Working with the TechNow lab for the PA-215: Palo Alto Networks Firewall Essentials FastTrack course has been nothing less than a techie's idea of fun. When students come in we are immediatly configuring the Cisco 3750 switches for access ports, VLANS, and trunks. We then cable the switch to the Palo Alto Networks Firewall. Each student gets their own Palo Alto Firewall Pod of hardware and software. What we find as fun is the VLAN environment, with an array of virtual machines hosted on an ESXi server that can really exercise the abilities of the Palo Alto Firewall. The DMZ VLAN hosts virtual machines that support enterprise services and also potentialy vulnerable web services. The Trust VLAN has Windows and Linux clients. The UnTrust VLAN has Web services and a VM of Kali. The hardware Firewall is additionally connected to a Management VLAN. All those VLANs are trunked into an ESXi server where the student also has a VM-Series Palo Alto Networks Firewall for High Availability.
After configuring all the trunking, VLANs, and network interfaces we learn about the firewall and configure it for the lab environment. Using Metasploitable and Kali/Metasploit nefarious penetration attempts are executed. Using packet captures, custom APP-ID's and custom signatures are generated. Custom logging and reporting are created to similate and enterprise and assist the desired Incident Response. It is always fun in a training environment to learn all about the controls available in a product, even though specific controls may not be used in the operational environment. In the end we have a good understanding of the Palo Alto Networks Firewall.