14 Years of Innovation at Palo Alto Networks

In November 2021, for the tenth consecutive time, Palo Alto Networks was named a Leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Network Firewalls, positioned the highest for Ability to Execute and the furthest for Completeness of Vision. We are incredibly proud of this recognition, and believe it’s a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation.

People often ask me how we have been able to sustain our pace of innovation. I think the answer is quite simple: after all these years of tremendous growth, we have never wavered in our commitment to great technology and understanding (and solving) important security problems.

How It All Started

Palo Alto Networks began by imagining network security from a very different perspective.

First, we saw a fundamental disconnect between the way traditional firewalls were designed around static attributes, yet applications and users were dynamic. (Note: this focus on users and applications formed the basis of our Zero Trust network security capabilities from day one.)

Second, we saw that as technology was evolving, security needs were, too. Companies were constantly adopting new technologies to keep their workforce productive, then scrambling to secure them with a point product—we knew that over time this approach would become unmanageable, and ultimately create gaps that could be utilized for a successful attack. So, we created the Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) to solve both of these problems, and we completely changed network security.

Since then, each release has brought a new set of innovations — from the industry’s first virtual NGFW that both kept the features of our hardware and added additional features needed to fully support a virtual deployment, to SASE and the industry’s first ML-Powered NGFW, and more recently, Complete Zero Trust Network Security.

What’s Next?

When I started at Palo Alto Networks in 2006, it was just a small group of incredible engineers and the start of a great idea. Like all startups, we were very focused on building highly innovative products to solve important and complex problems. What’s amazing is that today, we still have the same spirit and culture. So what’s next? More innovation that drives better security outcomes, that’s for sure. Here’s to another 10+ years.


Read a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls.


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Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls, Rajpreet Kaur | Adam Hils | Jeremy D’Hoinne | Nat Smith | Aaron McQuaid, 1 November 2021.

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