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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Palo Alto?
3.
Commonly Asked Palo Alto Interview Questions
3.1.
1. Name the different deployment modes in Palo Alto?
3.2.
2. What type of firewall is in Palo Alto?
3.3.
3. What is the procedure for adding a license to the Palo Alto Firewall?
3.4.
4. What are the different types of linkages used in Palo Alto to establish HA?
3.5.
5. What are the functionalities supported by Palo Alto in the virtual wire mode?
3.6.
6. Mention the command used to show the maximum size of a log file.
3.7.
7. How does Panorama handle the new logs if the storage limit for a log file has been reached?
3.8.
8. What are the default IP and the login credentials for Palo Alto Firewall’s administration port?
3.9.
9. What are the various states of the HA Firewall?
3.10.
10. What are the various URL filtering options?
3.11.
11. What are the different types of test commands used to verify the working of the policies in Palo Alto?
3.12.
12. What are the different types of media supported by Palo Alto firewall support?
3.13.
13. What virtualization platform supports Palo Alto network deployments?
3.14.
14. Name some of the port numbers used in HA.
3.15.
15. What are the advantages of Panorama in Palo Alto?
3.16.
16. What is the difference between PAN-OS and Palo Alto Networks hardware platforms?
3.17.
17. What is the purpose of a Palo Alto Networks firewall in a network infrastructure?
3.18.
18. How does the Palo Alto firewall handle traffic inspection and packet filtering?
3.19.
19. Describe the concept of security zones and their significance in Palo Alto firewalls.
3.20.
20. What are Application IDs, and how are they different from Port Numbers in Palo Alto firewalls?
3.21.
21. How do you configure URL Filtering and Threat Prevention on a Palo Alto firewall?
3.22.
22. What is the purpose of User-ID in Palo Alto Networks firewalls, and how do you integrate it with Active Directory?
3.23.
23. Explain the difference between static and dynamic IP addresses, and how they are handled in Address Objects on a Palo Alto firewall.
3.24.
24. How do you set up and configure Site-to-Site VPN on a Palo Alto Networks firewall?
3.25.
25. What are the benefits of using SSL Decryption on a Palo Alto firewall, and how do you configure it?
3.26.
26. What is the purpose of Application Override in Palo Alto firewalls, and when is it used?
3.27.
27. How do you troubleshoot connectivity issues on a Palo Alto firewall using the CLI and GUI tools?
3.28.
28. Explain the use of Dynamic Address Groups and how they simplify policy management on a Palo Alto firewall.
3.29.
29. Describe the process of creating Security Policies on a Palo Alto firewall and the order of evaluation.
3.30.
30. What are the considerations and best practices for performing PAN-OS upgrades on Palo Alto firewalls?
3.31.
31. What is the advantage of Palo Alto SP3 architecture?
3.32.
32. Which address is used in the security policy?
3.33.
33. What is the pre-configured mode in Palo Alto?
3.34.
34. What is Virtual Router?
3.35.
35. What are the different types of log types in Palo Alto?
3.36.
36. What is supported by the GlobalProtect VPN?
3.37.
37. Explain the Application Command Center(ACC)
3.38.
38. What is the purpose of the Application Override in Palo Alto?
3.39.
39. What are the primary NAT types in Palo Alto?
3.40.
40. What is Auto Focus in Palo Alto?
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
How do I prepare for a Palo Alto interview?
4.2.
What are the 3 pillars of Palo Alto Networks strategy?
4.3.
What is HA1 and HA2 in Palo Alto?
4.4.
How many modes are in Palo Alto firewall?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024
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Palo Alto Interview Questions and Answers

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Introduction

Palo Alto is a multinational cybersecurity company based in Santa Clara, California. Palo Alto is an enterprise cybersecurity platform. Palo Alto provides network security, endpoint protection, cloud security, and several other cloud-delivered security services. There are a series of Palo Alto interview questions used to check and test the students. In this blog, we will look at a series of Palo Alto interview questions and discuss their solutions.

Palo Alto Interview Questions

What is Palo Alto?

