Palo Alto Interview Questions

Palo Alto is an American multinational cybersecurity company located in California. The core products of Palo Alto included are advanced firewalls and cloud-based applications to offer an effective security system to any enterprice. Palo Alto is a popular cybersecurity management system which is mainly used to protect networking applications. For the beginners or experienced, our trainee experts crafted the top interview questions that will help to crack any complex interview process related to the palo alto. 

Now let's have a look into the Palo Alto interview questions based on the basic, intermediate and advanced levels..

Palo Alto Basic Interview Questions

1. Is Palo Alto a stateful firewall?

Ans:The answer would be yes because here all the firewall traffic can be transmitted through the Palo Alto system, and later these are matches against a session. More importantly, each session should match against a firewall cybersecurity policy as well.

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2. What is the purpose of Palo Alto Focus?

Ans: Palo Alto Focus is one of the services available in Palo Alto to identify the critical attacks and take necessary action without using any additional resources. It is considered as the cloud-based threat intelligence service.

3. Name the types of deployment modes in Palo Alto?

Ans: There are four deployment models available such as;

  1. Tap mode: this mode allows users to monitor any type of traffic flow across the networking system with the help of tap or switch SPAN/mirror port.
  2. Virtual wire: in this deployment model, the firewall system is installed passively on any network segment by combing two interfaces together.
  3. Layer 2 mode: in this layer mode, multiple networking interfaces will be configured into a “virtual-switch” or VLAN mode.
  4. Layer 3 deployment: In this layer 3 deployments, the Palo Alto firewall routes allow traffic between multiple interfaces. User should add the IP address to each interface.
4. What are the scenarios for failover triggering?

Ans: The following are the scenarios that explain the failure over triggering,

Failure occurs, if one or more monitored interface fail

Failure occurs, if one or more specified destinations cannot be pinged by the active firewall

If the active device does not respond to heartbeat polls or loss of three consecutive heartbeats over a period of 1000 millisecond this time failure occurs.

5. Which command is used to check the firewall policy matching in Palo Alto?

Ans: Open the Palo Alto web browser -> go to test security -> policy -> match from trust to untrust destination .

6. What is the application command center (ACC)?

Ans: The application command center offers visibility to the traffic patterns and actionable information on threats in the firewall network logs.

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7. What is the purpose of Palo Alto’s autofocus?

Ans: Autofocus in Palo Alto is the kind of threat intelligence service; this supports easier identification of critical attacks so that effective action can be taken without the need for the additional resources.

8. What is the zone protection profile?

Ans: With the help of the Zone protection profile, you will get complete protection from attacks like floods, reconnaissance, and packet-based attacks. The flood attacks can be of type SYN, ICMP, and UDP, etc. The reconnaissance protections will help you to defend against port and host sweeps. The packet protections help you to get the protection from the large ICMP and ICMP fragment attacks.

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9. Name the types of protections used in Palo Alto?

Ans: The following are the major protections used in Palo Alto;

  •       Zone protection profile: examples are floods, reconnaissance, and packet-based attacks.
  •       Configured under Network tab protection: Network profiles, and zone protections.
10. What is U-turn in Palo Alto?

Ans: The U-turn ANAT in Palo Alto is nothing but a logical path used in the networking system. In this NAT profile, the user should access the internal DMZ servers. To achieve this you should use the external IP address of the respective servers.

11. Mention the advantages of the Palo Alto firewall?

Ans:The following are the important features of the Palo Alto firewall;

  •       Offers high throughput and low latency
  •       Palo Alto provides high-level active security functions
  •       Supports the provision of single and fully integrated security policy
  •       Easier to use management policy.
12. Define WAF and its purpose?

Ans: WAF refers to the Web Application Firewall. The primary purpose of WAF is to monitor web applications to enhance the security and its features in web applications. It protects the web application by filtering the traffic between the internet and the application.

13. What do you mean by HA, HA1, and HA 2 in Palo Alto?

Ans:HA: HA refers to High Availability, a deployment model in Palo Alto.HA is used to prevent single point failure in a network. It includes two firewalls with a synchronized configuration. If one firewall crashes, then security features are applied via another firewall. This will help in continuing the business without any interruption.

HA1 and HA2 are two different ports in HA. HA is called a control link, while HA 2 is called a Datalink. These ports are used to maintain state information and synchronize the data.

14. What is the type of Palo Alto architecture?

Ans: The Palo Alto architecture follows single pass parallel processing.

15. What are Active/passive and Active/Active modes in Palo Alto?

Ans:There are many modes that can be used in Palo Alto configuration.

