VM-Series Virtual Firewalls Top SecureIQLab Cloud Firewall Test

Apr 02, 2024
4 minutes
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Technology and testing research firm SecureIQLab has published its 2024 Advanced Cloud Firewall (ACFW) security validation report, which shows Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Virtual Next-Generation Firewalls have the highest security efficacy. The testing compared 11 other vendors in this unsponsored public report and adhered to the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) Testing Protocol Standard methodology.

SecureIQLab says this study is the industry’s most comprehensive benchmarking research of its kind. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series was ahead of the pack and scored best overall, beating out industry leaders such as Check Point, Forcepoint and Fortinet—along with other players including Juniper Networks, SonicWall, WatchGuard and more.

Report Shows How Palo Alto Networks Shines

Palo Alto Networks ML-Powered Next-Generation Firewalls, which include software firewalls like the VM-Series, have been an industry leader for 11 consecutive years in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Network Firewalls. The virtual firewall provides inline deep learning for real-time protection against zero-day threats. Along with superior scale and performance, Palo Alto Networks provides the Zero Trust baseline capabilities to fully identify application traffic with App-ID, User-ID, Device-ID and Content-ID — along with a consolidated platform approach that offers Advanced Threat Prevention, Advanced WildFire (sandboxing), Advanced URL Filtering and DNS Security for significant for security efficacy.

The 2024 SecureIQLab report focuses on three crucial aspects: security efficacy, operational efficiency, and the ability to block SSL/TLS encrypted threats. Here, the virtualized NGFW offering of the Palo Alto Networks software firewall family emerges as the undisputed leader. This is well demonstrated in the SecureIQlab 2024 Advanced Cloud Firewall v1.6 CyberRisk Ripple diagram shown below.

The VM-Series is the leader in security efficacy.
Figure 1: The VM-Series is the leader in security efficacy.

Referring to its testing and the use of AMTSO validation methodology, SecureIQLab notes, “[This report] showcases the overall organizational value of the Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Virtual Next-Generation Firewall in security effectiveness and operational efficiency.”

Palo Alto Networks Goes to the Head of the Class in Security Efficacy

The SecureIQLab test involved attack vectors from more than 1,000 real-world scenarios, including common threats, advanced threats, SSL/TLS threat efficacy, and resistance to false positives. As seen below, the VM-Series was the undisputed leader.

Figure 2: Summary results for Palo Alto Networks vs. the SecureIQLabs ACFW Group Test Scores
Figure 2: Summary results for Palo Alto Networks vs. the SecureIQLabs ACFW Group Test Scores

Rigorous ACFW Testing Examines Defending Against Advanced Threats

ACFWs must navigate the complexities and meet the myriad challenges of modern cyberthreats. SecureIQLab testing used real-world scenarios to cover:

  • Identifying permitted and blocked applications.
  • Blocking threats on “known good” ports.
  • SSL/TLS Threat Detection.
  • User identification and policy application.
  • Enabling secure business workflows.
  • Providing global visibility and granular policy management.

In each area, VM-Series set the bar.

SecureIQLab says that in standard threat protection testing, the average group aggregate inspection score was 70.2% — while the VM-Series scored 99.7%. Browser-based threats? The average group inspection score was 81.8%, while the Palo Alto Networks software firewall registered a perfect 100%. And when it came to inspecting data loss and leakage, the aggregate group score was 56%, far short of the VM-Series score of 100%.

In advanced, non-standard threat protection testing, the Palo Alto Networks software firewall also came through with flying colors—which is critical because advanced threats can circumvent traditional security measures by evading threat signatures or other detection mechanisms. The ACFW testing, however, showcased VM-Series resilience against advanced threats with a remarkable score of 99.2%, leading the closest competing solution by almost 10%. When it came to operational accuracy, the Palo Alto Networks virtualized NGFW achieved a perfect score of 100% with robust threat prevention and 0% overall false positives.

Similarly, the VM-Series exhibited 100% efficacy in detecting threats within encrypted traffic, which sets the bar for secure data transmission. To exhibit how the NGFW acts as a security fortress across industries, test results showed exceptional security resilience across verticals by maintaining a protection rate of ≥95% in real-world cloud-based traffic scenarios. What’s more, this consistent performance was on display with an operational efficiency score of 95.8% across 12 operational efficiency metrics, highlighting its seamless integration into diverse enterprise environments.

Find the Complete Details

The stats don’t lie. This test demonstrates how the VM-Series virtual firewall is representative of Palo Alto Networks innovation, resilience and unwavering commitment to securing the digital world.

See what VM-Series can do for you. Download the report and see how to secure your journey for unparalleled network security.


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