Palo Alto Networks is a multinational cybersecurity company based in Santa Clara, California, that specializes in developing and selling advanced firewalls and security systems to protect networks and devices from cyber threats. The company was founded in 2005 by Nir Zuk, a former engineer at Check Point Software Technologies, and has grown to become one of the leading cybersecurity companies in the world, with offices and customers in over 150 countries.

Palo Alto Networks offers a range of products and services, including firewalls, cloud security, endpoint protection, threat intelligence, and security analytics. The company's products are used by a variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and small businesses, to protect their networks and data from cyber-attacks.

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Commonly Asked Palo Alto Interview Questions

1. Name the different deployment modes in Palo Alto?

Palo Alto uses four different types of deployment modes, namely.

  • Virtual Deployment Mode
  • Layer 2 Deployment Mode
  • Layer 3 Deployment Mode
  • Tap Deployment Mode

2. What type of firewall is in Palo Alto?

Palo Alto uses a stateful firewall. A stateful firewall is used because all the traffic can be routed through the Palo Alto servers and then can be compared against a session. 

3. What is the procedure for adding a license to the Palo Alto Firewall?

Users can easily activate the license for a Palo Alto Firewall using the following steps,

  • First, the user will have to locate the purchased license activation codes.
  • Then the user will have to activate the support subscription.
  • Now the user will have to activate each of the bought licenses. Users can activate the license from the Licence heading under the Device page. 
  • Now the user will have to verify if the license is active. Users can verify the same using the Licence heading under the Device page.
  • If the user has chosen the WildFire subscription, they will now have to complete the WildFire subscription activation.

4. What are the different types of linkages used in Palo Alto to establish HA?

There are four linkages used in Palo Alto to establish HA,

  • Back-up Links
  • HA2 or Data Link
  • HA1 or Control Link
  • Packet Forwarding Links

5. What are the functionalities supported by Palo Alto in the virtual wire mode?

Palo Alto provides a bunch of functionalities in the virtual wire mode, such as,

  • NAT
  • App-ID
  • Decryption
  • User-ID
  • Content-ID

6. Mention the command used to show the maximum size of a log file.

We can use the following command to fetch the maximum size of a log file,

show logdb-quota on the system

7. How does Panorama handle the new logs if the storage limit for a log file has been reached?

Once the storage limit for the log file has been reached, Panorama automatically starts making more space in the log file by deleting older records. Panorama has an automated feature to fetch the storage limit of the log file.

8. What are the default IP and the login credentials for Palo Alto Firewall’s administration port?

Believe it or not, this is one of the frequently asked Palo Alto interview questions, and the answer is quite simple. So the default IP and login credentials for Palo Alto Firewall’s administration port are,

  • Default IP: 192.168.1.1
  • Username: “admin”
  • Password: “admin”

9. What are the various states of the HA Firewall?

In total, there are eight states of the HA firewall, namely,

  • Initial
  • Passive
  • Active
  • Active-Primary
  • Active-Secondary
  • Tentative
  • Non-Functional
  • Suspended

10. What are the various URL filtering options?

This is one of the most commonly asked Palo Alto interview questions. There are various types of URL filtering, such as,

  • Allow: The user can access the website without any restriction, and no log is created.
  • Alert: In this filtering, the website is allowed, but a log is created in the filtering log.
  • Block: In this case, the website will be completely blocked off, and the user will not be able to access it.
  • Continue: In this scenario, the user will be redirected to a warning page, but the user may choose to continue to the website.
  • Override: In this scenario, the user will be redirected to a warning page, and the user will need an override password to proceed to the website.
  • None: This type of filtering action will affect only the custom URL categories.

11. What are the different types of test commands used to verify the working of the policies in Palo Alto?

The test commands are used to verify whether a policy is working correctly or not. Some of the test commands for different policies are,

  • Testing an Authentication Policy Rule: test authentication-policy-match
  • Testing a Security Policy Rule: test security-policy-match
  • Testing a Decryption Policy Rule: test decryption-policy-match

12. What are the different types of media supported by Palo Alto firewall support?

The Palo Alto Network firewalls can support Copper and Fiber optic media. Firewalls use a combination of copper and fiber optic media to accommodate different network environments and provide flexibility in connectivity. Each type of media has its strengths and use cases, and using both allows firewalls to cater to various networking requirements.

