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.
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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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.
Ans: There are four deployment models available such as;
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.
Ans: Open the Palo Alto web browser -> go to test security -> policy -> match from trust to untrust destination .
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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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.
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 againss port and host sweeps. The packet protections help you to get the protection from the large ICMP and ICMP fragment attacks.
Ans: The following are the major protections used 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.
Ans:The following are the important features of the Palo Alto firewall;
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.
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.
Ans: The Palo Alto architecture follows single pass parallel processing.
Ans:There are many modes that can be used in Palo Alto configuration.
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.
Ans:The following are the few benefits of panorama in Palo Alto;
Related article : palo alto Networks Essentials
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.
Ans: The Palo Alto firewall supports two types of media such as copper and fiber optic.
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.
Ans:The global protect VPN provides a clientless SSL Virtual private network (VPN) and helps to access the application in the data center.
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.
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.
Ans: There are two types of processing available such as;
Ans:There are two different options available on Palo Alto Firewall for forwarding the log messages which are listed below:
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.
Ans: ICMP is the protocol used to exchange heartbeat between HA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ans: There are 4 types of links used to establish HA or HA introduction,
Ans: HA1: tcp/ 28769, tcp/28260 for clear text communication
Tcp/28 for encrypted communication
HA2: Use protocol number 99 or UDP -29281
Ans: When Palo Alto in the virtual wire mode, it supports many features like App-ID, Decryption, Content-ID, User-ID, and NAT.
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.
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.
Ans: The default IP address of the management port in Palo Alto Firewall is 192.168.1.1.
The username is "admin" with a password as "admin."
Ans:The different states in HA firewall are represented as below:
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.
Ans: Palo Alto follows Single-pass parallel processing whereas Checkpoint UTM follows a multi-pass architecture process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ans:There are three different approaches used to deploy certificates for Palo Alto network firewalls:
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.
RADIUS with Vendor-Specific Attributes.
Ans: A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a network security solution that goes beyond a traditional stateful firewall in terms of capability.While a traditional firewall inspects all incoming and outgoing network traffic in real-time. Application awareness and control, integrated intrusion prevention, and cloud-delivered threat intelligence are all used in a next-generation firewall.
Example 1: If you are translating traffic that is incoming to an internal server (which is reaached via a public IP by Internal users). The NAT policy busing the zone in which the Public IP address resides must be configured.
Example 2: If you are translating traffic that is incoming to an internal server (which is reached via a public IP by Internal users and that public IP is routed to a DMZ zone). It is essential to use the DMZ zone to configure the NAT policy.
Ans: To set up an active (PeerA) passive (PeerB) pair in HA, you must configure some options identically on both firewalls and some independently (non-matching) on each firewall. These HA settings are not synchronized between the firewalls.
The following checklist details the settings that you must configure identically on both firewalls:
Ans: There are four modes of interfaces as follows;
Ans: A virtual wire interface allows the transmission of traffic between two interfaces by binding them together.
Ans: The following are the functions of the Zone Protection Profile:
Palo Alto Network’s Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) employ three distinct identification technologies to provide policy-based access and control over applications, users, and content: App-ID, User-ID, and Content-ID. The knowledge of which application is traversing the network and who is using it is then be used to create firewall security policies, including access control, SSL decryption, threat prevention, and URL filtering. A firewall is essential for every organization.
A Web Application Firewall (WAF), on the other hand, is designed to look at web applications and track them for security problems that may occur as a result of coding errors. The only thing the two solutions share in common is that they all use the word firewall in their names. A WAF is only needed by companies who believe their web applications have coding problems.
Virtual systems are separate, logical firewall instances within a single physical Palo Alto Networks firewall. Controlled service providers and organizations should use a single pair of firewalls (for high availability) and allow virtual environments on them instead of having multiple firewalls. Each virtual system (vsys) is an independent, separately-managed firewall with its traffic kept separate from the traffic of other virtual systems.
