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Manual Chapter: Creating an Access Policy for Network Access
Manual Chapter
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About access profiles

In the BIG-IP Access Policy Manager, an access profile is the profile that you select in a virtual server definition to establish a secured session. You can also configure an access profile to provide access control and security features to a local traffic virtual server hosting web applications.

The access profile contains:

  • Access policy timeout and concurrent user settings
  • Accepted language and default language settings
  • Single Sign-On information and domain cookie information for the session
  • Customization settings for the access profile
  • The access policy for the profile

About access policies for network access

Define an access policy for network access in order to provide access control conditions that you want users to satisfy, before they can connect to internal resources. For a network access policy, you need to configure a minimum of a resource assign action that assigns a network access resource.

Creating an access profile

You create an access profile to provide the access policy configuration for a virtual server that establishes a secured session.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Access Profiles. The Access Profiles List screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the access profile.
  4. From the Profile Type list, select one:
    • APM-LTM - Select for a web access management configuration.
    • SSO - Select only when you do not need to configure an access policy.
    • SWG - Explicit - Select to configure access using Secure Web Gateway explicit forward proxy.
    • SWG - Transparent - Select to configure access using Secure Web Gateway transparent forward proxy.
    • SSL-VPN - Select for other types of access, such as network access, portal access, application access. (Most access policy items are available for this type.)
    • ALL - Select for any type of access.
    Additional settings display.
  5. To configure timeout and session settings, select the Custom check box.
  6. In the Inactivity Timeout field, type the number of seconds that should pass before the access policy times out. Type 0 to set no timeout. If there is no activity (defined by the Session Update Threshold and Session Update Window settings in the Network Access configuration) between the client and server within the specified threshold time, the system closes the current session.
  7. In the Access Policy Timeout field, type the number of seconds that should pass before the access profile times out because of inactivity. Type 0 to set no timeout.
  8. In the Maximum Session Timeout field, type the maximum number of seconds the session can exist. Type 0 to set no timeout.
  9. In the Max Concurrent Users field, type the maximum number of users that can use this access profile at the same time. Type 0 to set no maximum.
  10. In the Max Sessions Per User field, type the maximum number of concurrent sessions that one user can start. Type 0 to set no maximum.
  11. In the Max In Progress Sessions Per Client IP field, type the maximum number of concurrent sessions that one client IP address can support. Type 0 to set no maximum.
  12. Select the Restrict to Single Client IP check box to restrict the current session to a single IP address. This setting associates the session ID with the IP address. Upon a request to the session, if the IP address has changed the request is redirected to a logout page, the session ID is deleted, and a log entry is written to indicate that a session hijacking attempt was detected. If such a redirect is not possible, the request is denied and the same events occur.
  13. To configure logout URIs, in the Configurations area, type each logout URI in the URI field, and then click Add.
  14. In the Logout URI Timeout field, type the delay in seconds before logout occurs for the customized logout URIs defined in the Logout URI Include list.
  15. To configure SSO:
    • For users to log in to multiple domains using one SSO configuration, skip the settings in the SSO Across Authentication Domains (Single Domain mode) area. You can configure SSO for multiple domains only after you finish the initial access profile configuration.
    • For users to log in to a single domain using an SSO configuration, configure settings in the SSO Across Authentication Domains (Single Domain mode) area, or you can configure SSO settings after you finish the initial access profile configuration.
  16. In the Domain Cookie field, specify a domain cookie, if the application access control connection uses a cookie.
  17. In the Cookie Options setting, specify whether to use a secure cookie.
    • If the policy requires a secure cookie, select the Secure check box to add the secure keyword to the session cookie.
    • If you are configuring an LTM access scenario that uses an HTTPS virtual server to authenticate the user and then sends the user to an existing HTTP virtual server to use applications, clear this check box.
  18. If the access policy requires a persistent cookie, in the Cookie Options setting, select the Persistent check box. This sets cookies if the session does not have a webtop. When the session is first established, session cookies are not marked as persistent; but when the first response is sent to the client after the access policy completes successfully, the cookies are marked persistent. Persistent cookies are updated for the expiration timeout every 60 seconds. The timeout is equal to session inactivity timeout. If the session inactivity timeout is overwritten in the access policy, the overwritten value will be used to set the persistent cookie expiration.
  19. From the SSO Configurations list, select an SSO configuration.
  20. In the Language Settings area, add and remove accepted languages, and set the default language. A browser uses the highest priority accepted language. If no browser language matches the accepted languages list, the browser uses the default language.
  21. Click Finished.
The access profile appears in the Access Profiles List.
To add an SSO configuration for multiple domains, click SSO / Auth Domains on the menu bar. To provide functionality with an access profile, you must configure the access policy. The default access policy for a profile denies all traffic and contains no actions. Click Edit in the Access Policy column to edit the access policy.