13. What virtualization platform supports Palo Alto network deployments?

The Palo Alto network deployments are supported by the Palo Alto VM-series virtualization platforms.

You can also check this out: Embedded Interview Questions

14. Name some of the port numbers used in HA.

This is one of the tricky Palo Alto interview questions. Some of the port numbers used in HA are,

  • The control link or HA1 uses TCP 28769 and TCP28260 for communication between HA peer firewalls.
  • The control link or HA1 uses TCP 28 for secure communication between HA peer firewalls.
  • The backup link or HA2 uses TCP 28770
  • TCP 28771 is also used by the backup link to backup heartbeats.
  • IP 99 and UDP 29281 are used to synchronize sessions.

15. What are the advantages of Panorama in Palo Alto?

This is one of the most essential Palo Alto interview questions. So some of the advantages of using Panorama are,

  • Panorama is used to provide distributed administration.
  • Panorama also helps provide a centralized configuration system.
  • We can view a graphical representation of the applications in the network using Panorama.
  • Panorama helps in the analysis of the data by providing central oversight.
  • Users can analyze, report, and evaluate the security issues, network traffic, and administrative changes from one centralized location using Panorama.

16. What is the difference between PAN-OS and Palo Alto Networks hardware platforms?

PAN-OS is the operating system software that runs on Palo Alto firewalls. Palo Alto Networks hardware platforms are the physical devices that host the PAN-OS software.

17. What is the purpose of a Palo Alto Networks firewall in a network infrastructure?

The purpose of a Palo Alto Networks firewall is to protect the network from security threats by monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing traffic, ensuring only authorized and safe data can pass through.

18. How does the Palo Alto firewall handle traffic inspection and packet filtering?

The Palo Alto firewall inspects network traffic. It looks for specific applications, users, and threats. It filters packets based on security policies to allow or block traffic as per predefined rules.

19. Describe the concept of security zones and their significance in Palo Alto firewalls.

Security zones in Palo Alto firewalls group network segments based on trust levels. They help control communication between different zones to enhance network security.

20. What are Application IDs, and how are they different from Port Numbers in Palo Alto firewalls?

Application IDs in Palo Alto firewalls identify specific applications (like WhatsApp or Skype), regardless of the port number they use. Unlike traditional port numbers, which only identify protocols, application IDs offer better control over application traffic.

Also read - active and passive attacks

21. How do you configure URL Filtering and Threat Prevention on a Palo Alto firewall?

To configure URL Filtering and Threat Prevention, you set up security policies and profiles that specify what URLs are allowed or blocked and define rules for detecting and preventing threats.

22. What is the purpose of User-ID in Palo Alto Networks firewalls, and how do you integrate it with Active Directory?

User ID connects network activity to specific users. It integrates with Active Directory to associate IP addresses with user names, enabling granular control based on users.

23. Explain the difference between static and dynamic IP addresses, and how they are handled in Address Objects on a Palo Alto firewall.

Static IP addresses stay the same, while dynamic IP addresses may change. In Address Objects, you can define both types to represent specific hosts or networks for easier management.

24. How do you set up and configure Site-to-Site VPN on a Palo Alto Networks firewall?

To set up Site-to-Site VPN, you create VPN tunnels and configure the necessary encryption and authentication settings to allow secure communication between two networks.

25. What are the benefits of using SSL Decryption on a Palo Alto firewall, and how do you configure it?

SSL Decryption allows inspecting encrypted traffic for threats. To configure it, you need to set up certificates and policies to decrypt and inspect SSL/TLS-encrypted traffic.

26. What is the purpose of Application Override in Palo Alto firewalls, and when is it used?

Application Override allows treating a specific application differently than its default classification. It is used when you want to apply unique security policies to a particular application.

