Customize the GlobalProtect Agent

The portal agent configuration allows you to customize how your end users interact with the GlobalProtect agents installed on their systems or the GlobalProtect app installed on their mobile devices. You can define different agent settings for the different GlobalProtect agent configurations you create. For more information on GlobalProtect client requirements, see What Client OS Versions are Supported with GlobalProtect?
You can customize the display and behavior of the agent. For example, you can specify the following:
  • What menus and views users can access.
  • Whether users can disable the agent (applies to the user-logon connect method only).
  • Whether to display a welcome page upon successful login. You can also configure whether or not the user can dismiss the welcome page and you can create custom welcome and help pages that explain how to use GlobalProtect within your environment. See Customize the GlobalProtect Portal Login, Welcome, and Help Pages.
  • Whether agent upgrades occur automatically or whether users are prompted to upgrade.
You can also define agent settings directly from the Windows registry or the global Mac plist. For Windows clients you can also define agent settings directly from the Windows installer (Msiexec). Settings defined in the portal agent configurations in the web interface take precedence over settings defined in the Windows registry/Msiexec or the Mac plist. For more details, see Deploy Agent Settings Transparently.
Additional options that are available only through the Windows command line (Msiexec) or Windows registry, enable you to (for more information, see Customizable Agent Settings):
  • Specify whether the agent should prompt the end user for credentials if Windows SSO fails.
  • Specify the default portal IP address (or hostname).
  • Enable GlobalProtect to initiate a VPN connection before the user logs into the endpoint.
  • Deploy scripts that run before or after GlobalProtect establishes a VPN connection or after GlobalProtect disconnects the VPN connection.
  • Enable the GlobalProtect agent to wrap third-party credentials on the Windows client, allowing for SSO when using a third-party credential provider.
Use the following procedure to customize the GlobalProtect agent.
  1. Select the Agent tab in the agent configuration you want to customize.
    You can also configure most settings that are on the App tab from a group policy by adding settings to the Windows registry/Mac plist. On Windows systems, you can also set them using the Msiexec utility on the command line during the agent installation. However, settings defined in the web interface or the CLI take precedence over registry/plist settings. See Deploy Agent Settings Transparently for details.
    1. Select NetworkGlobalProtectPortals and select the portal configuration for which you want to add an agent configuration (or Add a new configuration).
    2. Select the Agent tab and select the configuration you want to modify (or Add a new configuration).
    3. Select the App tab.
      The App Configurations area displays the options with default values that you can customize for each agent configuration. When you change the default behavior, the web interface changes the color from gray to the default text color.
  2. Specify the Connect Method that an agent or app uses for its GlobalProtect connection.
    Consider the following best practices when you configure the Connect Method:
    • Use only the On-demand option (default) if you are using GlobalProtect for VPN access to external gateways.
    • Do not use the On-demand option if you plan to run the GlobalProtect agent in hidden mode.
    • For faster connection times, use internal host detection in configurations where you have enabled SSO.
    In the App Configurations area, select a Connect Method:
    • User-logon (Always On)—The GlobalProtect agent automatically connects to the portal as soon as the user logs in to the endpoint (or domain). When used in conjunction with SSO (Windows users only), GlobalProtect login is transparent to the end user.
    • Pre-logon (Always On)—Authenticates the user and establishes a VPN tunnel to the GlobalProtect gateway before the user logs in to the client. This option requires that you use an external PKI solution to pre-deploy a machine certificate to each endpoint that receives this configuration. See Remote Access VPN with Pre-Logon for details about pre-logon.
    • On-demand (Manual user initiated connection)—Users will have to manually launch the agent to connect to GlobalProtect. Use this connect method for external gateways only.
    • Pre-logon then On-demand—Similar to the Pre-logon (Always On) connect method, this connect method (which requires Content Release version 590-3397 or later) enables the GlobalProtect agent to authenticate the user and establish a VPN tunnel to the GlobalProtect gateway before the user logs in to the client. Unlike the pre-logon connection method, after the user logs in to the client, users must manually launch the agent to connect to GlobalProtect if the connection is terminated for any reason. The benefit of this option is that you can allow a user to specify a new password after password expiration or a user forgets their password but still require the user to manually initiate the connection after the user logs in.
  3. Specify whether to enforce GlobalProtect connections for network access.
    To enforce GlobalProtect for network access, we recommend that you enable this feature only for users that connect in User-logon or Pre-logon modes. Users that connect in On-demand mode may not be able to establish a connection within the permitted grace periods.
    In the App Configurations area, configure any of the following options:
    • To force all network traffic to traverse a GlobalProtect tunnel, set Enforce GlobalProtect Connection for Network Access to Yes. By default, GlobalProtect is not required for network access meaning users can still access the internet if GlobalProtect is disabled or disconnected. To provide instructions to users before traffic is blocked, configure a Traffic Blocking Notification Message and optionally specify when to display the message (Traffic Blocking Notification Delay).
