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Palo Alto Networks Extends Security to Remote Workers, Small Businesses

Credit: Palo Alto Networks

Security provider Palo Alto Networks has unwrapped a new cloud-based enterprise-class security solution purpose-built for work at home employees and small businesses. The move comes as rival Fortinet partners with LinkSys to protect small businesses and home offices.

Since the pandemic’s inception more than 18 months ago, cybersecurity teams worldwide have been challenged to enhance their security posture to accommodate a cyber landscape that changed seemingly overnight. For many enterprises, it has meant fully supporting remote work, avoiding business interruption and securing a variety of environments against cyber intrusions. Okyo Garde is Palo Alto Networks' answer for securing remote work settings and small businesses that could readily be compromised by hackers who see both environments as a gateway into the enterprise network. The platform is packaged as a combination of hardware, software and security services delivered through a mesh-enabled Wi-Fi 6 system.

The solution also indirectly reaffirms the importance for MSSPs to make sure their existing customers and any new clients have no security holes in the remote work environment. And, it’s also an opportunity for MSSPs to educate their clients and users about security best practices.

Features of Okyo Garde for home workers: (via Palo Alto Networks)

  • For larger companies looking to protect employees working from home, Okyo Garde will be integrating with Prisma Access, Palo Alto Networks' cloud-delivered security access service edge (SASE) platform. Last February, the vendor upgraded Prisma Access to help organizations protect their remote workers against cyber attacks.
  • By combining Okyo Garde and Prisma Access, organizations will be able to extend their corporate networks and bring unified security policy management and SASE to work-from-home employees.
  • Work at home employees can also use Okyo Garde to enable an additional separate, private Wi-Fi network for the rest of their home and family's needs. The network will also have advanced security capabilities designed for consumers and will be solely under the control of the employee or other family members.

Features of Okyo Garde for small businesses: (via Palo Alto Networks)

  • Okyo Garde gives small businesses malware and ransomware prevention, phishing protection, infected device detection, along and suspicious activity monitoring and control.
  • The Okyo Garde mobile app enables small businesses to have comprehensive control and visibility over their digital security and Wi-Fi network activity.
  • Okyo Garde can also be ordered with the Okyo Concierge service, which provides installation assistance, 24/7 support or on-site troubleshooting.

With companies having to rapidly adapt to employees working from home it became clear that cybersecurity would have to “follow workers home,” said Mario Queiroz, Palo Alto Networks executive vice president. As a result, the security provider “quickly and quietly” compiled a team of engineers and security specialists who built Okyo Garde, he said. “It's pure world-class security with constantly updated threat intelligence, the same technology that secures some of the world's largest companies, banks, hospitals and the rest of our 85,000 worldwide customers," said Queiroz.

Okyo Garde subscriptions for small businesses start at $349/year and include a mesh-enabled Wi-Fi 6 system. In the U.S., Okyo Garde can be pre-ordered and is expected to ship this fall. On pre-orders made through September 30, 2021, Palo Alto Networks is also offering Okyo Concierge with Pro subscription tier at no cost. Palo Alto Networks’ NextWave partners will be able to sell the system later this year. An enterprise edition with Prisma Access integration is expected to be available through U.S.-based NextWave partners early next year.

Standing up security solutions for remote workers has become a substantial issue for security specialists to address, according to chief information security officers (CISOs) participating in a recent research study. Nearly 60 percent said that remote working has made their organization more vulnerable to targeted attacks. Roughly one-third said supporting remote working was among their top priorities during the next two years.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.