Configure URL Filtering
Learn how to set up a URL Filtering profile that meets your business’s web access needs.
After you determine URL Filtering policy requirements, you should have a basic understanding of the types of websites and website categories your users are accessing. Use this information to create custom URL Filtering profiles and attach them to the Security policy rules that allow web access. In addition to managing web access with a URL Filtering profile, if you configure User-ID™, you can manage the sites to which users can submit corporate credentials.
- Create a URL Filtering profile.SelectandObjectsSecurity ProfilesURL FilteringAddor modify a URL Filtering profile.
- Define site access for each URL category.SelectCategoriesand set the Site Access for each URL category:
- allowtraffic destined for that URL category; allowed traffic is not logged.
- Selectalertto have visibility into sites that users are accessing. Traffic matching that category is allowed but a URL Filtering log is generated to record when a user accesses a site in that category.
- Selectblockto deny access to traffic that matches that category and to enable logging of the blocked traffic.
- Selectcontinueto display a page to users with a warning and require them to clickContinueto proceed to a site in that category.
- To only allow access when users provide a configured password, selectoverride. For more details, see Allow Password Access to Certain Sites.
- Configure the URL Filtering profile to detect corporate credential submissions to websites that are in allowed URL categories.To ensure the best performance and a low false positive rate, the firewall automatically skips checking the credential submissions for any App-ID™ associated with sites that have never been observed hosting malware or phishing content—even if you enable checks in the corresponding category. The list of sites for which the firewall skips credential checking is automatically updated through Applications and Threats content updates.
- SelectUser Credential Detection.
- Select one of the methods to check for corporate credential submissions to web pages from theUser Credential Detectiondrop-down:
This method is prone to false positives in environments that do not have uniquely structured usernames, so you should only use this method to protect your high-value user accounts.
- Use IP User Mapping—Checks for valid corporate username submissions and verifies that the username matches the user logged in to the source IP address of the session. To use this method, the firewall matches the submitted username against its IP address-to-username mapping table. To use this method, you can use any of the user mapping methods described in Map IP Addresses to Users.
- Use Domain Credential Filter—Checks for valid corporate usernames and password submissions and verifies that the username maps to the IP address of the logged-in user. See Configure User Mapping Using the Windows User-ID Agent for instructions on how to set up User-ID to enable this method.
- Use Group Mapping—Checks for valid username submissions based on the user-to-group mapping table populated when you configure the firewall to map users to groups.With group mapping, you can apply credential detection toanypart of the directory or to a specific group, such as groups like IT that have access to your most sensitive applications.
- Set theValid Username Detected Log Severitythat the firewall uses to log detection of corporate credential submissions (default is medium).
- Allow or block users from submitting corporate credentials to sites based on URL category to prevent credential phishing.To ensure the best performance and a low false positive rate, the firewall automatically skips checking the credential submissions for any App-ID associated with sites that have never been observed hosting malware or phishing content—even if you enable checks in the corresponding category. The list of sites for which the firewall skips credential checking is automatically updated through Applications and Threats content updates.
- For each URL category to which you allowSite Access, select how you want to treatUser Credential Submissions:
- alert—Allow users to submit credentials to the website but generate a URL Filtering alert log each time a user submits credentials to sites in this URL category.
- allow(default)—Allow users to submit credentials to the website.
- Define URL category exception lists to specify websites that should always be blocked or allowed, regardless of URL category.For example, to reduce URL Filtering logs, you may want add you corporate websites in the allow list so that no logs are generated for those sites or, if there is a website that is being overly used and is not work-related, you can add that site to the block list.Traffic to websites in the block list is always blocked regardless of the action for the associated category and traffic to URLs in the allow list is always allowed.For more information on the proper format and wildcard usage, see URL Category Exception Lists.
- SelectOverridesand enter URLs or IP addresses in theBlock Listand select an action:
- block—Block the URL.
- continue—Prompt users to clickContinuebefore they can proceed to the web page.
- override—Prompt users for a password to continue to the website.
- alert—Allow the user to access the website and add an alert log entry in the URL log.
- For theallowlist, enter IP addresses or URLs that should always be allowed. Each row must be separated by a new line.
- Enable Safe Search Enforcement.
- Log only Container Pages for URL filtering events.
- SelectURL Filtering Settings. EnableLog container page only(default) so that the firewall logs only the main page that matches the category, not subsequent pages or categories that loaded within the container page.
- To enable logging for all pages and categories, disable theLog container page onlyoption.
- Enable HTTP Header Logging for one or more of the supported HTTP header fields.SelectURL Filtering Settingsand select one or more of the following fields to log:
- Save the URL Filtering profile and commit your changes.
- ClickCommit.To test the URL filtering configuration, access a website in a category that is set to either block or continue and then observe whether the firewall performs the appropriate action.
- (PAN-OS 8.1.10 and later PAN-OS 8.1 releases only) Enablehold-client-requestto block client requests while the firewall performs URL category lookups.
- Enterset system setting ctd hold-client-request yesto enable this feature.
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