Activate Pathfinder - Administrator Guide - Cortex XDR - Cortex - Security Operations

Cortex XDR Pro Administrator Guide

Cortex XDR
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Administrator Guide

Learn how to activate Pathfinder, an applet that deploys a non-persistent data collector on endpoints that are not managed by a Cortex XDR agent.


Pathfinder requires a Cortex XDR Pro per Endpoint or Cortex XDR Pro per GB license.

Pathfinder is a highly recommended, but optional component integrated with the Broker VM that deploys a non-persistent data collector on network hosts, servers, and workstations that are not managed by a Cortex XDR agent. The collector is automatically triggered by analytics-type alerts with a severity of high and medium and provides insights into assets that you couldn't scan previously. For more information about analytics alerts, see Cortex XDR Analytics Alert Reference.

When an alert is triggered, the data collector is able to run for up to two weeks gathering EDR data from unmanaged hosts. You can track and manage the collector directly from Cortex XDR, and investigate the EDR data by running a query from the Query Center.


Before activating Pathfinder, review and perform the following:

  • Configure and register a Broker VM.

  • Except for Vanilla Windows 7, Cortex XDR supports activating Pathfinder on Windows operating systems with PowerShell version 3 and later. Verify these requirements wherever you want to activate Pathfinder.

  • The Pathfinder configuration must contain at least one IP address range to run. Make sure that your internal IP address ranges are defined on your network. To avoid a collision, IP address ranges can only be associated with one Pathfinder applet. For more information, see Configure Your Network Parameters.Configure Your Network Parameters

  • When using Kerberos as the authentication method for the Pathfinder credentials, confirm that you have a reverse DNS zone and reverse DNS records on your DNS server. The Broker VM has access to domain controllers over port 88 and is able to acquire the authentication ticket. It is recommended to use Kerberos for better security.

  • Verify connectivity between all your networks.

  • The Broker VM requires a Service Account (SA) that has administrator privileges on all Windows workstations and servers in your environment. Cortex XDR recommends that you limit the number of users granted access to the SA account as it poses a credential compromise security threat.

Perform the following procedures in the order listed below.

  1. Select SettingsConfigurationsData BrokerBroker VMs.

  2. In either the Brokers tab or the Clusters tab, locate your Broker VM.

  3. You can either right-click the Broker VM and select Add AppPathfinder, or in the APPS column, left-click AddPathfinder.


    The Pathfinder applet isn't supported when configuring Broker VMs in high availability (HA) clusters.

In the Pathfinder Activation wizard, complete the following steps:

  1. Define the Pathfinder credentials used by the applet to access and deploy the data collector. The data collector is only deployed within your defined IP address ranges. Define one of the following Pathfinder credentials:

    • Domain access credentials.

    • (Broker VM version 9.0 and later) CyberArk credentials by defining Pathfinder to access target hosts using credentials stored in your CyberArk vault.

  2. Click Test to run a test on the credentials and Pathfinder permissions. Testing can take a few minutes to complete, but ensures that Pathfinder can deploy a data collector.

  3. Click Next, and define the data collector settings by selecting a target to deploy the data collector (default All targets) and the proxy settings. By default the proxy settings are disabled, data collected is sent directly to the cloud.

  4. Click Next and select the IP address ranges to scan from your defined network configurations.

    By default, every IP address range will use the Pathfinder credentials and settings you defined in the Credentials section and is labeled as an Applet Configuration.

    If you want configure other credentials for a specific range, use the right pane to override the settings. IP address ranges you edit are labeled as a Custom Configuration. Make sure to Test the credentials for this specific range.

  5. Click Activate. After the activation is complete, Pathfinder is displayed in the APPS column with a green dot indicating a successful connection.

    Left-clicking the Pathfinder connection displays the following:

    • Details on the Pathfinder connection, such as the connectivity status, handled and failed tasks, and the resources the applet is using.

    • Links to edit the Pathfinder connection settings, such as Edit Configuration, Edit Credentials, and Deactivate.

      You can select to edit credentials for multiple Pathfinder applets. However, only IP address ranges that use the default defined credentials, labeled as Applet Configuration, will adopt your changes.

After the Pathfinder collector has been triggered, when an analytics type alert is triggered on an unmanaged host, the data collector is deployed to unmanaged assets within the defined IP address ranges and domain names.


The data collector is only deployed on unmanaged hosts. If you want to install the XDR agent on an unmanaged host, you must first remove the collector.

To track the data collector:

Data gathered by the data collector can be queried and investigated from the Query Center.

To run a query on the EDR data from an unmanaged host:

  1. Navigate to Incident ResponseInvestigationQuery Center.

  2. Select the type of query you want to run and enter the search criteria. For more information, see Create a Process Query.

    When defining the Host attributes, for INSTALLATION TYPE make sure to select Data Collector.

  3. View your query results.