PCNSA – 1.1

Identify the components of the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Portfolio.

Palo Alto PCNSA Study Guide v10


Strata consist of the Palo Alto Next-Generation Firewalls along with the security subscriptions that can be used on them.

Next-Generation Firewalls


The VM-Series firewalls provide all of the capabilities of the Palo Alto NGFW in a virtual format that can be used in any of the following virtualization environments.

  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cisco ACI
  • Citrix NetScaler SDX
  • Google CloudPlatform
  • Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM)
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Microsoft Azure
  • OpenStack
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • VMware ESXi
  • VMware NSX
  • VMware vCloud Air


The container native series firewall is designed specifically for use in Kubernetes environments.


The PA-Series are the physical firewall appliances.

  • PA-220
  • PA-800
  • PA-3200
  • PA-5200
  • PA-7000

Security Subscriptions

Threat Prevention (TP): This subscription adds the ability for the firewall to do IPS inspection of traffic to stop exploitation of vulnerabilities, malware protection and blocks command and control traffic.

URL Filtering (UF): Provides URL filtering using the PAN-DB. Helps to reduce infection risk from dangerous sites including phishing pages. Used with SSL/TLS decryption the PAN-DB also allows for granular control of encrypted traffic.

WildFire (WF): Uses sandbox to analyze potential day 0 threats with help from the Palo42 research group. This is similar to Cisco Talos and the threat grid service.

DNS Security Services (DNS): Block known bad domains, predict malicious traffic by ML, and identify dns tunneling.

Internet of things (IoT): IoT security provided by AI/ML analysis of data using Cortex Data Lake. Known as Device-ID on the firewall appliances.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Analyze data to prevent intellectual property, PII and other critical information from being misused, lost or stolen.

GlobalProtect (GP): Provides IPSec or TLS VPN connectivity along with allowing remote traffic to be analyzed.

SD-WAN: Use multiple internet and private services for a dynamic WAN that responds to network conditions controlled by Panorama.

Panorama: Centralized management of PaloAlto appliances and software. Some features include license management, log aggregation, User-ID sharing between devices.


Prisma provides security services through Palo Alto’s cloud infrastructure.

Prisma Cloud

Prisma Cloud is a Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP). Prisma Cloud uses APIs from cloud providers to get read-only access to traffic, activity and configuration.

  • Provides visibility to SecOps and DevOps
  • Provides cloud vendor-agnostic capabilities to respond to threats
  • Automate remediation and enforcement of cloud best practices
  • Prevent alert fatigue through the integration of the entire lifecycle
  • Prisma Cloud secures the following infrastructures:
    • Alibaba Cloud
    • Amazon Web Services
    • Docker EE
    • Google CloudPlatform
    • IBM Cloud
    • Kubernetes
    • Microsoft Azure
    • Rancher
    • Red Hat OpenShift
    • VMware Tanzu

Prisma Access (SASE)

Delivers a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) through the Prisma cloud to any worker. This includes services like sd-wan, secure web filtering, CASB, DNS protection and firewalling.

Prisma SaaS (formerly known as Aperture)

Prisma SaaS is a CASB service to protect company’s assets in cloud applications like O365 and Google Workspace.