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

Mostly Frequently Asked Palo Alto Interview Questions and Answers

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.

          Interested in learning palo alto Join hkr and Learn more on Palo Alto Training  ! 

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.

                  We have the perfect professional PaloAlto Tutorial for you. Enroll now!

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 againss port and host sweeps. The packet protections help you to get the protection from the large ICMP and ICMP fragment attacks.

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.

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.

Palo Alto Training

  • Master Your Craft
  • Lifetime LMS & Faculty Access
  • 24/7 online expert support
  • Real-world & Project Based Learning
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.

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.

Subscribe to our youtube channel to get new updates..!

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.

49. What is the difference between a Next-Generation Firewall vs. Traditional Firewall?

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.

50. Packet flow architecture of Palo alto firewall


  • A Palo Alto Network firewall in a layer 3 mode provides routing and network address translation (NAT) functions.
  • The routing table is used to evaluate the source and destination zones on NAT policies.

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.

  • Regardless of the policy, original IP addresses are ALWAYS used with rules. Why? Since address translation does not take place until the packet egress the firewall.
  • The destination zone is the ONLY zone that can change from the original packet during processing.

51. How to configure HA on Palo alto firewall?

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:

  • You must enable HA on both firewalls.
  • You must configure the same Group ID value on both firewalls. The firewall uses the Group ID value to create a virtual MAC address for all the configured interfaces. See Floating IP Address and Virtual MAC Address for information about virtual MAC addresses. When a new active firewall takes over, it sends Gratuitous ARP messages from each of its connected interfaces to inform the connected Layer 2 switches of the virtual MAC address’s new location.
  • If you are using in-band ports as HA links, you must set the interfaces for the HA1 and HA2 links to type HA.
  • Set the HA Mode to Active Passive on both firewalls.
  • If required, enable preemption on both firewalls. The device priority value, however, must not be identical.
  • If required, configure encryption on the HA1 link (for communication between the HA peers) on both firewalls.
  • Based on the combination of HA1 and HA1 Backup ports you are using, use the following recommendations to decide whether you should enable heartbeat backup:
    • HA1: Dedicated HA1 port
      HA1 Backup: Dedicated HA1 port
      Recommendation: Enable Heartbeat Backup
    • HA1: Dedicated HA1 port
      HA1 Backup: In-band port
      Recommendation: Enable Heartbeat Backup
    • HA1: Dedicated HA1 port
      HA1 Backup: Management port
      Recommendation: Do not enable Heartbeat Backup
    • HA1: In-band port
      HA1 Backup: In-band port
      Recommendation: Enable Heartbeat Backup
    • HA1: Management port
      HA1 Backup: In-band port
      Recommendation: Do not enable Heartbeat Backup
52. What are different modes in which interfaces on Palo Alto can be configured?

Ans: There are four modes of interfaces as follows;

  • 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.
  • Virtual wire: In this deployment model, the firewall system is installed passively on any network segment by combing two interfaces together.
  • Layer 2 mode: In this layer mode, multiple networking interfaces will be configured into a “virtual-switch” or VLAN mode.
  • Layer 3 deployment: In this layer 3 deployments, the Palo Alto firewall routes allow traffic between multiple interfaces. The user should add the IP address to each interface.
53. What is the role of the Virtual Wire interface in the Palo Alto firewall?

Ans: A virtual wire interface allows the transmission of traffic between two interfaces by binding them together.

54. What is the function of the Zone Protection Profile?

Ans: The following are the functions of the Zone Protection Profile:

  • You will get security from attacks like a flood, reconnaissance, and packet-based attacks, among others, by using the Zone protection profile. 
  • It protects you from flood attacks such as SYN, ICMP, and UDP, among others.
  • You can defend against port scans and host sweeps with reconnaissance protection.
  • You will get protection from big ICMP packets and ICMP fragment attacks with packet-based protection.
55. What is the difference between Palo Alto NGFW and WAF?


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.

56. Explain the difference between Virtual Routers and Virtual Systems in Palo Alto?


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).

57. Difference between Pre NAT and Post NAT


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.

