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Palo Alto Networks establishes cybersecurity consulting group Unit 42

By Shannon Williams, Fri 23 Apr 21

Palo Alto Networks has announced it is establishing a new cybersecurity consulting group to help enterprises respond to emerging threats as they navigate an increase in costly, crippling cyberattacks.

The newly expanded Unit 42 combines formerly Crypsis security consultants, who respond to 1,300+ incidents a year, with the company's veteran Unit 42 threat research team, which has been fighting emerging cyberthreats since 2014. 

Together, they will help organisations tackle the most complex cyberthreats — from ransomware to state-sponsored espionage — bringing a "relentless passion" for protecting our digital way of life, Palo Alto Networks says.

"Our increasing reliance on technology has turned cybersecurity into an existential matter," says Wendi Whitmore, senior vice president of cyber consulting and threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks. 

"We wake up every day focused on collecting and analysing the most up-to-date threat intelligence and applying our analysis to respond to cyberattacks."

The combined team will deliver a set of services that enable organisations to respond to threats more rapidly and will introduce new proactive services that closely complement Palo Alto Networks' product offerings. It will also expand incident response services to more countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

"The evolving threat landscape has made it imperative for organisations to have access to up-to-date threat intelligence on emerging threats, as well as support from experts with deep experience responding to breaches," says Chris Kissel, research director, Security & Trust Products at IDC.

The newly expanded Unit 42 will continue to build on what is already one of the world's most respected brands in cybersecurity. Since it was founded in 2014, Unit 42 has produced more than 650 reports and regularly partners with governments around the globe to fight cybercrime. 

The group was named as a nod to the number 42 in the comedic science fiction novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" because it focuses on providing "the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" — for cyberthreats.

Palo Alto Networks unveiled its plans for Unit 42 at Cortex Symphony 2021, a virtual security operations conference bringing together thought leaders in cybersecurity who provide insights into the attack surface and securing the future. 

Those interested can watch can watch Wendi Whitmore describe her plans for Unit 42 in her keynote at the Symphony 2021 online.

All Symphony sessions — including keynotes by Nir Zuk, Palo Alto Networks founder and CTO, and Tim Junio, senior vice president of product management for Cortex – will be available through May 19.

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