  • Active/passive: this mode in Palo Alto is supported in deployment types including virtual wire, layer2, and layer3. In this mode, the configuration settings are shared by both the firewalls. In this case, the active firewalls fail, the passive firewall becomes active and maintain network security.
  • Active/Active: this mode in Palo Alto is supported in deployment types including virtual wire and layer 3. In this mode, both the firewalls work synchronously and process the traffic.
16. What is APP-ID?

Ans:App-ID is nothing but the short form for the application identifications. This is one of the main components in Palo Alto. The major responsibilities of App-Id included are identifying the applications and transverse the firewalls independently.

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17. Mention the benefits of Panorama in Palo Alto?

Ans:The following are the few benefits of panorama in Palo Alto;

  •       Offers distributed administrations, which helps you to control and delegate assessment to the Palo Alto firewall configurations.
  •       Provides a centralized configuration system and Deployment.
  •       Supports logging or aggregated management with central oversight for reporting and analyzing purposes.

                                            [Related article:palo alto Networks Essentials]

18. What is the virtual system and virtual router in Palo Alto?

Ans:A virtual router is just a function of the Palo Alto; this is also the part of the Layer 3 routing layer. The virtual system is just an exclusive and logical function in Palo Alto. This is also an independent firewall; the traffic here is kept separate.

19. Which are the media types that the firewall supports?

Ans: The Palo Alto firewall supports two types of media such as copper and fiber optic.

20. What is an HSCI port?

Ans: SCI is a layer 1 of the SFP+ interface. In an HA configuration, this connects any two PA -200 firewall series. This port can be used for both HA2 and HA3 network connections and the raw layer can be transmitted to the HSCI ports.

21. What is global VPN support?

Ans:The global protect VPN provides a clientless SSL Virtual private network (VPN) and helps to access the application in the data center.

22. What are HA1 and HA2 in Palo Alto?

Ans: HA1 and HA2 in Palo Alto have dedicated HA ports. HA1 port is a control link whereas HA2 is just a data link. These links are primarily used to synchronize the data and also help to maintain the state information.

23. What is incomplete and application override in palo Alto?

Ans:Application Incomplete can be interpreted as-either the three-way TCP handshake is not completed or completed, and there was no information to classify the process just after handshake.Where as Application override is being used to bypass the App-ID (Normal Application Identification) for unique traffic transmitted via a firewall.

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24. Mention the types of Palo Alto Architecture processing?

Ans: There are two types of processing available such as;

  •       Single-pass processing
  •       Parallel processing
25. What are the options available on Palo Alto Firewall for forwarding the log messages?

Ans:There are two different options available on Palo Alto Firewall for forwarding the log messages which are listed below:

  • Forwarding of logs from firewalls to PanoramaPanorama and from PanoramaPanorama to external services
  • Forwarding of logs from firewalls to PanoramaPanorama and external services in parallel.
26. What is Single-pass parallel processing?

Ans: Single-pass parallel processing allows the system to operate on one packet. The following are important features of Single-pass parallel processing such as policy lookup, identifying applications, performing networking functions, decoding, and signature matching. The content in the Palo Alto firewall is scanned only once in the architecture.

27. What protocol is used to exchange heart beats between HA?

Ans: ICMP is the protocol used to exchange heartbeat between HA.

28. What is parallel processing?

Ans: The Palo Alto architecture is designed with separate data content and control planes to help parallel processing. The hardware elements in parallel processing support discrete and process groups to perform several complex functions.

29.Define the term: U-Turn NAT?

Ans: U-Turn NAT refers to the logical path in a network. The users will be provided access to the DMZ server using the server's external IP address.U-Turn NAT allows clients to access the public web server on the internal network.

30. What do you mean by endpoint security in Palo Alto?

Ans:Endpoint security is something which protects the user’s devices like laptops, mobiles, PC using the designed tools and products. It is one of the world’s leading network’s security suites which helps in securing the user’s data and applications from the organizations. Depending on a network against various threats is not quite simple nowadays however, it can be attained by using best practices in both hardware and software.

Palo Alto Intermediate Interview Questions

31. Mention the differences between Palo Alto -200, Palo Alto -500, and any higher models?

Ans: In both Palo Alto- 200 and Palo Alto -500 implement activities such as signature process, and network processing.  A higher model comprised of a dedicated hardware processor.

32.Mention the types of links used to establish HA or HA introduction?

Ans: There are 4 types of links used to establish HA or HA introduction,

  •       Control link or HA1
  •       Datalink or HA2
  •       Backup Links
  •       Packet forwarding links.
33. Mention the various port numbers used in HA?

