Check Point CCSE Notes

Following my post on Check Point CCSA Exam notes, in this post I’m gonna write notes on CCSE exam. Though this time I won’t fall into configuration and try to only point out the more important and real-world-applicable things.

Management Server HA

  • When adding a new Check Point host as a Secondary Management Server, do not Initialize SIC before selecting Network Policy Management feature!
  • After adding the host, save and Install the policy; synchronization will then work.

As a reminder, whenever you reset the SIC for a Gateway from Management Server, it should be re-initialized from the Gateway by cpconfig; don’t forget to exit cpconfig!


Check Point calls its clustering solution ClusterXL which supports up to 8 Cluster members and can be implemented in two main flavors:

  1. Load-sharing
    • Multicast mode: 50/50, very efficient and excellent performance
    • Unicast mode: 70/30, to be used in environments where an intermediate device has issues with multicast MAC address (IGMP Snooping)
  2. High Availability (HA)
    • New Mode: Each member has its own physical IP address
    • Legacy Mode: Both members have the same physical IP address

To make kernel changes permanent, they should be written in $FWDIR/modules/fwkern.conf

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Check Point CCSA Notes

CheckPoint is the largest pure-play security vendor globally, and has a long history of being a respected security solutions provider and the company’s devices are one of the most deployed firewalls in use today.

Till now, for eighteen consecutive years Check Point has been positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls. Check Point is also positioned in the “Leaders” for Unified Threat Management (UTM) for five years till now. Gartner evaluates each vendor’s Enterprise Network Firewall offerings on a scale of completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Traffic Control Methods:

  • Packet Filtering in OSI Layer 3 (Network) and Layer 4 (Transport)
  • Stateful control by Inspect Engine, again at L3 and L4 but with more focus on L4
  • Application Awareness

Check Point Operating system:

We talk here about both Management Server and the Gateways (firewalls) OS.

  • IPSO was the initial version, based on BSD (Nokia’s IPSO).
  • SecurePlatform (SPLAT), based on Redhat
  • GAiA is the latest version!

Deployment Notes

With small environments, it’s possible to have the Management Server and Gateway on the same hardware. This is called Standalone deployment.

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