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

Cortex XDR Pro Administrator Guide

Cortex XDR
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After you have configured and registered your broker VM, activate the Pathfinder application.


To activate Pathfinder, you must have a Cortex XDR Pro per Endpoint or Cortex XDR Pro per TB 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 as described in the Cortex XDR Analytics Reference Guide, providing insights into assets that you would previously be unable to scan.

When an alert is triggered, the data collector is able to run for up to 2 weeks gathering EDR data from unmanaged hosts. You can track and manage the collector directly from the Cortex XDR console, and investigate the EDR data by running a query from the Query Center.

Cortex XDR supports activating Pathfinder on Windows operating systems with PowerShell version 3 and above, excluding Vanilla Windows 7.

Activate the Pathfinder app to deploy and query the data collector.

  1. In Cortex XDR, select SettingsConfigurationsData BrokerBroker VMs and locate your broker VM.

  2. You can either right-click the broker VM and select Add AppPathfinder, or hover in the APPS column, and select AddPathfinder.

  3. 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 deployed only within the ranges of your defined IP address ranges. You can either select to define the domain access credentials or alternatively, as of broker VM version 9.0 and later, you can define Pathfinder to access target hosts using credentials stored in your CyberArk vault.


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

      • Domain—Domain name of your network.

      • Domain Suffixes—(Optional) Domain suffixes required for DNS resolving within your network. The domain suffixes list is read-only and populated by your defined Network Configurations.

      • Authentication Method—Select either Kerberos or NTLM.


        When selecting Kerberos, the Broker 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.

      • Define the access credentials using either Domain Credentials or your CyberArk AAM parameters.

        To define the access credentials, enter:

        • User Name—User name used by Pathfinder to access your target host.

        • Password—Password used by Pathfinder to access your target host.


          Only encrypted credentials are stored on the broker VM.

        To allow Pathfinder to use credentials stored in your CyberArk vault, enter the following parameters. Make sure you are following the CyberArk guidelines.

        • URL—Your CyberArk AAM URL address.

        • Port—Your CyberArk AAM port number.

        • App ID—The application ID configured in your CyberArk AAM. The ID allows you to access the path to where credentials are stored in the CyberArk vault.

        • Query—Define the CyberArk AAM path to the credentials required by Pathfinder to access the host. Make sure you are following the CyberArk formatting guidelines.

        • Browse for your Client Certificate, Client Key, and CA Certificate you use to identify. Cortex XDR will notify you when your certificates are about to expire.


        Credentials are not stored on the broker VM, Pathfinder queries CyberArk each time according to the defined parameters.

      • Test the credentials and pathfinder permissions to ensure the broker VM can successfully collect data from your defined hosts.


        Testing may take a few minutes to complete but ensures that pathfinder can indeed deploy a data collector.

      Select Next.

    2. Define the data collector settings.

      • Select on which Targets to deploy the data collector. Target types are detected according to your operating system.

        • All—Deploy on all assets within your network.

        • Servers—Deploy only on servers.

        • Workstations—Deploy only on workstations.

      • Define the Proxy Settings.

        By default the proxy settings are disabled, data collected is sent directly to the cloud. If you want to enable the proxy, select one of the following options:

        • Use Agent Proxy Settings—Data collected will be routed using the settings provided in the Agent Proxy Applet must be enabled for this settings to work.

        • Use Custom Proxy—Define the IP address and port to route the data.

      Select Next.

    3. Select the IP Address Ranges to scan from your defined Network Configurations and deploy the data collector. You can Add IP Address Ranges if you don’t see a range in the populated list.

      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.


      The Pathfinder configuration must contain at least one IP address range to run. To avoid a collision, IP address ranges can only be associated with one pathfinder applet.

    4. Activate your Pathfinder.

      After a successful activation, the APPS field displays Pathfinder with a green dot indicating a successful connection.

  4. (Optional) To view metrics about the Pathfinder applet, hover over the Pathfinder connection displayed in the APPS field for your broker VM:

    • Connectivity Status—Whether the applet is connected to Cortex XDR.

    • Handled Tasks—How many collectors are in progress, pending, or successfully running out of the number of collectors that need to be setup.

    • Failed Tasks—How many collectors have failed

    • Resources—Displays the amount of CPU, Memory, and Disk space the applet is using.

  5. Manage the Pathfinder.

    Hover over the Pathfinder connection in the APPS column to display the Pathfinder settings, and select:

    • Edit Configuration to redefine your pathfinder configurations.

    • Edit Credentials to redefine the user name and password.

      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.

    • Deactivate to remove pathfinder.

  6. Track the Pathfinder Data Collector.

    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:

    1. In Cortex XDR , select SettingsConfigurationsData BrokerBroker VMsPathfinder Collection Center.

      The Pathfinder Collection Center table displays the following fields about each of the deployed collectors:



      Collector Install Time

      Timestamp of when the collector was installed in the host.

      Initiating Alert ID

      Displays the Alert ID of the analytics alert that triggered the collector.

      Initiating VM

      Name of the broker VM initiating the collector.

      Last Seen

      Timestamp of the last collector heartbeat.


      Status of the collection process. Can be:

      • Collection Completed

      • Collection Completed

      Start Time

      Timestamp of when the collector was triggered.


      Status of the collector on the host, which can be one of the following:

      • Pending

      • Running

      • Completed

      • Failed

      • Removed

      Target IP

      IP Address of the host scanned by the collector.

    2. Manage the collector.

      • Set the number of collectors you want deployed. Set Collectors Number to limit the number of collectors you want to deploy in your environment.

      • Locate the collector, right-click and select:

        • Remove Collector—Uninstall the collector from the host.

        • View Initiating alert—Pivot to the Alerts Table filtered according to the initiating alert.

        • Retrieve Logs—Upload logs from the collector

        • Download Logs—Download the collector logs to your local machine.

        When you select and right-click the Target IP field, you can choose to view the IP address in the IP View or Open in Quick Launcher.

  7. Query the collector data.

    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 InvestigationQuery Center.

    2. Select the type of query you want to run and enter the search criteria.

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

    3. View your query results.