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Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks Room for Improvement

Cloud Security Specialist at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees

One scenario, in early days, was in trying to get a view on how you could segregate account access for role-based access controls. As a DevSecOps squad, you might have had five or six guys and girls who had access to the overall solution. If you wanted to hand that off to another team, like a software engineering team, or maybe just another cloud engineering team, there were concerns about sharing the whole dashboard, even if it was just read-only. But over the course of time, they've integrated that role-based access control so that users should only be able to view their own accounts and their own workloads, rather than all of the accounts.

Another concern I had was the fact that you couldn't ingest the accounts into Prisma Cloud in an automated sense. You had to manually integrate them or onboard them. They have since driven out new features and capabilities, over the last 12 months, to cater for that. At an organizational level you can now plug that straight into Prisma Cloud, as and when new accounts are provisioned or created. Then, by default, the AWS account or the Azure account will actually be included, so you've got visibility straight away.

The lack of those two features was a limitation as to how far I could actually push it out within the organization for it to be consumed. They've addressed those now, which is really useful. I can't think of anything else that's really causing any shortcomings. It's everything and more at the moment.

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Director, Cloud Engineering at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees

When it comes to protecting the full cloud-native stack, it has the right breadth. They're covering all the topics I would care about, like container, cloud configuration, and serverless. There's one gap. There could be a better set of features around identity management—native AWS—IAM roles, and service account management. The depth in each of those areas varies a little bit. While they may have the breadth, I think there's still work to do in  flushing out each of those feature sets.

My understanding of Palo Alto's offerings is that they have a solution that is IAM-focused. It's called Prisma Access. We have not looked at it, but I believe it's a separately-licensed offering that handles those IAM cases. I don't know whether they intend to include any IAM-type of functionality in the Prisma Cloud feature set or whether they will just say, "Go purchase this separate solution and then use them next to each other."

Also, I don't think their SaaS offering is adoptable by large enterprises like ours, in every case. There are some limitations on having multiple consoles and on our ability to configure that SaaS offering. We would like to go SaaS, but it's not something we can do today.

We have some capability to do network functions inside of Prisma Cloud. Being able to integrate that into the non-cloud pieces of the Palo Alto stack would be beneficial.

The solution's security automation capabilities are mixed. We've done some API development and it's good that they have APIs, that's beneficial. But there is still a little disconnect between some of the legacy Twistlock APIs versus some of the RedLock APIs. In some cases the API functionality is not fully flushed out. 

An example of that is that we were looking at integrating Prisma Cloud scans into our GitHub. The goal was to scan GitHub repositories for CloudFormation and Terraform templates and send those to Prisma Cloud to assess for vulnerabilities and configuration. The APIs are a little bit on the beta-quality side. It sounds like newer versions that some of that is handled, but I think there's some room to grow. 

Also, our team did run into some discrepancies between what's available, API-wise, that you have to use SaaS to get to, versus the on-premise version. There isn't necessarily feature parity there, and that can be confusing.

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Security Architect at a educational organization with 201-500 employees

The only part that is actually tough for us is that we have a professional services resource from Palo Alto working with us on customization. One of the things that we are thinking about is that if we have similar requirements in the future, how can we get his capability in-house? The professional services person is a developer and he takes our requirements and writes the code for the APIs or whatever he needs to access. We will likely be looking for a resource for the Demisto platform.

The automation also took us time, more than we thought it would take. We had some challenges because Demisto was a third-party product. Initially, the engineer who is with us thought that everything was possible, but later on, when he tried to do everything, he was not able to do some things. We had to change the strategy multiple times. But we have now reached a point where we are in a comfort zone and we have been able to achieve what we wanted to do.

Also, getting new guys trained on using the solution requires some thought. If someone is already trained on Palo Alto then he's able to adapt quickly. But, if someone is coming from another platform such as Fortinet, or maybe he's from the system side, that is where we need some help. We need to find out if there is an online track or training that they can go to.

Related to training is the fact that changes made in the solution are reflected directly in the production environment. As of now, we are not aware of any method for creating a demo environment where we can train new people. These are the challenges we have.