A virtual router is a firewall feature that takes part in Layer 3 routing. You can manually define static routes or participate in one or more Layer 3 routing protocols, and the firewall can use virtual routers to obtain routes to other subnets (dynamic routes).
The original IP address, which is the pre-NAT address, is subject to the NAT rules and security policies. The zone associated with a pre-NAT IP address is used to configure a NAT rule.
In comparison to NAT rules, security protocols look at post-NAT zones to see whether a packet is allowed. Protection protocols are applied on the post-NAT region because the very essence of NAT is to change the source or destination IP addresses, which will change the packet's outgoing interface and zone.
Ans: The next-generation firewall solution targets endpoint security from Cyber-attacks. It provides detailed network traffic visibility focused on applications, customers, and content, enabling you to accept and meet your business requirements.
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Ans: You can view Traffic Logs, Threat Log, URL Filtering Logs, WildFire Submissions Logs, Data Filtering Logs, Correlation Logs, Tunnel Inspection Logs, Unified logs, HIP Match logs, GTP logs, SCTP logs, System logs, Alarm logs, and Configuration logs, etc.
Ans: To set up high availability on your Palo Alto Networks firewalls, you need a pair of firewalls that meet the following requirements:
For firewalls without dedicated HA ports, you can use the management port for the control connection. Using the management port provides a direct communication link between the management planes on both firewalls. However, because the management ports will not be directly cabled between the peers, make sure that you have a route that connects these two interfaces across your network.
Ans: The firewalls for HA can be configured in one of two ways:
Active/Passive— One firewall handles traffic actively, while the other is synchronized and ready to take over in the event of a malfunction. Both firewalls use the same configuration settings in this mode, and one actively manages traffic until a route, link, system, or network fails. When the active firewall fails, the passive firewall seamlessly switches to active mode and enforces the same policies to keep the network secure. Virtual wire, Layer 2 and Layer 3 deployments both support active/passive HA.
Active/Active— Both firewalls in the pair are up and running, managing traffic, and handling session configuration and ownership in a synchronous manner. Both firewalls keep their own session and routing tables and synchronize with one another. In virtual wire and Layer 3 deployments, active/active HA is supported. In virtual wire and Layer 3 deployments, active/active HA is supported.
Ans: Active/Active high availability is the stateful sessions and configuration synchronization with a few exceptions: Active/Active HA 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.
Active/Passive availability is also the stateful sessions and configuration synchronization with a few exceptions:
When using the Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service to deploy the firewall on AWS, it does not support HA (in this case, ELB service provides the failover capabilities).
This Active/Passive HA 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 maintains network security.
Ans: An interface on the firewall must be assigned to a security zone before the interface can process traffic. A zone can have multiple interfaces of the same type assigned to it (such as tap, layer 2, or layer 3 interfaces), but an interface can belong to only one zone.
Ans: There are four steps to configure zone protection profiles.
Ans: The following are the actions available while filtering URLs.
Override: With this Override option, the security admin or helpdesk person would provide a password granting temporary access to all websites in the given category.
Configuration steps for App ID for adding to security policies:
Configuration steps for Content-ID for adding to security policies:
Content-ID enables customers to apply policies to inspect and control content traversing the network.
Ans: Palo alto firewall configuration backup:
Ans: It is decided by the parameter “Device ID”. In active/active configuration, set the Device ID to determine which peer will be active-primary (set Device ID to 0) and which will be active-secondary (set the Device ID to 1).
High availability check on GUI:
Go to Device Tab -> High Availability -> General.
This displays the status about Setup, active passive settings, control link (HA1), control link (HA1 backup), Data link (HA2) and Election settings.