Access profile settings

You can configure the following settings in an access profile.

Setting Value Description and defaults
Name Text Specifies the name of the access profile.
Inactivity Timeout Number of seconds, or 0 Specifies the inactivity timeout for the connection. If there is no activity between the client and server within the specified threshold time, the system closes the current session. By default, the threshold is 0, which specifies that as long as a connection is established, the inactivity timeout is inactive. However, if an inactivity timeout value is set, when server traffic exceeds the specified threshold, the inactivity timeout is reset.
Access Policy Timeout Number of seconds, or 0 Designed to keep malicious users from creating a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on your server. The timeout requires that a user, who has followed through on a redirect, must reach the webtop before the timeout expires. The default value is 300 seconds.
Maximum Session Timeout Number of seconds, or 0 The maximum lifetime is from the time a session is created, to when the session terminates. By default, it is set to 0, which means no limit. When you configure a maximum session timeout setting other than 0, there is no way to extend the session lifetime, and the user must log out and then log back in to the server when the session expires.
Max Concurrent Users Number of users, or 0 The number of sessions allowed at one time for this access profile. The default value is 0 which specifies unlimited sessions.
Max Sessions Per User Number between 1 and 1000, or 0 Specifies the number of sessions for one user that can be active concurrently. The default value is 0, which specifies unlimited sessions. You can set a limit from 1-1000. Values higher than 1000 cause the access profile to fail.
Note: Only superAdmins and application editors have access to this field. No other admin roles can modify this field.
Max In Progress Sessions Per Client IP Number 0 or greater Specifies the maximum number of sessions that can be in progress for a client IP address. When setting this value, take into account whether users will come from a NAT-ed or proxied client address and, if so, consider increasing the value accordingly. The default value is 0 which represents unlimited sessions.
Note: Only superAdmins and application editors have access to this field. No other admin roles can modify this field.
Restrict to Single Client IP Selected or cleared When selected, limits a session to a single IP address.
Note: Only superAdmins and application editors have access to this field. No other admin roles can modify this field.
Logout URI Include One or more URIs Specifies a list of URIs to include in the access profile to initiate session logout.
Logout URI Timeout Logout delay URI in seconds Specifies the time delay before the logout occurs, using the logout URIs defined in the logout URI include list.
SSO Authentication Across Domains (Single Domain mode) or SSO / Auth Domains: Domain Cookie A domain cookie If you specify a domain cookie, then the line domain=specified_domain is added to the MRHsession cookie.
SSO / Auth Domains: Domain Mode Single Domain or Multiple Domains Select Single Domain to apply your SSO configuration to a single domain. Select Multiple Domain to apply your SSO configuration across multiple domains. This is useful in cases where you want to allow your users a single Access Policy Manager (APM) login session and apply it across multiple Local Traffic Manager or APM virtual servers, front-ending different domains.
Important: All virtual servers must be on one single BIG-IP system in order to apply SSO configurations across multiple domains.
SSO / Auth Domains: Primary Authentication URI URI The URI of your primary authentication server, for example https://logon.siterequest.com. This is required if you use SSO across multiple domains. You provide this URI so your users can access multiple back-end applications from multiple domains and hosts without requiring them to re-enter their credentials, because the user session is stored on the primary domain.
Cookie Options: Secure Enable or disable check box Enabled, this setting specifies to add the secure keyword to the session cookie. If you are configuring an application access control scenario where you are using an HTTPS virtual server to authenticate the user, and then sending the user to an existing HTTP virtual server to use applications, clear this check box.
Cookie Options: Persistent Enable or disable check box Enabled, this setting specifies to set cookies if the session does not have a webtop. When the session is first established, session cookies are not marked as persistent, but when the first response is sent to the client after the access policy completes successfully, the cookies are marked persistent.
Note: Persistent cookies are updated for the expiration timeout every 60 seconds. The timeout is equal to the session inactivity timeout. If the session inactivity timeout is overwritten in the access policy, the overwritten value is used to set the persistent cookie expiration.
Cookie Options: HTTP only

