief Business Officer] Amit Singh, he’s got an amazing brain. So I also surrounded myself with great people. Having natural curiosity, surrounding yourself with people who are direct and who are great execution people—and then some amazing specialists who understand the market—it’s kind of the winning team combination.
You’ve also benefited from a lot of tailwinds at Palo Alto Networks, of course. What aspects of your accomplishments would you attribute to good calls versus to tailwinds?
Well, you have to identify the tailwind. What we’ve been doing is we identified the cloud security wave. We were early. We identified the impact of cloud security on the network security business, and we built our entire SASE business from scratch. When I started, there was only Zscaler that did what we now call SASE. And I said, ‘This is an area which should get impacted when cloud takes off. We should invest.’ So it wasn’t just a tailwind. It was identifying the opportunity and building the capability to execute into that tailwind. Or [consider] cloud security—we have the largest platform. But [when I started] we had just bought one company—Evident. We looked at the market, understood where the puck was going. There are probably 1,000 cloud security companies out there—we identified six or seven of them and bought them. But that required me, personally, to meet north of 300 cybersecurity companies to decide on the ones we wanted. So yes, we had tailwinds, but tailwinds have to be executed against.
I don’t think the tailwinds are over. I think cybersecurity will continue to become a more and more relevant space across all of our customers. Every customer is becoming more technology-reliant, not less. Everybody wants to implement generative AI—that’s the next wave of tech. But the cloud, mobility, the internet, generative AI, e-commerce—all these trends are all manifesting themselves in every company. And the more they’re technologically reliant, the more they need to ensure that there is security around the enterprise, around their customer interaction. So I think security is going to have very long-term [growth]. I think the consolidation theme is just beginning to take shape. I think we will see continued integrated-consolidation at platforms in the next 10 to 15 years. Hopefully, I think there’ll be not one, but multiple $100 billion cybersecurity companies, possibly some even bigger.
And you’d expect Palo Alto Networks to be among the ‘even bigger’ ones?
We are, I think, the largest one today, and we hope we can continue to execute in this tailwind environment and continue to go deliver what our customers want. If you ask me, ‘Who’s my competitor?’—my competitor is ourselves. We’re competing against ourselves because we’re trying to make sure we can deliver the best solution to our customers. Is CrowdStrike a competitor? Zscaler, Microsoft? We have 3.5 percent of the total cybersecurity market. So I don’t have to compete with people around me. I have to compete with my own ability to execute and deliver solutions to my customers. The better I do that, the more solutions I create, the more I can convince a customer that we’re the right choice, the biggest share I can have. In a way, it’s kind of not at the expense of everybody out there. Over time, technology changes, companies evolve, some will go by the wayside. We can be a bigger and bigger company as long as we keep executing our vision and delivering great solutions. We don’t have to go out and say, ‘I compete with X or Y.’
How are things progressing in terms of your efforts to focus more on go-to-market and channel partners?
What has happened in the last five years because of the huge evolution of the cloud, I think the cybersecurity industry has separated from the IT industry. The IT industry was very product-centric, and there was a whole set of solution players, which was somewhat independent. I think cybersecurity is not just a product business—it’s becoming more and more a solution business. So what you see is that even our traditional partners are building solution capability. Customers need not just products—they need advice, they need transformation, they need integration. They often need managed services to deliver security because security is a complicated product. So what you’re seeing is the partner landscape has been amazing in transforming itself to deliver more of a service orientation and a solution orientation. Our aspiration is not to be in the services business. Our aspiration is to deliver the best products—simple to use, more secure, with the ability to deliver the outcomes the customer wants. And we want to make sure that we go lockstep with our partner ecosystem so they have the service capability and we can deliver the products to them and with them to our collective customers.
So there’s been the emergence of more solution-oriented, integration-oriented partners—whether it’s the systems integrators who are making a bigger play, or even the telcos are making a bigger play—and traditional partners, who were originally hardware solution sellers, now they’re actually getting the software solution business. So I think we’re lucky to be part of a very robust ecosystem. It’s a symbiotic partnership. The better we do, the better they all do. And I think those tailwinds have been equally shared and relevant with the partner ecosystem. So I think it’s a secular trend which will benefit both the partner ecosystem and us over the next 10 years.
