Endpoint Security Improvements Prevent Cyberattacks on Zurich Zoo


Strengthening endpoint security to combat cyberattacks and improve network uptime


Palo Alto Networks Traps to preemptively block both known and unknown threats


  • Reduced number of vulnerabilities with more secure endpoints
  • Eliminated endpoint virus infections
  • Provided visibility of threat landscape
  • Secured PCs for more than 200 employees
  • Completed installation within one day

Zurich Zoo is one of Europe's most modern zoos. Opened in 1929, today it is home to 370 animal species in near-natural habitats. 

The zoo works studiously to recreate natural ecosystems; from the Himalayas and South American grasslands to the Masoala Rainforest Hall and the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park. Zurich Zoo continues to be actively involved in nature conservancy and international breeding programs. Indeed, its more than 4,000 animals act as conservation ambassadors for those in the wild.

It is also a modern business, with a multimillion dollar operating budget and more than 200 employees. The staff is increasingly mobile, with administration staff working on laptops and animal welfare teams using smartphones. Oliver Merz, the Zoo's Head of Information Technology, is responsible for the Zoo's entire IT infrastructure.

"Our network infrastructure comprises three physical networks," he explains, "the Zoo LAN which our staff work on, the Tech LAN, which we use to run all of our building management systems, and finally, the Cam LAN for the webcams and monitoring cameras our keepers use. We allow BYOD (bring-your-own-device) for smartphones. We also have no restrictions in terms of apps, and we don't have an MDM system (Mobile-Device-Management)."

In terms of security, one of the main challenges is the different levels of understanding users have with regard to cybersecurity issues. This makes it difficult to raise awareness of cyberthreats, says Merz:

"We face the usual cyberthreats – spam emails, emails containing viruses, internet downloads, etc. To date this has meant having to restore PCs after they become infected with viruses."

Zurich Zoo had used another product as its virus protection solution. Merz says the ongoing issue of attacks getting through despite a solution being in place, along with defective updates, led him to search for an alternative: 

"We were still suffering from attacks despite having an active virus protection solution, and we'd had various incidents after larger updates to antivirus agents. We therefore turned to Palo Alto Networks."

Merz says he opted for Palo Alto Networks after seeing an impressive presentation of Palo Alto Networks® Traps™ advanced endpoint protection by Omicron AG, a local security solutions provider located in Wallisellen. 

"It is very easy to create policies using the Traps admin console. You can also detect attacks as they happen, so you can react immediately. I was also impressed with the Palo Alto Networks roadmap, as well as the assurance of local support from Omicron AG."

Reliable security to boost productivity

Once the decision had been made, the installation of Traps was completed rapidly and without a hitch. More than 200 clients were secured with Traps in half a day, with the help of Omicron AG

"How are we better off?" muses Merz. "The infection rate has been reduced to a minimum or eliminated completely. We've not had to restore any of our PCs due to viruses since we installed Traps. Also, we've had no incidences of clients not running after larger updates. Since we installed Traps, not a single one of our PCs has been infected with a virus."

Merz is reluctant to put a cost saving on such security ("It's hard to be precise," he says), but confident productivity is up and endpoint security is more reliable. "Our users can be much more productive. The systems are under much less strain and therefore run faster. We feel very well protected now that we have Traps from Palo Alto Networks."



AV-Comparatives, the independent organization that tests and assesses antivirus (AV) software, announced the completion of its 2017 “Comparison of Next-Generation Security Products” and presented Traps advanced endpoint protection with its “Approved” award. The firm conducted a series of malware protection and exploit prevention tests on Traps during September and October 2017. Download the report to view the results of this test.
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Traps Datasheet

Palo Alto Networks Traps replaces traditional antivirus with a multi-method prevention approach that secures endpoints against known and unknown malware and exploits before they can compromise a system. Traps prevents security breaches and successful ransomware attacks, in contrast to detection and response after critical assets have been compromised. Traps Advanced Endpoint Protection: • Prevents cyberbreaches and successful ransomware attacks by preemptively blocking known and unknown malware, exploits and zero-day threats. • Protects and enables users to conduct their daily activities and use web-based technologies without concerns for known or unknown cyberthreats. • Automates prevention by autonomously reprogramming itself using threat intelligence gained from WildFire.
Santa Clara, CA
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2018 NSS Labs Advanced Endpoint Protection Report

Palo Alto Networks advanced endpoint protect Traps achieved the rating of “Recommend” in the 2018 NSS Labs Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) Test. This test aims to determine how effectively the AEP product can protect against a threat, regardless of the infection vector or method of obfuscation. The AEP test evaluated several vendors ability to detect, prevent, continuously monitor and take action against malware, exploits, evasions and blended threats.
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Traps Technical Overview

Most organizations deploy a number of security products to protect their endpoints, including one or more traditional antivirus solutions. Nevertheless, cyber breaches continue to increase in frequency, variety and sophistication. Faced with the rapidly changing threat landscape, current endpoint security solutions and antivirus can no longer prevent security breaches on the endpoint. Palo Alto Networks® Traps™ advanced endpoint protection replaces traditional antivirus with a unique combination of the most effective, purpose-built, malware and exploit prevention methods that pre-emptively block known and unknown threats from compromising a system.
Santa Clara, CA
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Expedition Transformation & Best Practices Adoption Tool

The Expedition Transformation and Best Practices Adoption Tool helps to improve your security posture by comparing your device and policy configurations against Palo Alto Networks best practices, and then automatically identifying and providing remediation recommendations.
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How to Secure Your Business in a Multi-Cloud World

This paper highlights an innovative security approach that eliminates the wide range of cloud risks that can cause breaches, while enabling organizations to achieve consistent and frictionless cloud protections for multi-cloud environments.
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