Palo Alto Training

Weekday / Weekend Batches

58. Which Palo Alto Networks solution targets endpoint security from Cyber-attacks?

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.

    Interested in learning palo alto Join hkr and Learn more on Palo Alto Training in Hyderabad ! 

59. Which all types of logs can be viewed on Palo Alto NGFWs?

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.

60. What are the prerequisites while configuring an HA pair?

Ans: To set up high availability on your Palo Alto Networks firewalls, you need a pair of firewalls that meet the following requirements:

  • The same model—The hardware or virtual machine models of both firewalls in the pair must be the same.
  • The same PAN-OS version—Both firewalls must be running the same PAN-OS version and have the application, URL, and threat databases up to date.
  • The same multi virtual system capability—Multi Virtual System Capability must be activated or disabled on both firewalls. Each firewall requires several virtual machine licenses when it is activated.
  • The same type of interfaces—Dedicated HA links, or a combination of the management port and in-band ports that are set to interface type HA.
    • Determine the IP address for the HA1 (control) connection between the HA peers. The HA1 IP address for both peers must be on the same subnet if they are directly connected or are connected to the same switch.

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.

  • If you use Layer 3 as the transport method for the HA2 (data) connection, determine the IP address for the HA2 link. Use Layer 3 only if the HA2 connection must communicate over a routed network. The IP subnet for the HA2 links must not overlap with that of the HA1 links or with any other subnet assigned to the data ports on the firewall.
  • The same set of licenses—Each firewall has its own license, which cannot be shared. As a result, all firewalls must have the same license. Both firewalls cannot synchronize configuration information and ensure parity for a seamless failover if they do not have the same collection of licenses.
61. What are the HA modes in which Palo Alto Firewall can be configured?

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.

62. Explain Active/Active HA in Palo Alto NGFW?

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.

63. Explain Active/Passive HA in Palo Alto NGFW


Active/Passive availability is also the stateful sessions and configuration synchronization with a few exceptions:

  • The active/passive HA is supported by the VM-Series firewalls on Azure and AWS.

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).

  • On Google Cloud Platform, the VM-Series firewall does not allow high availability.

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.

64. How many zones can an interface be part of?

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.

65. Steps to configure zone protection profiles

Ans: There are four steps to configure zone protection profiles.

  1. Configure Reconnaissance Protection.
  2. Configure Packet-Based Attack Protection.
  3. Configure Protocol Protection. 
  4. Configure Packet Buffer Protection.
66. What actions are available while filtering URLs?

Ans: The following are the actions available while filtering URLs.

  • Alert: The website is allowed and a log entry is generated in the URL filtering log. 
  • Allow: The website is allowed and no log entry is generated.
  • Block: The website is blocked and the user will see a response page and will not be able to continue to the website. A log entry is generated in the URL filtering log.
  • Continue: The user will be prompted with a response page indicating that the site has been blocked due to company policy, but the user is prompted with the option to continue to the website. 

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.

67. Steps to configure App ID and Content IDs how they can be added to the existing/new security policies


Configuration steps for App ID for adding to security policies:

  1. Traffic is matched against policy to check whether it is allowed on the network.
  2. Signatures are then applied to allowed traffic to identify the application based on unique application properties and related transaction characteristics. The signature also determines if the application is being used on its default port or it is using a non-standard port. If the traffic is allowed by policy, the traffic is then scanned for threats and further analyzed for identifying the application more granularly.
  3. If App-ID determines that encryption (SSL or SSH) is in use, and a Decryption policy rule is in place, the session is decrypted and application signatures are applied again on the decrypted flow.
  4. Decoders for known protocols are then used to apply additional context-based signatures to detect other applications that may be tunneling inside of the protocol (for example, Yahoo! Instant Messenger used across HTTP). Decoders validate that the traffic conforms to the protocol specification and provide support for NAT traversal and opening dynamic pinholes for applications such as SIP and FTP.
  5. For applications that are particularly evasive and cannot be identified through advanced signature and protocol analysis, heuristics or behavioral analysis may be used to determine the identity of the application.

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.

