Building Blocks of an Authentication Policy Rule

Whenever a user requests a resource (such as when visiting a web page), the firewall evaluates Authentication policy. Based on the matching policy rule, the firewall then prompts the user to respond to one or more challenges of different factors (types), such as login and password, voice, SMS, push, or one-time password (OTP) authentication. After the user responds to all the factors, the firewall evaluates Security policy (see Policies > Security) to determine whether to allow access to the resource.
The firewall does not prompt users to authenticate if they access non-web-based resources (such as a printer) through a GlobalProtect™ gateway TechDocs_logo_cropped.png that is internal or in tunnel mode. Instead, the users will see connection failure messages. To ensure users can access these resources, set up an authentication portal and train users to visit it when they see connection failures. Consult your IT department to set up an authentication portal.
The following table describes each building block or component in an Authentication policy rule. Before you Add a rule, complete the prerequisites described in Create and Manage Authentication Policy.
Building Blocks in an Authentication Rule
Configured In
Description
Rule number
N/A
Each rule is automatically numbered and the order changes as rules are moved. When you filter rules to match specific filters, the PoliciesAuthentication page lists each rule with its number in the context of the complete set of rules in the rulebase and its place in the evaluation order. For details, see rule sequence and its evaluation order TechDocs_logo_cropped.png .
Name
General
Enter a name to identify the rule. The name is case-sensitive and can have up to 63 characters, which can be letters, numbers, spaces, hyphens, and underscores. The name must be unique on a firewall and, on Panorama, unique within its device group and any ancestor or descendant device groups.
Description
Enter a description for the rule (up to 1024 characters).
Tag
Select a tag for sorting and filtering rules (see Objects > Tags).
Group Rules by Tag
Enter a tag with which to group similar policy rules. The group tag allows you to view your policy rule base based on these tags. You can group rules based on a Tag.
Audit Comment
Enter a comment to audit the creation or editing of the policy rule. The audit comment is case-sensitive and can have up to 256 characters, which can be letters, numbers, spaces, hyphens, and underscores.
Audit Comment Archive
View previous Audit Comments for the policy rule. You can export the Audit Comment Archive in CSV format.
Source Zone
Source
Add zones to apply the rule only to traffic coming from interfaces in the zones that you specify (default is any).
To define new zones, see Network > Zones.
Source Address
Add addresses or address groups to apply the rule only to traffic originating from the sources that you specify (default is any).
Select Negate to choose any address except the selected ones.
To define new address or address groups, see Objects > Addresses and Objects > Address Groups.
Source User
User
Select the source users or user groups to which the rule applies:
  • any—Includes any traffic regardless of source user.
  • pre-logon—Includes remote users who are not logged into their client systems but whose client systems connect to the network through the GlobalProtect pre-logon feature TechDocs_logo_cropped.png .
  • known-user—Includes all users for whom the firewall already has IP address-to-username mappings before the rule evokes authentication.
  • unknown—Includes all users for whom the firewall does not have IP address-to-username mappings. After the rule evokes authentication, the firewall creates user mappings for unknown users based on the usernames they entered.
  • Select—Includes only the users and user groups that you Add to the Source User list.
If the firewall collects user information from a RADIUS, TACACS+, or SAML identity provider server and not from the User-ID™ agent, the list of users does not display; you must enter user information manually.
Source HIP Profile
Add host information profiles (HIP) to enable you to collect information about the security status of your end hosts, such as whether they have the latest security patches and antivirus definitions. For details and to define new HIPs, see Objects > GlobalProtect > HIP Profiles.
Destination Zone
Destination
Add zones to apply the rule only to traffic going to interfaces in the zones that you specify (default is any). To define new zones, see Network > Zones.
Destination Address
Add addresses or address groups to apply the rule only to the destinations that you specify (default is any).
Select Negate to choose any address except the selected ones.
To define new address or address groups, see Objects > Addresses and Objects > Address Groups.
Service
Service/URL Category
Select from the following options to apply the rule only to services on specific TCP and UDP port numbers:
  • any—Specifies services on any port and using any protocol.
  • default—Specifies services only on the default ports that Palo Alto Networks defines.
  • Select—Enables you to Add services or service groups. To create new services and service groups, see Objects > Services and Objects > Service Groups.
    The default selection is service-http. When you use the Authentication policy for Captive Portal, also enable service-https to ensure that the firewall learns user-to-ip-address mapping for all web traffic.
URL Category
Select the URL categories to which the rule applies:
Authentication Enforcement
Actions
Select the authentication enforcement object (Objects > Authentication) that specifies the method (such as Captive Portal or browser challenge) and authentication profile that the firewall uses to authenticate users. The authentication profile defines whether users respond to a single challenge or to multi-factor authentication (see Device > Authentication Profile). You can select a predefined or custom authentication enforcement object.
If you must exclude hosts or servers from a Captive Portal policy, add them to an Authentication Profile that specifies no-captive-portal as the Authentication Enforcement. However, Captive Portal policies help the firewall learn user-to-IP-address mapping and should be used when possible.
Timeout
To reduce the frequency of authentication challenges that interrupt the user workflow, you can specify the interval in minutes (default is 60) when the firewall prompts the user to authenticate only once for repeated access to resources.
If the Authentication Enforcement object specifies multi-factor authentication, the user must authenticate once for each factor. The firewall records a timestamp and reissues a challenge only when the timeout for a factor expires. Redistributing TechDocs_logo_cropped.png the timestamps to other firewalls enables you to apply the timeout even if the firewall that initially allows access for a user is not the same firewall that later controls access for that user.
Timeout is a tradeoff between tighter security (less time between authentication prompts) and the user experience (more time between authentication prompts). More frequent authentication is often the right choice for access to critical systems and sensitive areas such as a data center. Less frequent authentication is often the right choice at the network perimeter and for businesses for which the user experience is key.
For perimeter resources, set the value to 480 minutes (8 hours) and for data center resources and critical systems, set a lower value such as 60 minutes to tighten security. Monitor and adjust the values as necessary.
Log Authentication Timeouts
Select this option (disabled by default) if you want the firewall to generate Authentication logs whenever the Timeout associated with an authentication factor expires. Enabling this option provides more data to troubleshoot access issues. In conjunction with correlation objects, you can also use Authentication logs to identify suspicious activity on your network (such as brute force attacks).
Enabling this option increases log traffic.
Log Forwarding
Select a Log Forwarding profile if you want the firewall to forward Authentication logs to Panorama or to external services such as a syslog server (see Objects > Log Forwarding).

Related Documentation