Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks announced Tuesday that it has been positioned as a leader in The Forrester Wave: Zero Trust Platform Providers, Q3 2023 report. It added that the Palo Alto Zero Trust Framework encapsulates the need to enable and protect a hybrid workforce.

According to Forrester, Zero Trust platforms (ZTPs) enable zero trust (ZT) business and security outcomes by offering a unified, comprehensive approach to operationalizing the ZT technology ecosystem. This approach has become increasingly important as U.S. Federal guidelines for zero trust have expanded in scope and specificity. As zero trust becomes the backbone for cybersecurity architectures globally, Forrester’s benchmark helps security teams identify the importance of a consolidated approach to generating better security outcomes.

“Palo Alto Networks has steered clear of conformity with innovations that began with the introduction of the industry’s first next-generation firewall in 2008,” according to the Forrester evaluation. “The vendor continues this strategy by providing network and security capabilities through its Zero Trust Framework.” 

The Forrester evaluation asserts the company’s “prevailing vision to help enterprises jump-start their ZT journey addresses the struggle organizations face in moving past planning to implementation. Its roadmap, however, is bolder, leaning heavily on the long-term commitment for more AI/ML capabilities to go beyond automated policy creation.”

Forrester states that ZTPs unite disjointed functions and provide additional supplemental capabilities and services to enrich cross-functional operations and simplify zero trust adoption. Palo Alto Networks was among 14 vendors Forrester evaluated for the report, based on 28 criteria. 

The Palo Alto Networks Zero Trust Framework, which includes Network Security Platform, Cortex, and Prisma Cloud, received the highest possible scores in 18 criteria and was the only vendor to receive the ‘highest possible scores’ on Zero Trust Ecosystem, Workload/Application Security, Deployment and APIs and other Integrations.

“Cybersecurity has become increasingly complex, and a vast amount of point solutions that organizations struggle to stitch together aren’t making things easier. This situation has made the broad adoption of Zero Trust nearly impossible, while attackers are getting faster and more innovative,” Lee Klarich, chief product officer at Palo Alto Networks, said in a media statement. “This is where a platform approach becomes a necessity, but it must be the right platform approach: innovation-led, comprehensive with both native capabilities and enablement of third-party technology, integrated to solve hard problems that can’t be solved with a point product approach, and with the ability to achieve great security outcomes in near real-time.”

In August, Forrester Research released its inaugural Forrester Wave: Zero Trust Edge Solutions, Q3 2023 report covering Zero Trust Edge (ZTE), also known as secure access service edge (SASE) that centralizes multiple networking and security capabilities. These typically cover software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), cloud access security broker (CASB), Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), and secure web gateway (SWG), into a unified solution.