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Palo Alto Networks headquarters. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

At its annual Ignite Conference today, Palo Alto Networks will demonstrate the first third-party apps able to run on its cybersecurity platform, a "proof of concept" for a model that CEO Mark McLaughlin believes is the future of the industry.

How the framework works: Palo Alto Networks will allow vetted security companies to use the sensors its platform uses to monitor networks and the data it collects. Vendors demoing today range from the biggest companies in the space, like Microsoft, to smaller upstarts, like Colorado-based ProtectWise.

"We recognize that we can't do all of the innovation ourselves."
— Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin

Why it matters to innovation: The cybersecurity industry is due for contraction — there are currently more vendors than is practicable. But McLaughlin argues that shrinking the industry down to a handful of major players will rid it of a lot of the innovation coming from smaller players.

  • He believes the "application framework," as Palo Alto Networks calls it, will maintain an ecosystem of smaller firms, just as the Apple App Store bolstered the ecosystem of software companies bringing functionality to a specific device.

Why it matters to customers: Many vendors agree that the companies they sell to feel overloaded from running multiple platforms at the same time.

  • In order to get the functionality of six different products that approach security in six different ways — from antivirus to monitoring user behavior to protecting email — administrators need to install six different platforms, each with their own interface, alarms and monitoring systems.
  • This new approach cuts the number of platforms to one while maintaining the functionality of however many products a user wants to use.

What others are saying:

  • "We find three things drive customers: time to detection, inability to hire security personnel and focus on high priority threats, and reducing the number of vendors," said Ann Johnson, vice president of enterprise and cybersecurity at Microsoft. "Fundamentally, the application framework will make people more secure."
  • "It will be good for our company, giving us access to Palo Alto Networks' customers," said Ramon Peypoch, chief product officer at ProtectWise. "It's a great attempt to bring products and solutions together."

Go deeper

Former Sen. David Perdue to launch bid for Georgia governor

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue (R) plans to announce a campaign against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

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