2022 Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Firewalls – We’re a Leader

Oct 19, 2022
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Threats have increased exponentially with no signs of slowing down. According to our 2022 Unit 42 Network Threat Trends Research Report, attacks have increased 15% from 2020 to 2021, reaching an all-time high – three times more than what we’ve observed prior to the uptick in remote work due to COVID-19. At the same time, the growing complexity of enterprise security, combined with accelerated digital transformation and a shortage of skilled cybersecurity talent, have made detecting and preventing evasive adversaries even more challenging. The Forrester WaveTM: Enterprise Firewalls, Q4 2022 report states that, “According to Forrester’s Security Survey, 2022, 74% of respondents admitted that their organization was potentially compromised or breached at least once in the previous 12 months. This is up from 63% in 2021.” Now more than ever, organizations require a trusted security partner that can deliver high-performance solutions that meet the needs of modern enterprises and match the speed of cyber threat actors.

“Palo Alto Networks, long known as the inventors of the next-generation firewall (NGFW), demonstrate real innovation across multiple criteria in the network security space.”The 2022 Forrester Wave report

Today we’re proud to be named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Firewalls, Q4 2022 report. Palo Alto Networks received the highest scores in both the Strategy and Current Offering categories. In the report, Forrester evaluated vendors against a set of pre-defined criteria, such as product vision, roadmap execution, efficacy, Zero Trust environments, performance, usability and partner ecosystem. Forrester’s analysis and recognition helps security and risk professionals understand the value they can expect from an enterprise firewall vendor. It also gives professionals the confidence to make important network security choices that will have a lasting business impact. Get the 2022 Forrester Wave report.

2022 Forrester WaveWe believe our consistent leadership and innovation in cybersecurity is recognized by Forrester through the highest scores in both the Strategy and Current Offerings categories. PAN-OS 10.2 Nebula, the latest release of our industry-leading cybersecurity operating system, helps organizations stay ahead of evasive threats by bringing together artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and, for the first time ever, inline deep learning. Nebula allows Palo Alto Networks customers to stop today’s most sophisticated attacks as they happen. Here are key areas where we believe Palo Alto Networks excels:

“The company's vision for network security is infused with AI (artificial intelligence) and Zero Trust principles. The execution of both is impressive.”The 2022 Forrester Wave report

Zero Trust: Palo Alto Networks ML-powered Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) deliver foundational Zero Trust components built on principles of least-privileged access, continuous trust verification and continuous security inspection. Our NGFWs deliver true Zero Trust security with natively integrated User-ID, App-ID and Device-ID that enable security teams to identify users, applications and devices, then continuously verify their trustworthiness based on identity and context. Our Cloud-Delivered Security Services continuously inspect all transactions to ensure that the organization is safe from threats, and all sensitive data is protected without compromising performance.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: While signature-based detection approaches remain critical to preventing known threats, a new approach is required to protect organizations from attacks that use evasive techniques. Only Palo Alto Networks NGFWs offer ML-powered protection with inline deep learning that stops patient zero with industry-first real-time protection against zero-day and highly evasive threats. Our best-in-class Advanced Threat Prevention, Advanced URL Filtering and DNS Security, among other Cloud-Delivered Security Services, actively block evasive attacks before they can compromise organizational assets.

“Palo Alto Networks' AIOps elegantly translates policy into best practices… Palo Alto Networks' new policy creation wizards use AIOps to continuously recommend best practices on any change, effectively providing real-time guardrails to the user. It would be difficult to overstate how much better this approach is vs. the competition.”The 2022 Forrester Wave report

AIOps: Our AIOps for NGFW is designed to proactively improve security posture and health, and as the Forrester report notes, “elegantly translates policy into best practices.” The report also states, “Palo Alto Networks' new policy creation wizards use AIOps to continuously recommend best practices on any change, effectively providing real-time guardrails to the user. It would be difficult to overstate how much better this approach is vs. the competition.”

AIOps uses machine learning to analyze telemetry data from NGFWs to intelligently predict firewall health, performance and capacity problems, preventing up to 51% of disruptions on firewalls.1 AIOps for NGFW redefines firewall operational experience by interpreting, predicting and resolving problems before they become business impacting.

Performance: Palo Alto Networks ML-powered NGFWs are architected for maximum performance. Our Single-Pass Parallel Processing architecture (SP3) enables high throughput even while incorporating unprecedented features and technological innovations. Single-Pass Architecture performs networking, policy lookup, application and decoding, as well as signature matching for all threats and content in a single pass. This significantly reduces the processing overhead required to perform multiple functions in one security device. And, it enables consistent, predictable performance as you enable more security over time.

“The company’s TLS decryption is among the best in this competitive field.”The 2022 Forrester Wave report

Decryption: Today, more than 85% of enterprise traffic is encrypted, and over 70% of malware uses encryption to evade security. It's never been more essential to inspect encrypted traffic to prevent threats. Our ML-powered NGFWs decrypt TLS/SSL traffic, including modern protocols like TLS 1.3/HTTP/2, inline. Palo Alto Networks makes it easy to deploy decryption with complete visibility into encrypted connections. Customers can leverage various mechanisms, such as URL categorization, to prioritize what to decrypt for rolling out decryption over time and to maintain privacy. With our fourth generation ML-powered NGFWs, Palo Alto Networks customers can stop threats hiding in encrypted traffic with up to 5X higher threat and decryption performance.

Download The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Firewalls, Q4 2022

At Palo Alto Networks, we continue to build on our position as a Leader with powerful security innovations and a strong product strategy to help address key customer needs in real-time. This, combined with our steadfast commitment to providing an unparalleled customer experience at the best ROI, drives our ability to deliver high-performance network security solutions that meet the needs of modern enterprises to detect and prevent highly evasive threats instantly.

We invite you to download the full, complimentary report, The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Firewalls, Q4 2022, to see for yourself how we “demonstrate real innovation across multiple criteria in the network security space.”


  1. Palo Alto Networks Engineering research based on support case analysis of a focused customer.


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