Set Up Antivirus, Anti-Spyware, and Vulnerability Protection

Every Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewall comes with predefined Antivirus, Anti-Spyware, and Vulnerability Protection profiles that you can attach to Security policy rules. There is one predefined Antivirus profile,
default
, which uses the default action for each protocol (block HTTP, FTP, and SMB traffic and alert on SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 traffic). There are two predefined Anti-Spyware and Vulnerability Protection profiles:
  • default
    —Applies the default action to all client and server critical, high, and medium severity spyware/vulnerability protection events. It does not detect low and informational events.
  • strict
    —Applies the block response to all client and server critical, high and medium severity spyware/vulnerability protection events and uses the default action for low and informational events.
To ensure that the traffic entering your network is free from threats, attach the predefined profiles to your basic web access policies. As you monitor the traffic on your network and expand your policy rulebase, you can then design more granular profiles to address your specific security needs.
Use the following workflow to set up the default Antivirus, Anti-Spyware, and Vulnerability Protection Security Profiles.
Palo Alto Networks defines a default action for all anti-spyware and vulnerability protection signatures. To see the default action, select
Objects
Security Profiles
Anti-Spyware
or
Objects
Security Profiles
Vulnerability Protection
and then select a profile. Click the Exceptions tab and then click Show all signatures to view the list of the signatures and the corresponding default
Action
. To change the default action, create a new profile and specify an
Action
, and/or add individual signature exceptions to
Exceptions
in the profile.
  1. Verify that you have a Threat Prevention subscription.
    The Threat Prevention subscription bundles the antivirus, anti-spyware, and vulnerability protection features in one license. To verify that you have an active Threat Prevention subscription, select
    Device
    Licenses
    and verify that the
    Threat Prevention
    expiration date is in the future.
    threat-prevention-subscription.png
  2. Download the latest content.
    1. Select
      Device
      Dynamic Updates
      and click
      Check Now
      at the bottom of the page to retrieve the latest signatures.
    2. In the
      Actions
      column, click
      Download
      and install the latest Antivirus updates and then download and then
      Install
      the latest Applications and Threats updates.
  3. Schedule content updates.
    As a best practice, schedule the firewall to download and install Antivirus updates daily and Applications and Threats updates weekly.
    1. Select
      Device
      Dynamic Updates
      and then click
      Schedule
      to automatically retrieve signature updates for
      Antivirus
      and
      Applications and Threats
      .
    2. Specify the frequency and timing for the updates:
      • download-only
        —The firewall automatically downloads the latest updates per the schedule you define but you must manually
        Install
        them.
      • download-and-install
        —The firewall automatically downloads and installs the updates per the schedule you define.
    3. Click
      OK
      to save the update schedule; a commit is not required.
    4. (
      Optional
      ) Define a
      Threshold
      to indicate the minimum number of hours after an update becomes available before the firewall will download it. For example, setting the
      Threshold
      to
      10
      means the firewall will not download an update until it is at least 10 hours old regardless of the schedule.
    5. (
      HA only
      ) Decide whether to
      Sync To Peer
      , which enables peers to synchronize content updates after download and install (the update schedule does not sync across peers; you must manually configure the schedule on both peers).
      There are additional considerations for deciding if and how to
      Sync To Peer
      depending on your HA deployment:
      • Active/Passive HA
        —If the firewalls are using the MGT port for content updates, then schedule both firewalls to download and install updates independently. However, if the firewalls are using a data port for content updates, then the passive firewall will not download or install updates unless and until it becomes active. To keep the schedules in sync on both firewalls when using a data port for updates, schedule updates on both firewalls and then enable
        Sync To Peer
        so that whichever firewall is active downloads and installs the updates and also pushes the updates to the passive firewall.
      • Active/Active HA
        —If the firewalls are using the MGT interface for content updates, then select
        download-and-install
        on both firewalls but do not enable
        Sync To Peer
        . However, if the firewalls are using a data port, then select
        download-and-install
        on both firewalls and enable
        Sync To Peer
        so that if one firewall goes into the active-secondary state, the active-primary firewall will download and install the updates and push them to the active-secondary firewall.
  4. (
    Optional
    ) Create custom security profiles for antivirus, anti-spyware, and vulnerability protection.
    Alternatively, you can use the predefined default or strict profiles.
  5. Attach security profiles to your Security policy rules.
    When you configure the firewall with a Security policy rule that uses a Vulnerability Protection profile to block connections, the firewall automatically blocks that traffic in hardware (see Monitor Blocked IP Addresses).
    1. Select
      Policies
      Security
      and select the rule you want to modify.
    2. In the
      Actions
      tab, select
      Profiles
      as the
      Profile Type
      .
    3. Select the security profiles you created for
      Antivirus
      ,
      Anti-Spyware
      , and
      Vulnerability Protection
      .
      security_profiles_attach_policy.png
  6. Commit your changes.
    Click
    Commit
    .

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