To protect against security risks in this internet age, it's critical to ensure that your organization is adequately secured across networks, cloud, and mobile devices. Palo Alto Networks' integrated platform makes it simple to manage network and cloud security, as well as endpoint protection with a variety of security services.
The demand for Network security professionals is great and is in short supply. If you’re good at firewall fundamentals, then you can easily grab better networking jobs in reputed organizations. The Palo Alto Firewall interview questions and answers listed below will provide you with a strong foundation in cybersecurity.
We have categorized Palo Alto Interview Questions - 2023 (Updated) into 2 levels they are:
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A stateful firewall means all the traffic that is transmitted through the firewall is matched against a session. Also, each session is matched against a security policy as well.
Palo Alto has everything that is needed to call it the next-generation firewall. It has an intrusion prevention system. It also has application control features. In terms of delivery, it is much different from other vendors. It delivers the next-generation features using a single platform.
The following are the advantages of Single Pass Parallel Processing (SP3) architecture:
Palo Alto provides the visibility that is needed by Splunk to provide actionable and usable insights. Both Palo Alto and Splunk work together to keep the network secure.
Activities such as signature process and network processing are implemented on software in PA-200 and PA-500. However, the higher models contain a dedicated hardware processor.
You need to use the Pre-NAT address and Post-Nat zone.
When there is a need for the internal resources on a trust zone to access DMZ resources using public IP addresses of an untrusted zone, the U-turn NAT is applicable.
The Tap deployment mode is the one, which allows monitoring of traffic passively across the network. It uses a tap or switch SPAN/mirror port for this purpose.
In the Virtual ware deployment mode, the firewall is installed transparently on a network segment. The installation will be done by binding two interfaces into a single set.
In the Layer2 deployment mode, multiple interfaces are configured into a virtual switch or VLAN in L2 mode.
In the Layer3 deployment mode, traffic is routed by a firewall across multiple interfaces. To do this, each interface needs to be assigned an IP address. Besides, a virtual router also needs to be defined to route the traffic.
Palo Alto comes with Virtual Wire mode by default.
When in Virtual Wire mode, Palo Alto supports features such as
App-ID is the short form for Application Identification. It is the main component in Palo Alto. The responsibility of App-ID is to identify the applications, which traverse the firewalls independently.
There are multiple benefits to using Panorama. Some of these benefits include:
The following are the main areas in which Panorama adds value:
U-turn NAT is a logical path used in a network. In U-turn NAT, the users have to access the internal DMZ server. For this purpose, they use the external IP address of that server.
A virtual router is a function of the firewall, which is a part of Layer 3 routing.
A virtual system is an exclusive and logical firewall in Palo Alto. Being an independent firewall, the traffic in a virtual system is kept separate.
Endpoint security ensures the protection of individual access points in the network and sensitive data. It is a process, which illustrates techniques, tools, and applications or products, which can be used to protect devices including computer systems, laptops, smartphones, etc.
Single-pass processing architecture operates only once on a packet. Similarly, activities such as policy lookup, application identification, networking functions, and decoding, and signature matching are also will be performed only once when a packet is processed. Even the content is also scanned only once in the Single-pass processing architecture.
Using the Zone protection profile, you can get protection from attacks such as flood, reconnaissance, and packet-based attacks, etc. It provides you protection from flood attacks such as SYN, ICMP, and UDP, etc. The reconnaissance protection enables you to defend against port scans and host sweeps. In the case of packet-based protection, you can get protection from large ICMP packets and ICMP fragment attacks.
WAF is the short form of a Web Application Firewall. It monitors web applications for security issues, which may arise due to errors in the code.
You can view
Palo Alto Wirefire highlights the threats that need more attention using a threat intelligence prioritization feature called AutoFocus. It is a cloud-based service, which provides malware sandboxing.
These are the modes in which Palo Alto can be configured. Here is a brief of these modes:
HA1 and HA2 have dedicated HA ports. HA1 is a control link whereas HA2 is a data link. These links are used by firewalls to synchronize the data and maintain state information.
HA is the short form of High Availability. The HA is a deployment type in which two firewalls are placed together and configuration is synchronized. This is done to prevent a single point of failure in the network. This HA deployment enables redundancy and ensures the continuity of the business. In case, one firewall fails, the other one ensures maintaining the security of the traffic.
The high-availability feature on the PA-200 is called HA Lite in Palo Alto. The HA Lite provides a lighter version of HA capabilities. Some of the capabilities of HA Lite include - DHCP Lease information, PPPoE lease information, A/P High Availability without session sync, Failover of IPSec Tunnels, Configuration sync, and Layer 3 forwarding tables. Some of the features that are not available in HA include – Jumbo Frames, Link Aggregation, A/A High Availability, and A/P High Availability with session synchronization.
GlobalProtect agent is used in Remote User-to-Site VPN deployment. It is used to enable the remote user to establish a secure connection through the firewall.
