Daniela Menendez
Country Manager
Palo Alto Networks
View from the Top

Disrupting the Status Quo of Cybersecurity

By Jan Hogewoning | Tue, 11/24/2020 - 17:41

Q: How does your use of machine learning differentiate you from other companies?

A: We recently launched a groundbreaking new disruption for the cybersecurity industry: inline machine learning in our Next-Generation Firewalls. This is something that has never been done before. Using inline data reviewed by our products, such as Wildfire, we can identify patterns and behaviors and suggest changes to the network. The benefit lies in the automation aspect. The machine can identify much more than a human can, allowing our customers to easily deploy applications, embrace new technologies, and enable their users to work securely, everywhere.


Q: What is your main strategy to attract new clients?

A: We leverage the power of the platform and the use of our machine-learning capabilities. This is especially attractive for net new customers, as we are the first company to have launched a NGFW that runs on machine learning. Additionally, to expand into net new accounts, a key factor is that we have embraced all aspects of cloud security. 

One of our top priorities is to team up with digital transformation teams inside our customers’ organizations; this allows us to embed our technology within their applications and security workloads. Security can then be delivered in an agile form, starting in the development phase. Our goal is to be the cybersecurity partner of choice. 


Q: In which sectors are your main clients in Mexico?

A: We have customers in all industries, ranging from financial, retail, manufacturing, oil, mining and insurance to federal and state governments. Many global companies have chosen Palo Alto as their security standard but we also have Mexico-based companies that range from big to medium-sized players. The common factor in cybersecurity, no matter the size of the company, is that they all have assets and data they need to protect. We are here for them.


Q: What is your most popular product in Mexico?

A: What has made us really popular in the market, is our best-of-breed Next-Generation Firewall. However, other very important technologies are the Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and Extended Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (XSOAR). Obviously, the cloud native security platform is also vital to cover customers’ current cloud security needs. We stand out as a leading cybersecurity company because of our vision, which is a world where each day is safer and more secure than the one before. This requires constant disruption of the status quo. In addition to the announcement of our NGFW running on ML this year, we also recently launched the very first Next-Generation SD-WAN. 


Q: How do you meet the needs of industrial and manufacturing clients?

A: We offer tailored solutions for a variety of industries. This includes cybersecurity for SCADA and industrial control systems (ICS). When we design all cybersecurity architectures, we use a Zero-Trust approach that prevents breaches in the most demanding and critical environments. When it comes to industrial and severe environments, we also offer a ruggedized Next-Gen Firewall, built for tough threats in harsh conditions. This provides rock-solid security and connectivity for power and manufacturing plants, or oil and gas facilities. Harsh conditions can encompass extreme heat at outdoor electrical plants, vibration, and electromagnetic interference, for instance.


Q: How did you change your product portfolio and customer support as a result of the pandemic?

A: This has been the most challenging issue. The first thing we did was to create a variety of demos and made a lot of technology available to our customers free-of-cost. This allowed us to keep operating. While customers were deploying these technologies, we started to develop a plan with them to make this part of a more medium to long-term reality. As we all realized this pandemic was creating a new way of working, the architecture of our customers began to adapt to this new reality as well. Both with our help and that of our commercial partners, customers became more self-sufficient. We continue to help them transform their networks, ensuring they are secure while working remotely. We always adapt our work to our customers’ needs, expectations, and budget. This may mean working in phases or all at once.

Globally, we sell through our partners, which has resulted in the best information security strategy for our customers. We benefit from our partner’s knowledge and their market reach. They range from top cloud security services to global system integrators, cloud service providers (CSP) and, of course, top Mexican and Latin American security integrators and service providers.


Q: You also have a renowned cyberthreat research unit. How does it help increase the understanding of cyberthreats in Latin America?

A: Our global intelligence team is called Unit 42. It is a recognized authority on cyberthreats, frequently sought out by many enterprises and government agencies around the world. Globally, our analysts are experts in hunting and collecting unknown threats, as well as completely reverse-engineering malware using code analysis. One of their research programs focuses on our region, seeking regional malware trends in Latin America. Unit 42 detects unique malware samples, campaigns and threat actors, which helps to provide greater protection and context to all our customers. 

Particularly in Mexico, we have a specialist team with a vast amount of information, which understands the market and customer challenges. They help with the proper adoption of the technology and best practices that are dictated by Unit 42. 



Palo Alto Networks offers an enterprise cybersecurity platform that provides network security, cloud security, endpoint protection and various cloud-delivered security services



Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst