Block Private Key Export

Prevent the export of private keys to secure certificates on PAN-OS devices.
You can permanently block the export of private keys for certificates when you generate them in or import them into PAN-OS or Panorama. Blocking the export of private keys from your PAN-OS devices hardens your security posture because it prevents rogue administrators or other bad actors from misusing keys. Administrators with roles that include certificate management can block the export of private keys. You can’t block keys that already exist on a device; you can only block keys at the time that you generate them in or import them into PAN-OS.
When an administrator blocks the export of a private key, no administrator can export that key, not even Superuser administrators. If you need to export a private key from a PAN-OS appliance, regenerate the certificate and the key without selecting the option to block private key export.
To downgrade to an earlier version of PAN-OS, you must first delete the certificates whose private keys are blocked. If you don’t delete the certificates whose private keys are blocked before you attempt to downgrade, an error message asks you to delete those certificates. You can’t downgrade until you delete them. After you downgrade, reimport or regenerate the deleted certificates if you need them.
If you use an enterprise Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to generate certificates and private keys, block the export of private keys because you can install them on new firewalls and Panoramas from your enterprise certificate authority (CA), so there is no reason to export them from PAN-OS.
If you generate self-signed certificates on the firewall or Panorama and apply the block private key export option, you can’t export the certificate and key to other PAN-OS appliances.
You can export and import the device state (
Device
Setup
Operations
) even if you block the export of private keys. We include the private keys in device state imports and exports, but administrators can’t read or decode them.
You can import or load the configuration of one firewall on another firewall if the master key is the same on both firewalls. If the master key is different on the firewalls, then importing or loading the configuration doesn’t work and the commit fails while reading the certificates.

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