HttpOnly is an additional flag included in a Set-Cookie HTTP response header. Use the HttpOnly flag when generating a cookie to help mitigate the risk of a client-side script accessing the protected cookie, if the browser supports HttpOnly.

When this option is enabled, only the web access management type of access (an LTM virtual server with an access policy) is supported.

SSO Authentication Across Domains (Single Domain mode) or SSO / Auth Domains SSO Configuration Predefined SSO configuration SSO configurations contain settings to configure single sign-on with an access profile. Select the SSO configuration from the list that you want applied to your domain.
SSO / Auth Domains: Authentication Domains Multiple If you specify multiple domains, populate this area with hosts or domains. Each host or domain can have a separate SSO config, and you can set persistent or secure cookies. Click Add to add each host you configure.
Accepted Languages Language strings Adds a built-in or customized language to the list of accepted languages. Accepted languages can be customized separately and can present customized messages and screens to users, if the user's default browser language is one of the accepted languages. Select a language from the Factory Builtin Languages list and click the Move button (<<) to add it to the Accepted Languages list. Select a language from the Additional Languages list and click Add to add it to the Accepted Languages list.
Factory Builtin Languages Languages in a predefined list Lists the predefined languages on the Access Policy Manager system, which can be added to the Accepted Languages list. Predefined languages include customized messages and fields for common appearance items, as opposed to Additional Languages, which must be separately customized.
Additional Languages Languages in a predefined list Lists additional languages that can be added to the Accepted Languages list, and customized on the Access Policy Manager system. These languages are populated with English messages and fields and must be individually customized using the Customization menu, as opposed to Factory Builtin Languages, which are already customized.

Adding network access to an access policy

Before you assign a network access resource to an access policy, you must:
  • Create a network access resource
  • Create an access profile
  • Define a network access webtop or a full webtop
When you assign a network access resource to an access policy branch, a user who successfully completed the branch rule (which includes that access policy item) starts a network access tunnel.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Access Profiles. The Access Profiles List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the access profile for which you want to edit the access policy. The properties screen opens for the profile you want to edit.
  3. On the menu bar, click Access Policy. The Access Policy screen opens.
  4. Click Edit Access Policy for Profile profile_name. The visual policy editor opens the access policy in a separate screen.
  5. Click the (+) icon anywhere in the access policy to add a new action item. A popup screen opens, listing predefined actions on tabs such as General Purpose, Authentication, and so on.
  6. Select one of the following resource assignment actions and click Add.
    Option Description
    Resource Assign Select the Resource Assign action to add a network access resource only. Resource Assign does not allow you to add a webtop or ACLs. If you want to add ACLs, a webtop, or webtop links after you add a Resource Assign action, you can add them with the individual actions ACL Assign and Webtop and Links Assign.
    Advanced Resource Assign Select the Advanced Resource Assign action to add network access resources, and optionally add a webtop, webtop links, and one or more ACLs.
  7. Select the resource or resources to add.
    • If you added an Advanced Resource Assign action, on the Resource Assignment screen, click Add New Entry, then click Add/Delete, and select and add resources from the tabs, then click Update.
    • If you added a Resource Assign action, next to Network Access Resources, click Add/Delete.
    If you add a full webtop and multiple network access resources, Auto launch can be enabled for only one network access resource. (With Auto launch enabled, a network access resource starts automatically when the user reaches the webtop.)
  8. Click Save.
  9. Click Apply Access Policy to save your configuration.
A network access tunnel is assigned to the access policy. You may also assign a network access or full webtop. On the full webtop, users can click the Network Access link to start the network access tunnel, or one network access tunnel (that is configured with Auto launch enabled) can start automatically.
After you complete the access policy, you must define a connectivity profile. In the virtual server definition, you must select the access policy and connectivity profile.
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