    • To permit traffic required to establish a connection with a captive portal, specify a Captive Portal Exception Timeout. The user must authenticate with the portal before the timeout expires. To provide additional instructions, configure a Captive Portal Detection Message.
    These features require Content Release version 607-3486 or later.
  4. Specify additional GlobalProtect connection settings.
    With single sign-on (SSO) enabled (the default), the GlobalProtect agent uses the user’s Windows login credentials to automatically authenticate to and connect to the GlobalProtect portal and gateway. GlobalProtect with SSO enabled also allows for the GlobalProtect agent to wrap third-party credentials to ensure that Windows users can authenticate and connect, even when a third-party credential provider is being used to wrap the Windows login credentials.
    In the App Configurations area, configure any of the following options:
    • (Windows only) Set Use Single Sign-On to No to disallow GlobalProtect to use the Windows login credentials to automatically authenticate the user upon login to Active Directory.
      If you configure the GlobalProtect gateway to authenticate users through SAML authentication and also generate and accept cookies for authentication override, you must set the Use Single Sign-On option to No when the user’s Windows username is different from his or her SAML username (for example, the Windows username is “user” and the SAML username is “user123”) or if one username contains a fully qualified domain name (for example, the Windows username is “user” and the SAML username is “user@example.com”).
    • Enter the Maximum Internal Gateway Connection Attempts to specify the number of times the GlobalProtect agent should retry the connection to an internal gateway after the first attempt fails (range is 0-100; 4 or 5 is recommended; default is 0, which means the GlobalProtect agent does not retry the connection). By increasing the value, you enable the agent to connect to an internal gateway that is temporarily down or unreachable during the first connection attempt but comes back up before the specified number of retries are exhausted. Increasing the value also ensures that the internal gateway receives the most up-to-date user and host information.
    • Enter the GlobalProtect App Config Refresh Interval (hours) to specify the number of hours the GlobalProtect portal waits before it initiates the next refresh of a client’s configuration (range is 1-168; default is 24).
    • Specify whether to Retain Connection on Smart Card Removal. By default, the option is set to Yes, meaning GlobalProtect retains the tunnel when a user removes a smart card containing a client certificate. To terminate the tunnel, set this option to No. The decision on whether to retain the connection depends on your security requirements.
    This feature requires Content Release version 590-3397 or a later version.
  5. Configure the menus and UI views that are available to users who have this agent configuration.
    • If you want users to be able to see only basic status information within the application, set Enable Advanced View to No. By default, the advanced view is enabled. It allows users to see detailed statistical, host, and troubleshooting information and to perform certain tasks, such as changing their password.
    • If you want hide the GlobalProtect agent on end-user systems, set Display GlobalProtect Icon to No. When the icon is hidden, users cannot perform other tasks such as changing passwords, rediscovering the network, resubmitting host information, viewing troubleshooting information, or performing an on-demand connection. However, HIP notification messages, login prompts, and certificate dialogs will still display as necessary for interacting with the end user.
    • To prevent users from performing a network rediscovery, set the Enable Rediscover Network Option to No. When you disable the option, it is grayed out in the GlobalProtect menu.
    • To prevent users from manually resubmitting HIP data to the gateway, set Enable Resubmit Host Profile Option to No. This option is enabled by default, and is useful in cases where HIP-based security policy prevents users from accessing resources because it allows the user to fix the compliance issue on the computer and then resubmit the HIP.
    • (Windows only) To allow GlobalProtect to display notifications in the notification area (system tray), set Show System Tray Notifications to Yes.
    • To create a custom message to display to users when their password is about to expire configure the Custom Password Expiration Message (LDAP Authentication Only). The maximum message length is 200 characters.
  6. Define what the end users with this configuration can do in their client.
    • Set Allow User to Change PortalAddress to No to disable the Portal field on the Home tab in the GlobalProtect agent. Because the user will then be unable to specify a portal to which to connect, you must supply the default portal address in the Windows registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Palo Alto Networks\GlobalProtect\PanSetup with key Portal) or the Mac plist (/Library/Preferences/com. paloaltonetworks.GlobalProtect.settings.plist with key Portal under dictionary PanSetup). For more information, see Deploy Agent Settings Transparently.
    • To prevent users from dismissing the welcome page, set Allow User to Dismiss Welcome Page to No. Otherwise, when set to Yes, the user can dismiss the welcome page and prevent GlobalProtect from displaying the page after subsequent logins.
