Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks Firewall Comparison

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When investing in firewall protection, you must consider the best options available, as it is one of the essential security tools that can prevent unauthorized access to organizational resources. Microsoft Azure and Palo Alto Networks provide the leading products for firewall security.

Azure Firewall is priced competitively and comes with valuable features that can be easily configured and integrated into any cloud platform. 

Palo Alto Networks can be a bit expensive, compared to the visibility it offers in terms of security, it is worth it.

Here is a detailed comparison between Azure and Palo Alto Networks Firewall to help you decide on a suitable security software for your business.

Read more about how firewalls work.

Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks: Portfolio

Azure offers a fully stateful, cloud-native, and intelligent network firewall solution with full visibility and protection that efficiently strengthens the business network security posture. It can centrally manage security across all virtual networks while meeting the needs of highly sensitive and regulated environments. It has high capabilities in maintaining strict security, which can be scaled up as per the users’ requirements.

Powered by Microsoft Cyber Security, Azure provides threat intelligence-based filtering alerts and prevents malicious IP addresses and domains from accessing the system. It can also look for specific patterns like byte sequences and instruction sequences that help in the rapid detection of attacks. In addition, it offers fully qualified domain names (FQDN) filtering. With so many features, Azure Firewall is a comprehensive software that effectively guards your network against evolving threats and zero-day vulnerabilities.

Palo Alto Networks has developed machine learning (ML)-powered NGFWs (next-generation firewalls) that can maximize network security and minimize downtime. It offers protection from advanced threats and also secures cloud-native applications. And with predictable performance and broad threat coverage, it is one of the most trusted firewall solutions in the industry.

The firewall solutions from Palo Alto Networks are designed to meet the dynamic needs and requirements of businesses. The products use more sophisticated techniques to detect and block attacks. They have a unified network security architecture that addresses the visibility gaps, thus providing best-in-class security controls.

  Azure Palo Alto Networks

Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks: Partners

Azure has partnered with top organizations and developed a powerful channel that helps it reach customers and markets worldwide. Its top partners include Insight, Neudesic, Virtusa, Cognizant, Capgemini, L&T Infotech, Mindtree, Wipro, Infosys, and TCS.

Azure has integrated apps like Zscaler, Checkpoint, and iboss that help customers deploy the firewall. Similarly, Azure Expert Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Brillio, Atos IT Solutions and Services, HCL Technologies Limited, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Unisys help clients with firewall implementation.

Palo Alto Networks has also engaged with top companies worldwide to build and deliver intelligent, interoperable solutions for enhanced business security. It has over 300 technology partners that help businesses with increased digital agility and address cyber threats. Its top partners include Google, VMWare, and Amazon Web Services. Other partners include Deloitte, Accenture, IBM, HCL Technologies, Infosys, and Wipro, which help enable business transformations with next-gen cybersecurity firewall solutions.

  Azure Palo Alto Networks
Global Reach  

Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks: Use Cases

Azure has multiple use cases that can simplify business network security management. For instance, the Azure Web Application Firewall helps in protecting web applications from security vulnerabilities and malicious attacks. It also extends support to automate DevOps processes. Besides, it has the latest managed and pre-configured rule sets for increased security and improved performance.

Azure Firewall can simplify deployment and manage network security with unrestricted cloud scalability. It offers full visibility and protection through Transport Layer Security (TLS) inspection that prevents transmission of malware through encrypted connections. Additionally, it can filter both inbound and outbound traffic and perform required security checks by continuously monitoring activities.

Azure Firewall Manager helps in centrally configuring and managing multiple firewall instances across secured virtual hubs. It can also automate traffic routing for security filtering, governance, and protection, and it can help create global and local security policies and ensure organization-wide compliance. Azure Firewall Manager comes with per-policy pricing, making it convenient for businesses to use different products for multiple secured virtual hubs.

Palo Alto Networks also has different use cases. The Cloud NGFW has been designed to deliver advanced security protections with AWS simplicity and scale. It offers unparalleled simplicity and AWS deployment protection. Moreover, Cloud NGFW can easily be procured, set up, and deployed without elaborate infrastructure.