Palo Alto Networks firewall supports two media types, which include copper and fiber optic.
The recommended ports to be used in a HA are:
It is a Layer 1 SFP+ interface. In a HA configuration, this port connects two PA-3200 series firewalls. This port can be used for HA2 and HA3 connections. Raw layer 1 traffic is transmitted on the HSCI ports.
This GlobalProtect VPN supports clientless SSL VPN and provides access to the applications in the data center.
The log forwarding options supported in Palo Alto include the following:
A virtual wire interface allows the transmission of traffic between two interfaces by binding them together.
The Application Command Center provides visibility into traffic patterns and actionable information on threats by using the firewall logs.
Application override is used to override the App-ID (normal Application Identification) of specific traffic transmitted through the firewall.
AutoFocus is a threat intelligence service, which provides easier identification of critical attacks so that effective action can be taken without the need for additional resources.
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The Application Incomplete can be understood as - either the three-way TCP handshake is not completed or it is completed but there was no data to identify the application after the handshake.
In Palo Alto, the logical path where traffic appears when accessing an internal resource and resolving their exterior address is referred to as U-Turn NAT. Internal users need to reach an internal DMZ server utilizing the external public IP address of the servers.
App-ID allows you to view the programs on your network and learn about their functionality, behavioral traits, and risk level. Multiple techniques, such as application signatures, decryption (if necessary), protocol decoding, and heuristics, are used to identify applications and application services. This enables fine-grained management, such as permitting only sanctioned Office 365 accounts or allowing Slack for instant messaging but not file transmission.
Content-ID combines a real-time threat prevention engine with a large URL database and application identification features to:
Data and file transfers that aren't authorized should be limited.
Exploits, malware, and malware communications should all be detected and blocked.
Regulate unapproved internet usage
App-application ID's visibility and control, along with Content-content ID's inspection, allow your IT team to recover control over application traffic and related content.
The high-availability feature of the PA-200 is referred to as HA-Lite. It provides a slimmed-down version of the HA features present on other Palo Alto Networks hardware platforms. Because there are just a few ports available for synchronization on PA-200s, a HA’s limited version is required.
Palo Alto Networks' VM-Series is a virtualized next-generation firewall that runs on our PAN-OSTM operating system. The VM-Series recognizes, manages, and safely enables intra-host communications, and includes the following virtualization security features.
The industry's most advanced analysis and prevention engine for highly evasive zero-day vulnerabilities and malware is Palo Alto Networks® WildFire® cloud-based threat analysis service.
Through dynamic updates, Palo Alto Networks regularly publishes new and modified programs, threat protection, and GlobalProtect data files. Without requiring configuration changes, the firewall may retrieve these updates and use them to enforce rules.
Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls now include the most up-to-date threat prevention and application identification technology, thanks to upgrades to the Applications and Threats content. The firewall receives the most up-to-date application and threat signatures via content updates for Applications and Threats.
Furthermore, content updates are cumulative, which means that the most recent content update always incorporates all previous versions' application and threat signatures.
AutoFocus is a cloud-based threat intelligence tool that helps you quickly detect critical attacks so you can properly triage and respond without requiring additional IT resources.
The DNS sinkhole allows the Palo Alto Networks device to fabricate a response to a DNS query for a known malicious domain/URL, causing the malicious domain name to resolve to a client-defined IP address (fake IP).
Dynamic IP and Port (DIPP) - Multiple hosts can have their source IP addresses converted to the same public IP address with varying port numbers using Dynamic IP and Port (DIPP).
Dynamic IP - Allows one-to-one dynamic translation of a source IP address alone (no port number) to the NAT address pool's next available address.
Static IP - Allows a one-to-one static translation of a source IP address, but does not change the source port.
The destination addresses and ports of packets are translated by destination NAT. Source NAT converts private IP addresses to public IP addresses so that intranet users can access the Internet using public IP addresses.
Tap mode: With the use of a tap or switch SPAN/mirror port, users can observe any form of traffic flow throughout the networking system.
Virtual Wire: The firewall system is installed passively on any network segment using this deployment model, which combines two interfaces.
Layer 2 mode: Multiple networking interfaces will be configured into a "virtual-switch" or VLAN mode in this layer mode.
Layer 3 deployment: The Palo Alto firewall routes allow traffic to flow between various interfaces in this layer 3 deployment. The IP address should be added to each interface by the user.
Palo Alto Networks' products offer unparalleled insight into network traffic and malicious activities, both in the network and on the endpoint. When this visibility is combined with Splunk, a client may do correlations and analyses on a variety of data types. Correlations can be made between multiple types of Palo Alto Networks data, such as comparing Wildfire reports to traffic logs to find infected hosts or firewall logs to endpoint logs. But correlations and analyses across various sources of data and vendors, such as correlating firewall logs with web server logs or advanced endpoint security logs with Windows event logs, are where Splunk's true power lies.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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