In 2021, I began working more closely with Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls. This blog became my study guide. This has led me to begin studying for the Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Administrator (PCNSA).
As I study for the PCNSA certification, I will be documenting my notes and labbing as much as possible with a PA-820 firewall.
Below are links to the various blog posts I used to study for PCNSA. I’ll also include videos to the labs I perform. Use my notes as your study guide for the PCNSA. Good luck!
After spending months studying, taking notes, and doing numerous labs, I was able to pass the PCNSA exam and obtain my certification.
To understand Palo Alto Networks means knowing what the 3 components that build the Palo Alto Networks portfolio. This one will take me a while to memorize but I’ve outlined what those 3 components are for the first objective of the PCNSA.
The Next-Generation firewall (NGFW) from Palo Alto Networks has a specific type of architecture that apparently beats out all the competitors. Learn what Single-Pass Parallel Architecture (SP3) is and how it differs from the rest.
Get familiar with staging a Palo Alto Networks NGFW for the very first time. Learn how to access the management port for configuration of the firewall.
Understand how to upgrade the software version of a Palo Alto Networks firewall. There’s a level of prep work and menus you should learn for the PCNSA certification.
You’ve gained access to your firewall, now it’s time to learn about the different ways you can manage it. Whether you’re using the web interface, command line interface, API, or Panorama. Understand these methods. Also learn how to secure management access using interface management profiles. This is an objective for the PCNSA.
It’s time to lock down the firewall by defining secure administrator accounts. Not every firewall administrator needs to have full access. We can limit what an administrator can perform by defining custom Role-Based Access Control roles or Admin Roles.