Ans: HA1: tcp/ 28769, tcp/28260 for clear text communication

         Tcp/28 for encrypted communication

HA2: Use protocol number 99 or UDP -29281

34. Which are the features Palo Alto supports when it is in virtual wire mode?

Ans: When Palo Alto in the virtual wire mode, it supports many features like App-ID, Decryption, Content-ID, User-ID, and NAT.

35.Do you know which virtualization platform provides its extensive support during the deployment of Palo Alto networks?

Ans:VM-Series is the virtualization platform that provides extensive support during the deployment of Palo Alto Networks. It offers a wide range of public and private cloud computing environments like an open stack, VM ware, Cisco ACI, Amazon web services, Google cloud platform, and many more.


36. Can you determine which command is used to show the maximum log file size? Give a brief idea on how Panorama addresses new logs when the storage limit is reached?

Ans:The command that is used to show the maximum log file size is represented below:

show system logdb-quota

When the logs storage limit is reached, then Panorama automatically deletes the old logs and gives the space to the new records. Panorama has the automated functionality that can determine the storage limit and remove it if needed.

37. Can you determine the default IP address of the management port in Palo Alto Firewall along with the default username and password?

Ans: The default IP address of the management port in Palo Alto Firewall is 

The username is "admin" with a password as "admin."

38. Can you explain about the different states in the HA Firewall?

Ans:The different states in HA firewall are represented as below:

  • Initial

  • Passive

  • Active

  • Active-primary

  • Active-secondary

  • Tentative

  • Non-functional

  • Suspended

39. What is wildfire? Give a brief explanation about the functionality of wildfire?

Ans:  To secure a network from potential threats requires finding solutions and analyzing the malwares and is a quite hectic process. Wildfire is a  cloud based malware direction which helps to identify the unknown files or threats made by the attackers. Wildfire’s rapidly deliver protection  and share threat intelligence to the organizations.

40.Differences between Palo Alto NGFW and Checkpoint UTM?

Ans: Palo Alto follows Single-pass parallel processing whereas Checkpoint UTM follows a multi-pass architecture process.

Palo Alto Advanced Interview Questions

41. Can you explain why Palo Alto is being called as a next-generation firewall?

Ans: The Palo Alto cybersecurity application has everything that is needed for the next generation. This application consists of an infusion prevention system and control features. In terms of productivity, it is considered as different from other cybersecurity vendors. One important thing is that it delivers the next generation features with the help of a single platform.

42. Give a brief idea about the single pass and processing architecture? Which architecture does Palo Alto use?

Ans: Single-pass: In Single-pass processing, all the operations are performed only once per packet. The services include application identification, networking functions, policy lookup, decoding, signature matching for any content or threats. In simpler terms, instead of using multiple engines, single-pass software allows single time scanning in a stream-based fashion.

Parallel processing: Parallel processing uses some discrete processing groups to perform the functions. The functions include networking, app id, content Id analysis, etc.

Palo Alto utilizes Single Pass Parallel processing (SP3) architecture.

43.Define the term HALite in Palo Alto? Give a brief explanation of the capabilities of Palo Alto?

Ans: Before defining HALite we need to know about PA 200. PA-200 is a firewall which prevents the network from a broad range of cyber threats. HALite is the feature available on PA-200. It provides synchronization of some run time items. Limited version of HA is used in PA 200 as there are a limited number of ports available for synchronization.

44. Define what is meant by the service route? Can you determine the interface that is used to access external services by default?

Ans: Service route refers to the path from the interface to the service on the server. .The interface that is used to access external sources by default is the management (MGT) interface.

45. Can you brief the basic approaches used to deploy certificates for the Palo Alto Network Firewalls?

Ans:There are three different approaches used to deploy certificates for Palo Alto network firewalls:

  • Obtaining the documents from a trusted third-party CA like VeriSign or GoDaddy.
  • Acquiring the certificates from an enterprise CA


46. How to perform troubleshoot HA Using CLI?


  • Show high- available state: show the HA state of the Palo Alto firewall
  • Show high –available state – synchronization: used to check the sync status
  • Show high –available path –monitoring: to show the status of path monitoring the system
  • Request high- available state suspend: to suspend the active box and make the current passive box as active.
  • Generation of self-signed certificates.
47) Elucidate the differences between PA-200, PA-600, and higher models?

The network processing and signature processing are implemented on the software in PA-200 and PA-500. The higher models will have a dedicated hardware processor to perform these functionalities.

48) In An Enterprise Deployment, A Network Security Engineer Wants To Assign To A Group Of Administrators Without Creating Local Administrator Accounts On The Firewall. Which Authentication Method Must Be Used?

RADIUS with Vendor-Specific Attributes.

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.