  7. Specify whether users can disable the GlobalProtect agent.
    The Allow User to Disable GlobalProtect option applies to agent configurations that have the Connect Method set to User-Logon (Always On). In user-logon mode, the agent or app automatically connects to GlobalProtect as soon as the user logs in to the endpoint. This mode is sometimes referred to as “always on,” which is why the user must override this behavior to disable GlobalProtect client.
    By default, this option is set to Allow which permits users to disable GlobalProtect without providing a comment, passcode, or ticket number.
    If the agent icon is not visible, users are not able to disable the GlobalProtect client. See 5 for details.
    • To prevent users with the user-logon connect method from disabling GlobalProtect, set Allow User to Disable GlobalProtect to Disallow.
    • To allow users to disable GlobalProtect if they provide a passcode, set Allow User to Disable GlobalProtect to Allow with Passcode. Then, in the Disable GlobalProtect App area, enter (and confirm) the Passcode that the end users must supply.
    • To allow users to disconnect if they provide a ticket, set Allow User to Disable GlobalProtect to Allow with Ticket. With this option, the disconnect action triggers the agent to generate a Request Number. The end user must then communicate the Request Number to the administrator. The administrator then clicks Generate Ticket on the NetworkGlobalProtectPortals page and enters the request number from the user to generate the ticket. The administrator then provides the ticket to the end user, who enters it into the Disable GlobalProtect dialog to enable the agent to disconnect.
      gp-ticket-override.png
    • To limit the number of times users can disable the GlobalProtect client, enter a value in the Max Times User Can Disable field in the Disable GlobalProtect App area. A value of 0 (the default) indicates that users are not limited in the number of times they can disable the client.
      This setting is applicable only with the Allow, Allow with Comment, and Allow with Passcode disable options.
      If your users disable the GlobalProtect client the maximum number of times and must continue to have the ability to disable the client thereafter:
      • You can increase the Max Times User Can Disable value in the GlobalProtect portal agent configuration (NetworkGlobalProtectPortals<portal-config>Agent<agent-config>App). The user must then select Rediscover Network or establish a new GlobalProtect connection in order for the new value to take effect.
      • Users can reset the counter by reinstalling the client.
    • To restrict how long the user may be disconnected, enter a value (in minutes) in the User Can Disable Timeout (min) field in the Disable GlobalProtect App area. A value of 0 (the default) means that there is no restriction on how long the user can keep the client disabled.
      This setting is applicable only with the Allow, Allow with Comment, and Allow with Passcode disable options.
  8. Configure the certificate settings and behavior for the users that receive this configuration.
    • Client Certificate Store Lookup—Select which store the agent should use to look up client certificates. User certificates are stored in the Current User certificate store on Windows and in the Personal Keychain on Mac OS. Machine certificates are stored in the Local Computer certificate store on Windows and in the System Keychain on Mac OS. By default, the agent looks for User and machine certificates in both places.
    • SCEP Certificate Renewal Period (days)—With SCEP, the portal can request a new client certificate before the certificate expires. This time before the certificate expires is the optional SCEP certificate renewal period. During a configurable number of days before a client certificate expires, the portal can request a new certificate from the SCEP server in your enterprise PKI (range is 0-30; default is 7). A value of 0 means the portal does not automatically renew the client certificate when it refreshes the agent configuration.
      For an agent or app to obtain the new certificate during the renewal period, the user must log in to the GlobalProtect client. For example, if a client certificate has a lifespan of 90 days, the certificate renewal period is 7 days, and the user logs in during the final 7 days of the certificate lifespan, the portal acquires a new certificate and deploys it along with a fresh agent configuration. For more information, see Deploy User-Specific Client Certificates for Authentication.
    • Extended Key Usage OID for Client Certificate—Enter the extended key usage of a client certificate by specifying its object identifier (OID). This setting ensures that the GlobalProtect agent selects only a certificate that is intended for client authentication when multiple certificate types are present and enables GlobalProtect to save the selection for future use. This option is supported on Windows and Mac endpoints only.
    • If you do not want the agent to establish a connection with the portal when the portal certificate is not valid, set Allow User to Continue with Invalid Portal Server Certificate to No. Keep in mind that the portal provides the agent configuration only; it does not provide network access and therefore security to the portal is less critical than security to the gateway. However, if you have deployed a trusted server certificate for the portal, deselecting this option can help prevent man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
  9. (Windows only) Configure settings for Windows-based endpoints that receive this configuration.
    • Update DNS Settings at Connect—Select Yes to flush the DNS cache and force all adapters to use the DNS settings in the configuration. Select No (the default) to use the DNS settings from the physical adapter on the endpoint.
    • Send HIP Report Immediately if Windows Security Center (WSC) State Changes—Select No to prevent the GlobalProtect agent from sending HIP data when the status of the Windows Security Center (WSC) changes. Select Yes (default) to immediately send HIP data when the status of the WSC changes.