  1. Detect and block known and unknown threats in a single pass.
  2. Implement policy control over unapproved web surfing.
  3. Limit unauthorized transfer of files and sensitive data, such as credit card or Social Security numbers.
  4. Proactively identify and defend against unknown, new, or custom malware and exploits.
  5. Single-pass software architecture maximizes performance by scanning traffic only once, regardless of which Content-ID features are enabled.
68. By default, what is the IP address of the management port on the Palo Alto Firewall and default username/password?(optional)


  • The default IP address of the management port in Palo Alto Firewall is 
  • The username is "admin" with a password as "admin."
69. Steps to take configuration Backup of the Palo alto firewall

Ans: Palo alto firewall configuration backup:

  1. Navigate to Device -> Setup -> Operations after login into the Palo alto firewall.
  2. Click on "Save named configuration snapshot" to save the configuration locally to the Palo alto firewall.
  3. Click on "Export Named Configuration Snapshot" to take the backup of the Palo Alto Configuration file into the local PC.

70. What parameter decides a primary and secondary HA pair?

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).

71. Status of high availability to check on GUI and CLI(command needed)


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

72. How to do Stateful failover on the Palo alto firewall on the HA cluster?

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:

  • Heartbeat Polling and Hello messages.
  • Link Monitoring.
  • Link Monitoring.

73. Steps to do a Packet capture on GUI and CLI


Steps for Packet capturing in GUI:

  1. The first place to go is the Packet Capture menu on the GUI, where you can manage filters, add capture stages, and easily download captures.
  2. Before we get started, there are a few things you should know:
  • Four filters can be added with a variety of attributes.
  • Packet captures are session-based, so a single filter is capable of capturing both client2server and server2client.
  • Packets are captured on the dataplane vs on the interface (this explains the next bullet).
  • Pre-Parse Match is a feature that can capture all files before they are processed by the engines running on the dataplane, which can help troubleshoot issues where an engine may not be properly accepting an inbound packet. This option should be used only if instructed by the support and on a low volume time of day as it will capture everything.
  • When filtering is enabled, new sessions are marked for filtering and can be captured, but existing sessions are not being filtered and may need to be restarted to be able to capture them.
  • Offloaded sessions can't be captured so offloading may need to be disabled temporarily. An offloaded session will display “layer7 processing: completed” in the “show session” details.
  1. Add couple of filters.
  2. If we now switch the Filtering button to ON, the filters will be applied to any new sessions that match the criteria:
  3. A simple way to check if the filter is working is to check if global counters are increasing if a new session is initiated.

Steps for Packet capturing in CLI:

  1. From the CLI, execute this command:

> show counter global filter delta yes packet-filter yes

  1. Next you're going to configure the stages, there are four stages:
  • drop stage is where packets get discarded. The reasons may vary and, for this part, the global counters may help identify if the drop was due to a policy deny, a detected threat, or something else.
  • receive stage captures the packets as they ingress the firewall before they go into the firewall engine. When NAT is configured, these packets will be pre-NAT.
  • transmit stage captures packets how they egress out of the firewall engine. If NAT is configured, these will be post-NAT.
  • firewall stage captures packets in the firewall stage.
  1. When all the desired stages are set, you can switch the capture button to ON, or you can use the CLI, clear the existing sessions which match the filters specified. This is to make sure no session has been active since before the filters were enabled. Then use the capture on command to start the capture as displayed below.

> show session all        => Note down the session number matching the configured filters.

> clear session id   => This is to clear any existing session that matches the filters configured.

  1. You can now launch the sessions you'd like to capture. To verify if the session has started, use the show session command:

> show session all

  1. When you're done, the capture can be turned off by toggling the button back to the OFF position or using the debug command:

> 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

74. How to add a License to the Palo Alto Firewall?

Ans: Steps for activating License in Palo Alto Firewall.

  1. Locate the activation codes for the licenses you purchased.
  2. Activate your Support license.
  3. Activate each license you purchased.
  4. Verify that the license is successfully activated.
  5. Perform a commit to complete WildFire subscription activation.

75. How to do Dynamic updates and how to schedule them?

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.

76. What is a Palo Alto sinkhole?

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.