High availability check on CLI:
1. To View status of the HA4 backup interface, the following command is used:
> show high-availability cluster ha4-backup-status
2. To View information about the type and number of synchronized messages to or from an HA cluster, the following command is used:
> show high-availability cluster session-synchronization
3. To View HA cluster state and configuration information, the following command is used:
> show high-availability cluster state
4. To View HA cluster statistics, such as counts received messages and dropped packets for various reasons, the following command is used:
> show high-availability cluster statistics
5. To Clear HA cluster statistics, the following command is used:
> clear high-availability cluster statistics
6. To Clear session cache, the following command is used:
> request high-availability cluster clear-cache
7. To Request full session cache synchronization, the following command is used:
> request high-availability cluster sync-from
Ans: When a failure occurs on one firewall and the peer takes over the task of securing traffic, the event is called a failover. A failover is triggered, for example, when a monitored metric on a firewall in the HA pair fails. The following are the metrics that are implemented to monitor and detect a firewall failure:
Steps for Packet capturing in GUI:
Steps for Packet capturing in CLI:
> show counter global filter delta yes packet-filter yes
> show session all => Note down the session number matching the configured filters.
> clear session id
> show session all
> debug dataplane packet-diag set capture off
Packet capture is disabled
> debug dataplane packet-diag clear filter-marked-session all
Unmark All sessions in packet debug
Ans: Steps for activating License in Palo Alto Firewall.
Ans: Through dynamic updates, Palo Alto Networks regularly publishes new and updated applications, vulnerability protection, and Global Protect data files. Setting a schedule for dynamic updates allows you to define the frequency at which the firewall checks for and downloads or installs new updates. The “schedule” option allows you to schedule the frequency for retrieving updates. You can define how often and when the dynamic content updates occur—the “Recurrence” and time—and whether to “Download Only” or to “Download and Install” scheduled updates.
The DNS sinkhole permits Palo Alto Networks device to manipulate a response to a DNS query to a known vicious URL/domain, causing the vicious domain name to solve a customer.
The firewall of Palo Alto Networks is VM-Series and a virtualized next-generation firewall that operates on PAN-OSTM OS. The following virtualization security features are included in the VM-Series, which also identifies, controls, and securely permits intra-host connections.
A network tap is a device that provides a path to access data flowing in a computer network. Tap deployment mode allows you to monitor traffic flow partially across the network with the help of a mirror port or switch SPAN.
Application Identification, also known as App-ID, is the main component in Palo Alto. App-ID allows you to see the applications present in your network and understand how they behave, work, and their risks. It finds applications that cross the firewalls independently.
Palo Alto Content-ID provides a real-time threat prevention engine with a huge URL database and application identification to limit files and data transfers, identify and block malware, exploits, and malware communications, and regulate internet usage.
Content updates are dynamic and cumulative, the updates have the most recent content, and updates always incorporate from the previous versions and enforce them without requiring systemic changes.
The zero-trust approach to cybersecurity secures an organisation by removing clear trust and continuously authorising every stage of a digital interaction the principle of never trust, always verify. Zero trust architecture provides higher comprehensive security and makes it simple and operational. It prevents phishing, malware, and data exfiltration attacks.
Upon accessing, The firewall checks the packet and makes a route to look up and determine the exit interface and zone. Then Pre-NAT contends with Post-NAT zones.
Palo Alto Network delivers the most advanced and next-gen. Firewall features in its single platform, unique management systems, and simultaneous processing diverse it from other competitors who rely on multiple management systems or various modules.
Palo Alto Network is an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) by nature. It differs from other traditional IPS by linking network anti-malware, vulnerability protection, and anti-spyware into a unified service that scrutinises all traffic for threats.
Zero Trust is a strategic approach to cybersecurity that secures an organisation by continuous validation and removing implicit trust at every stage of digital interaction. It prevents data breaches. It does not make the system to be trusted; instead, it eliminates trust
Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology(IT) systems are united together and called IT/OT convergence. IT integration is useful in data-centric computing, and OT systems will monitor devices, processes, and events and suggest necessary changes in industrial operations and organisation.
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