Multi-Category URL Filtering
PAN-DB classifies URLs with multiple categories, so that you can granularly control web access and how users interact with online content.
PAN-DB, the Palo Alto Networks URL database, now assigns multiple categories to URLs that classify a site’s content, purpose, and safety. Every URL now has up to four categories, including a risk category that indicates how likely it is that the site will expose you to threats. More granular URL categorizations means that you can move beyond a basic "block-or-allow" approach to web access. Instead, you can control how your users
interactwith online content that, while necessary for business, is more likely to be used as part of a cyberattack.
For instance, you might consider certain URL categories risky to your organization, but are hesitant to block them outright as they also provide valuable resources or services (like cloud storage services or blogs). Now, you can allow users to visit sites that fall into these types of URL categories, while also protecting your network by decrypting and inspecting traffic and enforcing read-only access to the content.
With multi-category URL Filtering, PAN-DB might classify a developer blog that your engineers use for research as:
If you’re already enforcing security policy based on URL categories, you will automatically start to benefit from multi-category URL Filtering after upgrading to PAN-OS 9.0.
Here’s what’s most important to know about multi-category URL Filtering, with some tips to get started:
- Multi-category URL Filtering requires a PAN-DB URL Filtering subscription. To confirm that the PAN-DB URL Filtering subscription license is active on the firewall, select).DeviceLicensesWith an active license, the firewall connects to PAN-DB by default.
- URL Filtering profiles now display your Custom URL Categories,External Dynamic URL Lists, andPre-defined Categories(the PAN-DB categories) together, so that you can choose from these categories when defining policy for website access and usage.If you had configured URL Filtering overrides before upgrading to PAN-OS, your override block and allow lists are now converted toCustom URL Categories, and are displayed in this dropdown, too.More about this change:In earlier release versions, URL Filtering category overrides had priority enforcement ahead of custom URL categories. As part of the upgrade to PAN-OS 9.0, URL category overrides are converted to custom URL categories, and no longer receive priority enforcement over other custom URL categories. Instead of the action you defined for the category override in previous release versions, the new custom URL category is enforced by the security policy rule with the strictest URL Filtering profile action. From most strict to least strict, possible URL Filtering profile actions are: block, override, continue, alert, and allow. This means that, if you had URL category overrides with the action allow, there’s a possibility the overrides might be blocked after they are converted to custom URL categories in PAN-OS 9.0. Review Upgrade/Downgrade Considerations to learn more, and for workarounds.
- You can define a custom URL category based on multiple PAN-DB URL categories. A new type of custom URL Category,Category Match, means that you can target enforcement for a website or page that matches a set of categories. The website or page must matchallof the categories that you list. Here’s how to create custom URL categories.
- For websites or pages that hold more than one URL category, URL Filtering logs display the URL category with which the firewall based policy enforcement (theCategory). URL Filtering logs also display all the URL categories for the site (theURL Category List).To view URL Filtering logs, selectand select any entry to learn more about the activity that triggered the log record.MonitorLogsURL Filtering
- Where applicable, samples in AutoFocus show complete PAN-DB categorization details for each URL a sample connects to during WildFire analysis.To view the sample coverage details, select a sample hash in AutoFocus and then click theCoveragetab.
- To get started:
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