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Manual Chapter: Configuring the URL Database for SWG
Manual Chapter
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About initial configuration steps for SWG

On a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription, the first thing you must do is download the URL database. After that, if you want to use transparent user identification, you should install one of the Secure Web Gateway user identification agents: F5 DC Agent or F5 Logon Agent.

Overview: Downloading and updating the URL database for SWG

Note: A URL database is available only on a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription.

On a system where URL database download is available, you must complete the download before you start to configure per-request policies to categorize and filter URLs. You can download the URL database to the BIG-IP system or to an upstream proxy.

For SWG to best protect your network from new threats, schedule regular database downloads to update the existing URL categories with new URLs. Without these updates, SWG uses obsolete security intelligence and as a result, protection of your networks is less effective.

Task summary

Configuring an upstream proxy for the BIG-IP system

If your network practices do not permit you to download data from the Internet to the BIG-IP® system, configure an upstream proxy to use for this type of access instead.
Note: You can configure only one upstream proxy for the BIG-IP system.
  1. On the Main tab, select System > Configuration > Device > Upstream Proxy > .
  2. In the Name field, type a name for the proxy server.
  3. In the IP Address field, type the IP address for the proxy server.
  4. In the Port field, type the port number for the proxy server.
  5. In the User Name and Passwordfields, type credentials for an account on the proxy server if needed.
  6. Click Save.
The upstream proxy is configured.
You can update the IP address, port, and credentials for the upstream proxy if needed. To change the name, you must delete the configuration and create it again.

Downloading the URL database

Note: Database download is required and available only on a BIG-IP®system with an SWG subscription.
To download the database to the BIG-IP system, before you start you must have configured:
  • DNS for the BIG-IP device in the System area of the product.
  • A default route in the Network area of the product.
To download the database to a proxy for the BIG-IP system, before you start you must have configured an upstream proxy in the System area of the product.
Download the URL database to supply URLs and URL categories.
Note: Schedule database downloads to occur during off-peak hours (very little to no user activity), so that users are not impacted. Alternatively, you can initiate database downloads on-demand.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Web Gateway > Database Settings > Database Download .
  2. In the Download Settings area from the Downloads list, select Enabled.
    Additional settings display. Download Schedule displays a default schedule for the download.
  3. To download the database to an upstream proxy, select the Use Proxy check box.
  4. In the Download Schedule settings, configure a two-hour period in which to start the download.
    Schedule the download to occur during off-peak hours. The default schedule is between one and three A.M.
    Warning: After the download completes, database indexing occurs. It consumes a high amount of CPU.
    The process of downloading the master database and the database indexing that follows can take 30 minutes to several hours depending on system capacity.
  5. Click Update Settings.
  6. To download the database immediately, click Download Now.
    A download occurs only when a newer version becomes available.
    Warning: Database indexing occurs after the download and impacts system performance.
    Warning: The ANTserver service is not available on the BIG-IP system for approximately 300 milliseconds after the database download completes.

Looking up a URL category in the master database

You can look up a URL to determine whether it already exists in the master database and, if it exists, to see which categories include it.
Note: A URL database is available only on a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Web Gateway > Database Settings > URL Category Lookup .
  2. In the URL field, type the URL that you want to look up.
    Type the complete URL, including the URI scheme.
    Type https://www.google.com; not www.google.com or https://www.google.
  3. Click Search.
    Note: Custom categories are not searched.
    Results display in the URL Category table.
If the URL is not found, you can add it to an existing or a custom category. If the URL is found, you do not need to do anything, but can recategorize it by adding it to another category.

Configuring logging for the URL database

Configure logging for the URL database so that log messages are published to the destinations, and at the minimum log level, that you specify. (Logging for the URL database occurs at the system level, not the session level, and is controlled using the default-log-setting log setting.)
Note: A URL database is available only on a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access > Overview > Event Logs > Settings .
    A log settings table screen opens.
  2. From the table, select default-log-setting and click Edit.
    A log settings popup screen displays.
  3. Verify that the Enable access system logs check box is selected.
  4. To configure settings for access system logging, select Access System Logs from the left pane.
    Access System Logs settings display in the right panel.
  5. From the Log Publisher list, select the log publisher of your choice.
    A log publisher specifies one or more logging destinations.
    Important: The BIG-IP® system is not a logging server and has limited capacity for storing, archiving, and analyzing logs. For this reason a dedicated logging server is recommended.
  6. To change the minimum log level, from the Secure Web Gateway list, select a log level.
    Note: Setting the log level to Debug can adversely impact system performance.
    The default log level is Notice. At this level, logging occurs for messages of severity Notice and for messages at all incrementally greater levels of severity.
  7. Click OK.
    The popup screen closes. The table displays.

Viewing a URL database report

You can view URL database log messages in an Access System Logs report if local logging is configured for the URL database.
Important: The BIG-IP® system is not a logging server and has limited capacity for storing, archiving, and analyzing logs. For this reason a dedicated logging server is recommended.
Create a report to view URL database event logs.
Note: A URL database is available only on a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access > Overview > Access Reports .
    The Reports Browser displays in the right pane. The Report Parameters popup screen opens and displays a description of the current default report and default time settings.
  2. Click Cancel.
    The Report Parameters popup screen closes.
  3. In the Reports Browser in the General Reports list, select URL DB Messages > Run Report .
    The Report Parameters popup screen displays.
  4. Update the parameters, if necessary, and click Run Report.
    The popup screen closes. The report displays in the Report Browser.
Note: The session ID for a URL database message is 00000000 because URL database downloads occur outside of a client session.

Secure Web Gateway database download log messages

When you deploy Secure Web Gateway (SWG), the database downloads output messages to the log destinations specified in the default-log-setting. This table lists messages that are available only when you enable debug.

Note: Database downloads are possible only on a BIG-IP® system with an SWG subscription.
Debug message Description
Transfer Status 247 The file is transferred successfully to the BIG-IP® system. If you see a Transfer Status other than 247, it might indicate an error.
RTU Type The RTU Type is always 1. If you see an RTU Type other than 1, it might indicate an error.
Expiration Date The BIG-IP system does not use the expiration date in this message. Instead, the BIG-IP system enforces the SWG license and the database download works accordingly.
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