Certificate Deployment

The basic approaches to deploy certificates for Palo Alto Networks firewalls or Panorama are:
  • Obtain certificates from a trusted third-party CA
    —The benefit of obtaining a certificate from a trusted third-party certificate authority (CA) such as VeriSign or GoDaddy is that end clients will already trust the certificate because common browsers include root CA certificates from well-known CAs in their trusted root certificate stores. Therefore, for applications that require end clients to establish secure connections with the firewall or Panorama, purchase a certificate from a CA that the end clients trust to avoid having to pre-deploy root CA certificates to the end clients. (Some such applications are a GlobalProtect portal or GlobalProtect Mobile Security Manager.) However, most third-party CAs cannot issue signing certificates. Therefore, this type of certificate is not appropriate for applications (for example, SSL/TLS decryption and large-scale VPN) that require the firewall to issue certificates. See Obtain a Certificate from an External CA.
  • Obtain certificates from an enterprise CA
    —Enterprises that have their own internal CA can use it to issue certificates for firewall applications and import them onto the firewall. The benefit is that end clients probably already trust the enterprise CA. You can either generate the needed certificates and import them onto the firewall, or generate a certificate signing request (CSR) on the firewall and send it to the enterprise CA for signing. The benefit of this method is that the private key does not leave the firewall. An enterprise CA can also issue a signing certificate, which the firewall uses to automatically generate certificates (for example, for GlobalProtect large-scale VPN or sites requiring SSL/TLS decryption). See Import a Certificate and Private Key.
  • Generate self-signed certificates
    —You can Create a Self-Signed Root CA Certificate on the firewall and use it to automatically issue certificates for other firewall applications.
    If you use this method to generate certificates for an application that requires an end client to trust the certificate, end users will see a certificate error because the root CA certificate is not in their trusted root certificate store. To prevent this, deploy the self-signed root CA certificate to all end user systems. You can deploy the certificates manually or use a centralized deployment method such as an Active Directory Group Policy Object (GPO).

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