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Learn what your peers think about Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,143 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Sr. Security Operations Manager at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees

The integration of the Compute function into the cloud monitoring function—because those are two different tools that are being combined together—could use some more work. It still feels a little bit disjointed.

Also, the permissions modeling around the tool is improving, but is still a little bit rough. The concept of having roles that certain users have to switch between, rather than have a single login that gives them visibility into all of the different pieces, is a little bit confusing for my users. It can take some time out of our day to try to explain to them what they need to do to get to the information they need.

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Information Security Manager at Cobalt.io

Some of the usability within the Compute functionality needs improvement. I think when Palo Alto added on the Twistlock functionality, they added a Compute tab on the left side of the navigation. Some of the navigation is just a little dense. There is a lot of navigation where there is a tab and dropdowns. So, just improving some of the navigation where there is just a very dense amount of buttons and drop-down menus, that is probably the only thing, which comes from having a lot of features. Because there are a lot of buttons, just navigating around the platform can be a little challenging for new users.

They could improve a little bit of the navigation, where I have to kind of look through a lot of the different menus and dropdowns. Part of this just comes from it having so many awesome features. However, the navigation can sometimes be a little bit like, "I can't remember where the tab was," so I have to click and search around. This is not a big negative point, but it is definitely an area for improvement.

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Sr. Information Security Manager at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees

The challenge that Palo Alto and Prisma have is that, at times, the instructions in an event are a little bit dated and they're not usable. That doesn't apply to all the instructions, but there are times where, for example, the Microsoft or the Amazon side has made some changes and Palo Alto or Prisma was not aware of them. So as we try to remediate an alert in such a case, the instructions absolutely do not work. Then we open up a ticket and they'll reply, "Oh yeah, the API for so-and-so vendor changed and we'll have to work with them on that." That area could be done a little better.

One additional feature I'd like to see is more of a focus on API security. API security is an area that is definitely growing, because almost every web application has tons of APIs connecting to other web applications with tons of APIs. That's a huge area and I'd love to see a little bit more growth in that area. For example, when it comes to the monitoring of APIs within the clouded environment, who has access to the APIs? How old are the APIs' keys? How often are those APIs accessed? That would be good to know because they could be APIs that are never really accessed and maybe we should get rid of them. Also, what roles are attached to those APIs? And where are they connected to which resources? An audit and inventory of the use of APIs would be helpful.

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Security Architect at a computer software company with 11-50 employees

Based on my experience, the customization—especially the interface and some of the product identification components—is not as customizable as it could be. But it makes up for that with the fact that we can access the API and then build our own systems to read the data and then process and parse it and hand it to our teams. At that point, we realized, "Okay, we're not never going to have it fully customizable," because no team can expect a product, off-the-shelf, to fit itself to the needs of any organization. That's just impossible.

So customization from our perspective comes through the API, and that's the best we can do because there is no other sensible way of doing it. The customization is exactly evident inside the API, because that's what you end up using.

In terms of the product having room for improvement, I don't see any product being perfect, so I'm not worried about that aspect. The RedLock team is very responsive to our requirements when we do point out issues, and when we do point out stuff that we would like to see fixed, but the product direction itself is not a big concern for us.

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Cloud Security Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

The alignment of Twistlock Defender agents with image repositories needs improvement. These deployed agents have no way of differentiating between on-premise and cloud-based image repositories. If I deploy a Defender agent to secure an on-premise Kubernetes cluster, that agent also tries to scan my ECR image repositories on AWS. So, we have limited options for aligning those Defenders with the repositories that we want them to scan. It is scanning everything rather than giving us the ability to be real granular in choosing which agents can scan which repositories. This is our biggest pain point.

There are little UI complexities that we work around through the API or exporting.

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Talent Acquisition Leader at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

There are two main things that Palo Alto should look into. The first is the reporting piece, and the second one is the support. 

