Typically, when a client makes an HTTPS request, an SSL handshake request occurs at the start of an SSL session. You can configure a client SSL profile to skip the initial SSL handshake and add the On-Demand certificate authentication agent to the access policy to re-negotiate the SSL connection later. Access Policy Manager® can perform the certificate request and validation task that is normally performed by the target server, on demand.
Use the agent when you want to request and validate a certificate only after a user has already completed some other steps (logged on, gone through an authentication process, or anything else you require). Wherever you place the On-Demand authentication action in your access policy, it performs an SSL re-handshake.
You might want to use this agent, for example, if all employees must gain access to the network before only a few employees can gain access to servers with sensitive information.
Before you can use On-Demand certificate authentication successfully, you must exchange certificates between clients and the BIG-IP® system.
The client needs a valid certificate with which to respond to a certificate request. The BIG-IP system includes a self-signed certificate that you can export and install on the client. As an alternative to the self-signed certificate, you can import a certificate and corresponding key (issued by your organization CA) into the BIG-IP system and install that on the client.
The BIG-IP systems needs the client root certificate installed on it. Exporting and importing SSL certificates is done in the System File Management area of the product.
You associate the client SSL and access profiles with the virtual server so that the BIG-IP® system handles client-side SSL traffic as specified, and so that Access Policy Manager®can apply the access profile to incoming traffic.