PCNSE Study Notes: Initial Configuration

Copy of PCNSE_ Study Notes

Administrative Controls

  • WebUI
  • Panorama
  • CLI

Initial Access to System

  • MGT is out of band, connected to the management plane; default IP it is []( for physical. VM is DHCP.
  • Console port (RJ45) 9600,8,N,1
  • Admin/Admin default login (nag screen until changed)
  • MGT can be set for DHCP (although Static is highly recommended)

Initial config

  • Factory Reset instructions:
  • Hostname limited to 31 characters
  • Configure new IP if needed, hostname, domain name (if wanted), and Gateway
  • MGT does updates for updates, DNS, NTP, unless done on a data port.
  • Add Service route(s) if any are needed.
  • HTTPS, SSH and Ping are enabled by default on the MGT Interface
  • Minimum MGT Config are IP Address, Netmask and Default Gateway
  • MGT port is used by default to access external management services, such as:
    • PAN Update Servers
    • NTP
    • DNS
  • Inband port can be set up to for service routes to perform these services which ports to retrieve them from if MGT port is not able to.

Configuration Management

  • Running config: active config running on the FW – running-config.xml
  • Candidate config: sandbox configuration; when a commit is done, candidate replaces the running config.
  • Previous configurations are saved. These can be reverted, exported, saved out, and imported.
  • Admin-Level commit will commit all changes made by anyone (if commit all changes is selected)
  • Config changes are logged under the admin logged in for change tracking
  • Commit locks stop other admins from committing changes
  • Config locks stop other admins from making any candidate config changes
  • Admin Locks can only be removed by the admin that put the lock in place, or by a super admin.
  • Candidate Configuration is stored on control plane memory
  • Running configuration is written to both control and dataplane memory

Licensing and Software Updates

  • Registration with PAN is first step – support page and register new device. Generally this will send an activation code to your email.
  • Retrieve License from PAN License server
  • VM’s can be downloaded from the software page after registration
  • Activate support license needed before activating other optional licenses (URL/threat/Wildfire, etc)
  • (if licensed) Set the dynamic updates for update/install on specific intervals
  • Update the Dynamic updates before upgrading the PanOS code. If no subscription, download and install manually.
  • Update the PanOS software. Steps to upgrade will likely be needed if upgrading between major versions (7.0 ->8.0 for example)

Account Administration

  • Administrators can be created with specific access, using Admin Roles.
  • External auth servers supported are LDAP, Kerberos, RADIUS, TACACS+, SAML, along with 2FA are supported.
  • For non-local admins, create an admin role profile, server profile, authentication profile. authentication sequence is optional.
  • 2 types of admin role profiles:
    • predefined dynamic profiles
      • super user, superuser(read-only), device administrator, DA (read-only), VS Admin, VS Admin (read-only).
      • administrator defined role based profiles
      • These can be granularity specified for specifically what they have access to, and functions they can change, update or view.
    • Predefined local admin accounts are:
    • super user, superuser(read-only), device administrator, DA (read-only)
    • local admin accounts can be set for minimum passwords, password aging and password complexity. Not enabled by default.
  • Creating non-local admins by creating an authentication profile.
    • Multiple servers can be used. LDAP, then RADIUS would be an example.
    • Create Server profile, then (optional) auth sequence, then authentication profile.
    • Allow list can be used for those that will be allowed to use certain auth profiles.

Viewing and Filtering Logs

  • Clicking any link in the Monitor > Traffic (or other entries) will filter the logs to only show entries with those
  • Filters can be saved and loaded for quick access


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