77. What kind of firewall is Palo Alto?

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.

78. What is a Tap deployment mode?

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. 

79. What is App-ID?

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. 

80. What is Palo Alto Content ID?

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.

81. Are Palo Alto updates cumulative?

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.

82. Describe the Zero Trust feedback loop architecture in Palo Alto?

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.

83. What Must Be Used In Security Policy Rule That Contains Addresses Where Nat Policy Applies?

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. 

84. What is unique about Palo Alto?

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.

85. Is Palo Alto IDS or IPS?

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.

86. What is a zero-trust approach?

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

87. What is IT OT Convergence?

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.

88. Define Backup links.

Ans. Backup Links in Palo Alto offer redundancy for the links HA1 and HA2. When there are no dedicated backup links, we can use in-band ports for backup links for both connections- HA1 & HA2.

89. Explain the basic types of NAT in Palo Alto.

Ans. The following are the basic types of NAT available in Palo Alto.:-

DIPP/Dynamic IP and Port

By using DIPP, we can convert the IP addresses of the source to the same public IP address through different port numbers. 

Static IP

This type of NAT in Palo Alto enables personalized static conversion of a source IP address. But it does not alter the existing source port.

Dynamic IP -

It enables personalized dynamic conversion of only a source IP address to the next available address within the pool of NAT addresses. 

90. What is meant by Content Update in Palo Alto?

Ans. Palo Alto Networks continuously publishes various updates that firewalls use to impose security policies without the need to change firewall configuration. These updates will enhance the firewall with updated features of security and threat intelligence. 

91. Name the various ports recommended to use in a HA pair.

Ans. The below types of ports are recommended to use in HA pairs within Palo Alto:-

HA1, HA1-A, HA1-B, HA2, HSCI, AUX-1, AUX-2, etc.

92. Define Single Pass Processing Architecture.

Ans. Palo Alto Network’s next-gen firewalls are based on SP3 architecture. It enables low latency network security and higher throughput even if we insert any other technology features. This processing type operates on a packet only one time. Also, in this single-pass processing architecture, the content is only scanned once.

93. Why do we use Security profiles in Palo Alto?

Ans. Security profile in Palo Alto is helpful to secure user data from malware or virus without impacting the firewall performance. This profile actively scans various malware/viruses in executables, PDF files, HTML, etc. There are multiple security profiles available:-

  • Antivirus profiles
  • URL filtering profiles
  • Data filtering profiles
  • Anti-spyware profiles
  • DoS protection profiles
  • File Blocking profiles

94. Define Bootstrapping in Firewall.

Ans. Bootstrapping is the process of speeding up the licensing and configuration of a firewall to make it function on the network. It can function with or without using the internet.

95. Explain the use of Captive Portal in Palo Alto.

Ans. The Captive Portal in Palo Alto is useful for building a user-to-IP mapping on the network firewall of Palo Alto. Further, the portal is triggered based on the policies of Captive Portal only for the Http or Https traffic. Also, it is triggered for the IP addresses without having user-to-IP mapping.

96. What is meant by Bidirectional NATing?

Ans. In Bidirectional NATing, both rules of automatic NAT are applied, and here both objects will convert. Thus, it will enable connectivity between two objects in both directions. Therefore, allow internal servers to pass and receive traffic through the firewall. And the bidirectional conversion remains optional only for the static NAT.

97. Define IT and OT integration in Palo Alto.

Ans. IT/OT integration in Palo Alto is the final state that organizations attempt. It combines the IT and OT technology areas instead of dividing them into multiple areas of responsibility and control.


In this blog, we have provided the most important questions possible that could be asked in the interview. Our senior resource person, who has vast experience in Palo Alto, prepared these questions. Preparing these questions before your interview might help you to clear the interview and get your desired job. Follow our page regularly to learn about different courses, training and career opportunities.

Find our upcoming Palo Alto Training Online Classes

  • Batch starts on 28th Sep 2023, Weekday batch

  • Batch starts on 2nd Oct 2023, Weekday batch

  • Batch starts on 6th Oct 2023, Fast Track batch

Global Promotional Image


Request for more information

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.