27. How do you troubleshoot connectivity issues on a Palo Alto firewall using the CLI and GUI tools?

You can use CLI commands like "ping" and "show" to check the status, logs, and configuration. The GUI offers visual tools like the "Traffic" and "Monitor" tabs to troubleshoot issues.

28. Explain the use of Dynamic Address Groups and how they simplify policy management on a Palo Alto firewall.

Dynamic Address Groups automatically include IP addresses based on predefined criteria (e.g., AD groups). They simplify policy management by dynamically updating the group without manual intervention.

29. Describe the process of creating Security Policies on a Palo Alto firewall and the order of evaluation.

Creating Security Policies involves defining rules that specify what traffic is allowed or blocked. The firewall evaluates policies in top-down order, stopping at the first matching rule.

30. What are the considerations and best practices for performing PAN-OS upgrades on Palo Alto firewalls?

Best practices include backing up configurations, reviewing release notes, and scheduling upgrades during maintenance windows to minimize disruptions.

31. What is the advantage of Palo Alto SP3 architecture?

SP3 stands for Single Pass Parallel Processing. Some of the advantages of using SP3 architecture are,

  • It is used to activate security functions
  • SP3 provides easy management of firewall policy
  • SP3 has provisions for single and fully integrated policies
  • SP3 has a very low latency
  • SP3 has a very high throughput

32. Which address is used in the security policy?

We need to use the Post-NAT zone and the Pre-NAT address in the security policy.

33. What is the pre-configured mode in Palo Alto?

Virtual Wire is the pre-configured mode in Palo Alto

34. What is Virtual Router?

A Virtual Router is nothing but a function of the Palo Alto Firewall. Virtual Router is part of the Layer 3 routing.

35. What are the different types of log types in Palo Alto?

Users can view the following types of log types,

  • Threat Log
  • URL Filtering Logs
  • Data Filtering Logs
  • Tunnel Inspection Logs
  • HIP Match Logs
  • SCTP Logs
  • Alarm Logs
  • Traffic Logs
  • WildFire Submissions Logs
  • Correlation Logs
  • Unified Logs
  • GTP Logs
  • System Logs
  • Configuration Logs

36. What is supported by the GlobalProtect VPN?

The GlobalProtect VPN supports the SSL VPN. It also provides access to the application in the data center.

37. Explain the Application Command Center(ACC)

The ACC or Application Command Center is used to provide visibility into the traffic patterns. It is also used to provide information on the threats using firewall logs.

38. What is the purpose of the Application Override in Palo Alto?

The Application Override in Palo Alto is used to override the Application-ID or App-ID for specific traffic through the firewall.

39. What are the primary NAT types in Palo Alto?

There are three primary NAT types in Palo Alto,

  • Dynamic IP and Port(DIPP)
  • Dynamic IP
  • Static IP

40. What is Auto Focus in Palo Alto?

In Palo Alto, AutoFocus is a cloud-based threat intelligence tool. Auto Focus is used to detect acute attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a Palo Alto interview?

  1. Study Palo Alto Networks products and services.
  2. Review network security concepts.
  3. Be ready for technical questions and troubleshooting scenarios.
  4. Highlight relevant experience and certifications.
  5. Practice behavioral questions.

What are the 3 pillars of Palo Alto Networks strategy?

Palo Alto Networks' strategy consists of three pillars: Prevention (proactive security), Zero Trust (verification and authentication), and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) for cloud-delivered security services.

What is HA1 and HA2 in Palo Alto?

In Palo Alto Networks, HA1 is the control link for synchronization, and HA2 is the data link for maintaining session information between active and passive firewall units in high availability (HA) setups.

How many modes are in Palo Alto firewall?

Palo Alto Networks firewalls operate in six primary modes: Virtual Wire, Layer 2, Layer 3, Virtual Router, GlobalProtect, and Tap Mode, each catering to specific network and security needs.

Conclusion

This blog contained a series of Palo Alto Interview Questions, essential concepts, real-world implementations, and recommended practises for answering palo alto interview questions. The blog also has sweet and to-the-point answers for the mentioned Palo Alto Interview Questions. Do check out our blogs on object-oriented programming and data structures

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