    • Detect Proxy for Each Connection—Select No to auto-detect the proxy for the portal connection and use that proxy for subsequent connections. Select Yes (default) to auto-detect the proxy at every connection.
    • Clear Single Sign-On Credentials on Logout—Select No to keep single sign-on credentials when the user logs out. Select Yes (default) to clear them and force the user to enter credentials upon the next login.
    • Use Default Authentication on Kerberos Authentication Failure—Select No to use only Kerberos authentication. Select Yes (default) to retry using the default authentication method after authentication using Kerberos fails.
  10. If your endpoints frequently experience latency or slowness when connecting to the GlobalProtect portal or gateways, consider adjusting the portal and TCP timeout values.
    To allow more time for your endpoints to connect to or receive data from the portal or gateway, increase the timeout values, as needed. Keep in mind that increasing the values can result in longer wait times if the GlobalProtect agent is unable to establish the connection. In contrast, decreasing the values can prevent the GlobalProtect agent from establishing a connection when the portal or gateway does not respond before the timeout expires.
    Configure values for any of the following options:
    • Portal Connection Timeout (sec)—The number of seconds (between 1 and 600) before a connection request to the portal times out due to no response from the portal. When your firewall is running Applications and Threats content versions earlier than 777-4484, the default is 30. Starting with content version 777-4484, the default is 5.
    • TCP Connection Timeout (sec)—The number of seconds (between 1 and 600) before a TCP connection request times out due to unresponsiveness from either end of the connection. When your firewall is running Applications and Threats content versions earlier than 777-4484, the default is 60. Starting with content version 777-4484, the default is 5.
    • TCP Receive Timeout (sec)—The number of seconds before a TCP connection times out due to the absence of some partial response of a TCP request (range is 1-600; default is 30).
  11. Specify whether remote desktop connections are permitted over existing VPN tunnels by specifying the User Switch Tunnel Rename Timeout. When a new user connects to a Windows machine using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), the gateway reassigns the VPN tunnel to the new user. The gateway can then enforce security policies on the new user.
    Allowing remote desktop connections over VPN tunnels can be useful in situations where an IT administrator needs to access a remote end-user system using RDP.
    By default, the User Switch Tunnel Rename Timeout field is set to 0 meaning the GlobalProtect gateway terminates the connection if a new user authenticates over the VPN tunnel. To modify this behavior, configure a timeout value from 1 to 600 seconds. If the new user does not log in to the gateway before the timeout value expires, the GlobalProtect gateway terminates the VPN tunnel assigned to the first user.
    Changing the User Switch Tunnel Rename Timeout value only affects the RDP tunnel and does not rename a pre-logon tunnel when configured.
  12. Specify how GlobalProtect agent upgrades occur.
    If you want to control when users can upgrade, for example if you want to test a release on a small group of users before deploying it to your entire user base, you can customize the agent upgrade behavior on a per-configuration basis. In this case, you could create a configuration that applies to users in your IT group only to allow them to upgrade and test and disable upgrade in all other user/group configurations. Then, after you have thoroughly tested the new version, you could modify the agent configurations for the rest of your users to allow the upgrade.
    By default, the Allow User to Upgrade GlobalProtect App field is set to prompt the end user to upgrade. To modify this behavior, select one of the following options:
    • If you want upgrades to occur automatically without interaction with the user, select Allow Transparently.
    • To prevent agent upgrades, select Disallow.
    • To allow end users to initiate agent upgrades, select Allow Manually. In this case, the user would select the Check Version option in the agent to determine if there is a new agent version and then upgrade if desired. Note that this option will not work if the GlobalProtect agent is hidden from the user. See 6 for details.
  13. Specify whether to display a welcome page upon successful login.
    A welcome page can be a useful way to direct users to internal resources that they can only access when connected to GlobalProtect, such as your Intranet or other internal servers.
    By default, the only indication that the agent has successfully connected to GlobalProtect is a balloon message that displays in the system tray/menubar.
    To display a welcome page after a successful login select factory-default from the Welcome Page drop-down on the right. GlobalProtect displays the welcome page in the default browser on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook endpoints, or within the GlobalProtect app on mobile devices. You can also select a custom welcome page that provides information specific to your users, or to a specific group of users (based on which portal configuration gets deployed). For details on creating custom pages, see Customize the GlobalProtect Portal Login, Welcome, and Help Pages.
  14. Save the agent configuration settings.
    1. If you are done creating agent configurations, click OK to close the Configs dialog. Otherwise, for instructions on completing the agent configurations, return to Define the GlobalProtect Agent Configurations.
    2. If you are done configuring the portal, click OK to close the GlobalProtect Portal Configuration dialog.
    3. When you finish the portal configuration, Commit the changes.

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