These resilient firewall resources scale easily with the network traffic and meet unpredictable throughput needs with no maintenance requirements. In addition, Cloud NGFW safeguards cloud workloads with advanced segmentation and controls between network segments.

Palo Alto NGFW can prevent intrusions and evasions with patented App-ID traffic classification technology. It also enables secure application access with zero-trust alignment. There is a virtual firewall that offers consistently secure networks across clouds, virtual branches, and critical infrastructures. These products eliminate the need for multiple security tool sets, providing comprehensive network perimeter security that spans different environments.

  Azure Palo Alto Networks

Read more: Fortinet vs. WatchGuard: Firewall Comparison

Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks: Ratings

Azure has a 4.4-star rating on Gartner Peer Insights. Users find it cost-effective, as it has sophisticated capabilities like unrestricted cloud scalability to meet fluctuating network traffic flows. Palo Alto Networks has a 4.6-star rating on the same platform.

On G2, Azure Firewall scores 4.4 out of 5 stars. It provides a secure environment and protects the network infrastructure from web vulnerabilities and attacks. Comparatively, Palo Alto Networks Firewall has scored a 4.5-star rating in G2. Reviewers feel it provides complete visibility and traffic control to prevent malicious events. It also regularly updates the threat signature database and provides excellent throughput and speed even when the traffic load is high.

As per TrustRadius, Azure Firewall scores 7.5 out of 10, whereas Palo Alto Networks scores 9.2 out of 10.

Users feel that Azure can work on improving its console and adding some more relevant and useful security features. Besides, it does not offer Layer 7 protection like its peers. In the case of Palo Alto Networks, users feel that the Firewall is a bit complicated due to its extreme level of flexibility. It should also work on improving its service and support to help its clients resolve issues faster.

  Azure Palo Alto Networks
Gartner Peer Insights 4.4 out of 5 4.6 out of 5
G2 4.4 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
TrustRadius 7.5 out of 10 9.2 out of 10

Learn about the top 5 firewall software solutions in 2023.

Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks: Recognition

Azure Firewall is a Microsoft product, which is one of the top Fortune 500 companies. The company invests more than $1 billion USD in cybersecurity research and development every year. It has employed more than 3,500 security experts, who work towards developing simplified security solutions with built-in controls. Moreover, Microsoft has more certifications than any other cloud provider and is trusted by companies of all sizes.

By comparison, Palo Alto Networks is a 10-time leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls. In the Forrester WaveTM Enterprise Firewalls Q4 Report, it has also been named as a leader. As per the Cyber Rating org report, the NGFW solution has received the highest AAA rating. In the CRN’s Product of the Year Awards for 2021, the Firewall solution from Palo Alto Networks was recognized as the overall category winner in the Network Security Category.

  Azure Palo Alto Networks

Bottom Line: Azure vs. Palo Alto Networks Overall

Azure Firewall solutions meet industry-level standards and compliance requirements and offer great network security for small and medium-sized organizations. One of the major advantages is its cost-effectiveness. It is easy to maintain and thus reduces operational costs.

On the other hand, Palo Alto Networks Firewall solutions provide zero-trust implementation, eliminating all security holes. It has extensive logging capabilities and is quite popular among the large enterprise segment. It provides a unified platform that can effectively integrate all security capabilities within an organization.

Azure and Palo Alto Networks Firewall solutions are great options for protecting business network security. As per your business requirements, you can choose either of them, as they come with a wide range of features that make threat troubleshooting and monitoring easier.

Read more: 7 Different Types of Firewalls & Deployment Options Explained

Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas is a contributing writer to Enterprise Storage Forum. He covers a range of technical topics, including managed services, cloud computing, security, storage, business management, and product design and development. Kashyap holds a Master's Degree in Engineering and finds joy in traveling, exploring new cultures, and immersing himself in Indian classical and Sufi music. uns a consulting agency.

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