We can’t deliver the products to our customers without our partner ecosystem being trained and ready to be in an advisory role to our customers. And I think a lot of them are stepping up to the opportunity or challenge. I think as consolidation happens and integration happens, what’ll happen is the partner ecosystem should see a better economic outcome because now you don’t need to understand 200 solutions, you can understand a lot less. And hopefully, that means that if they understand Palo Alto Networks really well, they should be able to do really well with us because we have larger and larger deals to do, larger and larger customers to satisfy, and actually allow them to generate a reasonable margin profile against that.
Even just during the first half of this year, have things been moving up to another level in terms of what you’re doing with partners? Can you say anything about what’s going well or what’s accelerating there?
If you look at the first two quarters of this fiscal year for us, the proportion of business we do through some of the key partners who are building services capability has increased. Whether it’s our traditional partners’ services teams or transformation teams or cloud adoption teams—or whether it’s MSSPs with network transformation skills, or systems integrators with cloud security skills or SOC transformation skills— you are seeing a clear trend toward more solution orientation [by partners] for the customers. They don’t want to buy just a product. They want the partner to be a first-class citizen solutions integrator with us. As I said, I think it’s still early. You’re going to see this happen over the next five to 10 years.
What are some of the emerging opportunities you’re focused on right now?
The last three or four months we’ve seen this juggernaut called ChatGPT, and generative AI seems to have caught everyone’s fancy. The way I parse it, security companies have been doing deep learning, machine learning already. If you look at the security industry, we ingest a lot of data. We process a lot of data. And part of delivering security, for us, requires us to understand the data and deliver a security solution based on data. I think what is new from generative AI is this notion that it has great natural language capabilities. It has great capability to summarize data. I think you will start to see that get manifested in security products. We will all have natural language interfaces, we will all have some sort of generative AI that’ll be used to summarize information and share with our customers. I think that product transformation is going to cause both a bit of risk with AI—‘What do I do with all this data in my company? Is it going to get shared with a whole bunch of [Large Language Models] out there? How do I build security around it?’ People will require integration services and support around, ‘What do we do with this?’ So our partners need to step up and help our collective customers through that challenge. We have to step up and build more products that cater to that idea of generative AI, and the threats created by that. We also have to make sure we treat it like a first-class citizen and embrace it wholeheartedly to deliver products which leverage generative AI.
Is that a major revenue opportunity for you? Could generative AI be a business growth driver for you?
I think you need new products which actually help you protect against the potential bad acts of generative AI. The biggest opportunity is you need a lot more data, and a lot more data means you have to have more cloud resources. You have to ingest more data to the security solution. So I think our customers are getting to understand that you’re going to have to hold on to a lot more data [than] in the past. It should definitely create more opportunity—both in the cloud space as well as the data ingestion space—not just for security companies but for tech companies.
What do you wish people were more aware of about Palo Alto Networks?
I think we are in the early stages of this transformation in the security industry. It’s becoming apparent to us that there are customers who are beginning to think about a long-term cybersecurity strategy. Some of the forward-thinking customers are starting to build longer-term cybersecurity architectures to create this integrated platform, which gives a better outcome. And a better outcome is my mean-time-to- remediate security issues is a lot less today than it was one year ago or two years ago. As you start thinking about it from an outcome orientation, you actually will make different choices of what cybersecurity companies you partner with. That is something I would encourage our CISO friends and CIO friends to embrace—that the current paradigm is broken. It is not working. When I say ‘current,’ I mean the prevalent paradigm of having best-of-breed solutions, with which the onus of integration is on the customer. I think that is not working. We have a shortage of 3 million security specialists in the world. If you don’t have the specialists who are going to integrate this for you and monitor this for you, then you’ve got to rely on more integration coming from the industry. So platforms are more important, integration is more important. The ability to parse through a lot of data and find the true positive, in terms of the true threats, and being able to remediate them quickly, is the call of the hour. And that requires more AI and more machine learning to be deployed against it—more automation. So from my perspective, our CIO/CISO partners need to know that they have to embrace the notion of integrated products and platforms in securing for the future because the best-of-breed, single-vendor strategy is not working.
Palo Alto Networks (Nasdaq: PANW) has closed its acquisition of Talon Cyber Security for an undisclosed sum as part of efforts to further extend the capability of its secure access service edge platform in safeguarding managed and unmanaged devices.
Santa Clara, California-based Palo Alto Networks said Thursday it will integrate its Prisma SASE platform with Talon’s Enterprise Browser technology to enable users to securely access business applications across any device while protecting against phishing, malicious browser extensions and other cyberattacks.
Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks, commented that the combination of Talon Enterprise Browser with Prisma SASE will help provide better security and data protection for users.
“Additionally, we plan to extend Talon’s cutting-edge Enterprise Browser technology to our qualified SASE AI customers at no additional cost,” added Arora.
Talon said in a blog post published Thursday the combination of its Enterprise Browser and Prisma SASE will enable customers to implement least privilege policies, identify and verify all devices, applications and users and gain end-to-end visibility across all endpoints, among others.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 28, 2023 -- Palo Alto Networks today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Talon Cyber Security, a pioneer of enterprise browser technology.
"We are thrilled to welcome Talon to Palo Alto Networks," said Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. "Most work today occurs via web browsers, often on unmanaged devices, which poses enormous security risks. Through the seamless integration of Talon's Enterprise Browser with Prisma SASE, we will be elevating our best-in-class solution that helps provide ironclad security and data protection for all users across all applications and from any device or location. Additionally, we plan to extend Talon's cutting-edge Enterprise Browser technology to our qualified SASE AI customers at no additional cost."
In today's evolving threat landscape, employees frequently use personal and unmanaged devices to access critical business applications, including using mobile devices alongside corporate laptops. While this approach increases productivity, the lack of consistent security, control and visibility across devices increases security risk.
To tackle these challenges, organizations need a holistic SASE solution that securely enables users to access vital business applications regardless of their chosen device. As part of that SASE solution, Talon's Enterprise Browser will provide additional layers of protection against phishing attacks, web-based attacks and malicious browser extensions.
Talon also offers extensive controls to help ensure that sensitive data does not escape the confines of the browser, regardless of whether the enterprise manages the device.
Palo Alto Networks Prisma SASE is the secure foundation for agile, cloud-enabled organizations. Integrating Talon with Prisma Access can provide customers with substantial productivity benefits by enabling unmanaged devices, but also ensures consistent security and deeper visibility into device usage, all while preserving user privacy.
This acquisition reinforces Prisma SASE's position as the most complete single-vendor SASE solution, enabling customers to adopt a unified SASE approach for complete Zero Trust security. Prisma SASE, along with the Enterprise Browser, are paramount to securing all web applications — public and private — and all devices, both managed and unmanaged.
The offer of complimentary Talon Enterprise Browser for Palo Alto Networks' qualified SASE AI customers will be available soon.
TD Synnex has formed a European distribution agreement with Palo Alto Networks, the global cybersecurity leader, which will enable partners to access and resell the vendor’s full range of cybersecurity hardware and software products aimed at securing digital information backed by industry-leading threat intelligence capabilities and strengthened by state-of-the-art automation.
Through this agreement, TD Synnex will leverage its digital engagement and distribution capabilities both to support Palo Alto Networks’ existing and new commercial market partners, increasing the reach of the vendor’s solutions across the distributor’s extensive community of small and medium-sized value-added resellers in the region. Partners can access Palo Alto Networks solutions through TD Synnex’s digital commerce platforms and can also benefit from specialist sales and advisory support from the distributor’s local cybersecurity experts.
Driving growth in the cybersecurity sector continues to be a priority for channel partners according to TD Synnex’s recently published Directions of Technology report, which is based on research into partner sentiment conducted by the distributor. The report finds that channel partners identify security solutions as their top revenue driver – both now and in the near future – and that investing in cybersecurity skills in their organisations is a key priority. TD Synnex is strategically committed to helping partners in addressing the cybersecurity skills gap by offering access to its in-house experts alongside educational resources, training and certifications as part of its cybersecurity enablement programs and the TD Synnex Channel Academy.
Sam Paris, vice president, security and networking, Europe, at TD Synnex said: “With Palo Alto Networks we are bringing a trusted, premium offering of enterprise-grade security products and services to the SMB channel. We look forward to applying our people’s deep security specialization, alongside our data-driven engagement and enablement capabilities to help partners to enhance their practices, grow their businesses and protect customers against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.”
Claudette Atkinson, senior director, distribution EMEA & LATAM, at Palo Alto Networks said: “We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with TD Synnex. It marks a pivotal leap in amplifying our reach to new SMB and Commercial partners. With their robust digital capabilities and ‘always-on’ marketing approach, TD Synnex will help us unlock Palo Alto Networks’ potential in this space. Together, we’re ensuring more partners and customers engage with our platform story, delivering next-generation solutions to address today’s security challenges for all customers.”
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