Currently, custom reports are available, but I feel that those reports are targeting just the L1 or L2 engineers because they are very verbose. So, for every alert, there is a proper description, but as a security posture management portal, Prisma Cloud should give me a dashboard that I can present to my stakeholders, such as CSO, CRO, or CTO. It should be at a little bit higher level. They should definitely put effort into reporting because the reporting does not reflect the requirements of a dashboard for your stakeholders. There are a couple of things that are present on the portal, but we don't have the option to customize dashboards or widgets. There are a limited set of widgets, and those widgets don't add value from the perspective of a security team or any professional who is above L1 or L2 level. Because of this, the reach of Prisma Cloud in an organization or the access to Prisma Cloud will be limited only to L1 and L2 engineers. This is something that their development team should look into.

Their support needs to be improved. It is by far one of the worst support that I have seen.

We are using Azure Cloud. With AWS, Prisma is a lot more in-depth, but with Azure, it's still developing. There are certain APIs that Prisma is currently not able to read. Similarly, there were certain APIs that it was not able to read six months ago, but now, it is able to review those APIs, top-up resources, and give us proper security around that. Function apps were one of those things that were not there six months ago, but they are there now. So, it is still improving in terms of Azure. It is much more advance when it comes to AWS, but unfortunately, we are not using AWS. A problem for us is that in terms of protecting data, one of the key concepts is the identification of sensitive data, but this feature is currently not enabled for Azure. This feature is there for AWS, and it is able to read your S3 buckets in the case of AWS, but for Azure, it is currently not able to do any identification of your storage accounts or read data on the storage to give security around that. So, that is one of the weak points right now. So, from a data exfiltration perspective, it needs some improvement.

It is currently lacking in terms of network profiles. It is able to identify new resources, and we do get continuous alerts from Prisma when there is an issue, but there have been a few issues or glitches. I had raised a case with Palo Alto support, but the ticket was not going anywhere, so I just closed the ticket. From a network security group's point of view, we had found certain issues where it was not able to perform its function properly when it comes to the network profile. Apart from that, it has been working seamlessly. 

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Software Security Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

One problem was identifying Azure Kubernetes Services. We had many teams creating Kubernetes systems without any security whatsoever. It was hard for us to identify Kubernetes because the Prisma Cloud could not identify them. From what I heard from Palo Alto at the time, they were building a new feature to identify those. It was an issue they were already trying to fix.

In addition, when it comes to access for developers, I would like to have more granular settings. For example, in our company we didn't want to display hosts' vulnerabilities to developers, because the infrastructure or containers team was responsible for host vulnerabilities or the containers. The developers were only responsible for the top application layer. We didn't want to provide that data to the developers because A) we thought it was sensitive data and B) because it was data that didn't belong to developers. We didn't want to share it, but I remember having this problem when it came to the granularity of granting permissions. 

They need to make the settings more flexible to fit our internal policies about data. We didn't want developers to see some data, but we wanted them to have access to the console because it was going to help them. One possibility was to develop our own solution for this, using the API. But that would add complexity. The console was clean and beautiful. It has the radar where you can see all the containers. But we just didn't want to show some data. It was a pain to have to set up the access to some languages and some data.

Another thing that was a pain was that in our on-prem environment there was a tool that sometimes generated a temporary container, to be used just for a build, and Prisma would raise some compliance issues for this container that would die shortly. It was hard to suppress these kinds of alerts because it was hard to find a standard or a rule that would fit this scenario. The tool was able manage the whole CI/CD pipeline, including the build as well—even these containers that were temporary for a build—but sometimes it would raise too much unnecessary data.

Also, one of the things that it's hard to understand sometimes is how to fix an issue. We managed to do so by testing things ourselves because we are developers. But a little bit of explanation about how to fix something would help. It was more showing what the problem was than it did about how to fix it.

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Lead- Information Security Analyst at archan.fiem.it@gmail.com

Prisma Cloud's dashboards should be customizable. That's very important. Other similar solutions are more elastic so you have the power to create customized dashboards. In Prisma Cloud, you cannot do that. Prisma also should allow users to fully automate the workflow of an identified set. Right now, it can give us a hint about what has happened and there is an option to remediate that, but for some reason, that doesn't work. 

Another pain point is integration with ticketing solutions. We need bidirectional integration of Prisma Cloud and our ticketing tool. Currently, we only have one-way integration. When an alert appears in Prisma Cloud, it shows up in our ticketing tool as well. But if someone closes that ticket in our ticketing tool, that alert doesn't resolve in Prisma Cloud. We have to do it manually each time, which is a waste of time. 

