Policy Object: Applications
Network Security

Policy Object: Applications

Table of Contents

Policy Object: Applications

Where Can I Use This?
What Do I Need?
  • NGFW (Cloud Managed)
  • NGFW (PAN-OS & Panorama Managed)
  • Prisma Access (Cloud Management)
  • Prisma Access (Panorama Managed)
Check for any license or role requirements for the products you're using:
  • Prisma Access
    license or AIOps for NGFW license
Your network traffic is automatically classified into applications that you can use to build a versatile security policy based on your business needs (for example, allow Slack messages but block file transfers). The Applications object lists various attributes of each application definition, such as the application’s relative security risk (1 to 5). The risk value is based on criteria such as whether the application can share files, is prone to misuse, or tries to evade being detected. Higher values indicate higher risk.
To configure this and any other Object settings, go to:
  • Manage
    NGFW and
    Prisma Access
    on Cloud Managed deployments, and select the object you want to configure.
  • Objects
    on PAN-OS and Panorama Managed deployments, and select the object you want to configure from the panel on the left.
On the application page, you can:
  • Learn about applications, including their behavioral characteristics and risk level. This list includes over 3000 well-known and commercially available applications.
  • Create custom applications based on application characteristics or behavior. Create custom applications to classify internal applications (a custom payroll app), special interest applications (an annual sports event), or a nested application (classify a function separately from the parent application, like Facebook’s Words with Friends). Custom applications can be global or they can be applied only to specific mobile user, remote network, and service connection locations (the
    column indicates the deployment types that can use the custom app).

Applications Fields

Here are the various applications fields. Custom applications and Palo Alto® Networks applications might display some or all of these fields.
Application Details
Name of the application.
Description of the application (up to 255 characters).
Additional Information
Links to web sources (Wikipedia, Google, and Yahoo!) that contain additional information about the application.
Standard Ports
Ports that the application uses to communicate with the network.
Depends on
List of other applications that are required for this application to run. When creating a policy rule to allow the selected application, you must also be sure that you are allowing any other applications that the application depends on.
Implicitly Uses
Other applications that the selected application depends on but that you do not need to add to your Security policy rules to allow the selected application because those applications are supported implicitly.
Previously Identified As
For a new App-ID™, or App-IDs that are changed, this indicates what the application was previously identified as. This helps you assess whether policy changes are required based on changes in the application. If an App-ID is disabled, sessions associated with that application will match policy as the previously identified as application. Similarly, disabled App-IDs will appear in logs as the application they were previous identified as.
Deny Action
App-IDs are developed with a default deny action that dictates the response when the application is included in a Security policy rule with a deny action. The default deny action can specify either a silent drop or a TCP reset. You can override this default action in Security policy.
Uses a port or protocol for something other than its originally intended purpose with the hope that it will not get detected.
Excessive Bandwidth
Consumes at least 1 Mbps on a regular basis through normal use.
Prone to Misuse
Often used for nefarious purposes or is easily set up to expose more than the user intended.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is characterized as a service where the software and infrastructure are owned and managed by the application service provider but where you retain full control of the data, including who can create, access, share, and transfer the data.
Keep in mind that in the context of how an application is characterized, SaaS applications differ from web services. Web services are hosted applications where either the user doesn’t own the data (for example, Pandora) or where the service is primarily comprised of sharing data fed by many subscribers for social purposes (for example, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook).
Capable of File Transfer
Has the capability to transfer a file from one system to another over a network.
Tunnels Other Applications
Is able to transport other applications inside its protocol.
Used by Malware
Malware has been known to use the application for propagation, attack, or data theft, or is distributed with malware.
Has Known Vulnerabilities
Has publicly reported vulnerabilities.
Likely has more than 1,000,000 users.
Continue Scanning for Other Applications
Continue to try and match against other application signatures. If you do not select this option, additional application matches will not be sought out after the first matching signature.
SaaS Characteristics
Data Breaches
Applications that may have released secure information to an untrusted source within the past three years.
Poor Terms of Service
Applications with unfavorable terms of service that can compromise enterprise data.
No Certifications
Applications lacking current compliance to industry programs or certifications such as SOC1, SOC2, SSAE16, PCI, HIPAA, FINRAA, or FEDRAMP.
Poor Financial Viability
Applications with the potential to be out of business within the next 18 to 24 months.
No IP Restrictions
Applications without IP-based restrictions for user access.
The application category will be one of the following:
  • business-systems
  • collaboration
  • general-internet
  • media
  • networking
  • unknown
The subcategory in which the application is classified. Different categories have different subcategories associated with them. For example, subcategories in the collaboration category include email, file-sharing, instant-messaging, Internet-conferencing, social-business, social-networking, voip-video, and web-posting. Whereas, subcategories in the business-systems category include auth-service, database, erp-crm, general-business, management, office-programs, software-update, and storage-backup.
The application technology will be one of the following:
  • client-server: An application that uses a client-server model where one or more clients communicate with a server in the network.
  • network-protocol: An application that is generally used for system-to-system communication that facilitates network operation. This includes most of the IP protocols.
  • peer-to-peer: An application that communicates directly with other clients to transfer information instead of relying on a central server to facilitate the communication.
  • browser-based: An application that relies on a web browser to function.
Assigned risk of the application.
Tags assigned to an application.
Edit tags to add or remove tags for an application.
Session Timeout
Period of time, in seconds, required for the application to time out due to inactivity (range is 1-604800 seconds). This timeout is for protocols other than TCP or UDP. For TCP and UDP, refer to the next rows in this table.
TCP Timeout (seconds)
Timeout, in seconds, for terminating a TCP application flow (range is 1-604800).
A value of 0 indicates that the global session timer will be used, which is 3600 seconds for TCP.
UDP Timeout (seconds):
Timeout, in seconds, for terminating a UDP application flow (range is 1-604800 seconds).
TCP Half Closed (seconds)
Maximum length of time, in seconds, that a session remains in the session table between receiving the first FIN packet and receiving the second FIN packet or RST packet. If the timer expires, the session is closed (range is 1-604800).
Default: If this timer is not configured at the application level, the global setting is used.
If this value is configured at the application level, it overrides the global TCP Half Closed setting.
TCP Time Wait (seconds)
Maximum length of time, in seconds, that a session remains in the session table after receiving the second FIN packet or a RST packet. If the timer expires, the session is closed (range is 1-600).
Default: If this timer is not configured at the application level, the global setting is used.
If this value is configured at the application level, it overrides the global TCP Time Wait setting.
App-ID Enabled
Indicates whether the App-ID is enabled or disabled. If an App-ID is disabled, traffic for that application will be treated as the Previously Identified As App-ID in both Security policy and in logs. For applications added after content release version 490, you have the ability to disable them while you review the policy impact of the new app. After reviewing policy, you may choose to enable the App-ID. You also have the ability to disable an application that you have previously enabled. On a multi-vsys, you can disable App-IDs separately in each virtual system.

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