 I am not sure how much Prisma Cloud protects against zero-day threats. Those kinds of threats really work in different kinds of patterns, like identify some kind of CBE, that kind of stuff. But considering the way it works for us, I don't think it'll be able to capture a zero-day threat if it is a vulnerability because Prisma Cloud actually doesn't capture vulnerability. It captures errors in posture management. That's a different thing. I don't know if there is any zero-day that Prisma can identify in AWS instantly. Probably, we can ask them to create a custom policy, but that generally takes time. We haven't seen that kind of scenario where we actually have to handle a zero-day threat with Prisma Cloud, because that gets covered mostly by Qualys.

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Director of Information Security Architecture at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees

We would like to have the detections be more contemporaneous. For example, we've seen detections of an overprivileged user or whatever it might be in any of the hundreds of Prisma policies, where there are 50 minutes of latency between the event and the alert. We'd always want that to be as quick as possible, and this is going to be true for every customer.

The billing function, with the credits and the by-workload-licensing and billing, is something that is a little wonky and can be improved.

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Senior Principal Consultant Cloud/DevOps/ML/Kubernetes at Opticca

There is some work to be done on preventive security policies. I would give the existing preventive approach a seven out of 10. I'm sure they will be doing something in this area.

In terms of securing cloud-native development at build time, a lot of improvement is needed. Currently, it's more a runtime solution than a build-time solution. For runtime, I would rate it at seven out of 10, but for build-time there is a lot of work to be done.

Another area for improvement is support for OPA (Open Policy Agent) rather than the proprietary language. Nowadays, people mix things, but you don't want to write a policy in different languages.

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Governance Test and Compliance Officer at Thales

We would like it to have more features from the risk and compliance perspectives.

On the governance side of it, we did want it, but the licensing costs for that are so high. As a result, I have to integrate this solution with a couple of additional tools. For example, suppose I wish to assign something to an organization or to another person. To do that I have to integrate it with something like JIRA or Confluence where I can ask them to provide the pieces of information. If the licensing costs were a little lower, I would have been able to assign it then and there. As it is, though, I need to assign it from one platform to another platform, one where the team of engineering people is working. I still need to go to multiple platforms to check if something was assigned, and I have to keep checking between the two platforms to see whether it's not done or not.

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Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

The remediation part could be better. It should be able to automatically remediate on the basis of its artificial intelligence. If there are alerts, it should directly act and surround the malicious threat with a container or something. Instead of waiting on approval, it should immediately act. There should be no need for manual input when there is a threat on hand.

The ability to scale is limited as it is a SAS product. 

The licensing is a bit confusing.

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Advisor Information Systems Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

Microsegmentation still needs improvement.

For data security, they have only specific regions like the US, and they need to move to Asia as well.

The most important thing has to do with the computing, licensing, and costing. They charge seven workloads for monitoring one compute, and that is quite expensive. This makes it difficult to move fully with the compute part because of the workload.

Their training modules need to have more live examples. We need to refer to the YouTube channel or follow Palo Alto to get the reference. If they can refer to the YouTube channel in their training and indicate that it can be referred to for further information, it would be good.

On their portal, they do not have which services are available in each region. While searching, it's very hard to find in which location a service is enabled. So, it would be great to have a list of services for each region.

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Manager - cybersecurity at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees

In terms of improvement, there are some small things like hardening and making sure the Linux resources are deployed well but that's more at an operational level. Day-to-day, we do find a lot of issues but having a tool to help us with them is what we want because manually, it's not feasible for us. Other than that, we not really looking for any other add-ons or plug-ins because that was our core problem.

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Senior Manager at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees

The feedback that we have given to the Palo Alto Networks team is that the UI can be improved. When you press the "back" button on your browser from the Investigate tab, the query that you're working on just disappears. It won't keep the query on the "back" button.

Also, the way the policies are structured and the alerts are created could be better. It requires a lot of manual work to search through the policies when creating an alert.

These are minute nuances. They are not major issues and are more about convenience than they are product bugs.

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Learn what your peers think about Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,143 professionals have used our research since 2012.