Configure Captive Portal

The following procedure shows how to set up Captive Portal authentication by configuring the PAN-OS integrated User-ID agent to redirect web requests that match an Authentication Policy rule to a firewall interface (redirect host). Based on their sensitivity, the applications that users access through Captive Portal require different authentication methods and settings. To accommodate all authentication requirements, you can use default and custom authentication enforcement objects. Each object associates an Authentication rule with an authentication profile and a Captive Portal authentication method.
  • Default authentication enforcement objects—Use the default objects if you want to associate multiple Authentication rules with the same global authentication profile. You must configure this authentication profile before configuring Captive Portal, and then assign it in the Captive Portal Settings. For Authentication rules that require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), you cannot use default authentication enforcement objects.
  • Custom authentication enforcement objects—Use a custom object for each Authentication rule that requires an authentication profile that differs from the global profile. Custom objects are mandatory for Authentication rules that require MFA. To use custom objects, create authentication profiles and assign them to the objects after configuring Captive Portal—when you Configure Authentication Policy.
Keep in mind that authentication profiles are necessary only if users authenticate through a Captive Portal Web Form, Kerberos SSO, or NT LAN Manager (NTLM). Alternatively, or in addition to these methods, the following procedure also describes how to implement Client Certificate Authentication.
If you use Captive Portal without the other User-ID functions (user mapping and group mapping), you don’t need to configure a User-ID agent.
  1. Configure the interfaces that the firewall will use for incoming web requests, authenticating users, and communicating with directory servers to map usernames to IP addresses.
    By default, the firewall uses the management interface for authentication requests and communication with the Active Directory and User-ID agent. You can redirect Captive Portal requests to a dataplane interface by configuring service routes.
    1. (MGT interface only) Select DeviceSetupInterfaces, edit the Management interface, select User-ID, and click OK.
    2. (Non-MGT interface only) Assign an Interface Management Profile to the Layer 3 interface that the firewall will use for incoming web requests and communication with directory servers. You must enable Response Pages and User-ID in the Interface Management profile.
    3. (Non-MGT interface only) Configure a service route for the interface that the firewall will use to authenticate users. If the firewall has more than one virtual system (vsys), the service route can be global or vsys-specific. The services must include LDAP and potentially the following:
    4. (Redirect mode only) Create a DNS address (A) record that maps the IP address on the Layer 3 interface to the redirect host. If you will use Kerberos SSO, you must also add a DNS pointer (PTR) record that performs the same mapping.
    If your network doesn’t support access to the directory servers from any firewall interface, you must Configure User Mapping Using the Windows User-ID Agent.
  2. Make sure Domain Name System (DNS) is configured to resolve your domain controller addresses.
    To verify proper resolution, ping the server FQDN. For example:
    admin@PA-200> ping host
  3. Configure clients to trust Captive Portal certificates.
    Required for redirect mode—to transparently redirect users without displaying certificate errors. You can generate a self-signed certificate or import a certificate that an external certificate authority (CA) signed.
    To use a self-signed certificate, create a root CA certificate and use it to sign the certificate you will use for Captive Portal:
    1. Select DeviceCertificate ManagementCertificatesDevice Certificates.
    2. Create a Self-Signed Root CA Certificate or import a CA certificate (see Import a Certificate and Private Key).
    3. Generate a Certificate to use for Captive Portal. Be sure to configure the following fields:
      • Common Name—Enter the DNS name of the intranet host for the Layer 3 interface.
      • Signed By—Select the CA certificate you just created or imported.
      • Certificate Attributes—Click Add, for the Type select IP and, for the Value, enter the IP address of the Layer 3 interface to which the firewall will redirect requests.
    4. Configure an SSL/TLS Service Profile. Assign the Captive Portal certificate you just created to the profile.
    5. Configure clients to trust the certificate:
      1. Export the CA certificate you created or imported.
      2. Import the certificate as a trusted root CA into all client browsers, either by manually configuring the browser or by adding the certificate to the trusted roots in an Active Directory (AD) Group Policy Object (GPO).
  4. (Optional) Configure Client Certificate Authentication.
    You don’t need an authentication profile or sequence for client certificate authentication. If you configure both an authentication profile/sequence and certificate authentication, users must authenticate using both.
    1. Use a root CA certificate to generate a client certificate for each user who will authenticate through Captive Portal. The CA in this case is usually your enterprise CA, not the firewall.
    2. Export the CA certificate in PEM format to a system that the firewall can access.
    3. Import the CA certificate onto the firewall: see Import a Certificate and Private Key. After the import, click the imported certificate, select Trusted Root CA, and click OK.
    4. Configure a Certificate Profile.
      • In the Username Field drop-down, select the certificate field that contains the user identity information.
      • In the CA Certificates list, click Add and select the CA certificate you just imported.
  5. (Optional) Enable NT LAN Manager (NTLM) authentication.
    As a best practice, choose Kerberos single sign-on (SSO) or SAML SSO authentication over NTLM authentication. Kerberos and SAML are stronger, more robust authentication methods than NTLM and do not require the firewall to have an administrative account to join the domain. If you do configure NTLM, the PAN-OS integrated User-ID agent must be able to successfully resolve the DNS name of your domain controller to join the domain.
    1. If you haven’t already done so, Create a Dedicated Service Account for the User-ID Agent.
      As a best practice, you use a User-ID agent account that is separate from your firewall administrator account.
    2. Select DeviceUser IdentificationUser Mapping and edit the Palo Alto Networks User ID Agent Setup section.
    3. Select NTLM and Enable NTLM authentication processing.
    4. Enter the NTLM Domain against which the User-ID agent on the firewall will check NTLM credentials.
    5. Enter the Admin User Name and Password of the Active Directory account you created for the User-ID agent.
      Do not include the domain in the Admin User Name field. Otherwise, the firewall will fail to join the domain.
    6. Click OK to save your settings.
  6. (Optional) Configure Captive Portal for the Apple Captive Network Assistant.
    This step is only required if you are using Captive Portal with the Apple Captive Network Assistant (CNA). To use Captive Portal with CNA, perform the following steps.
    1. Verify you have specified an FQDN for the redirect host (not just an IP address).
    2. Select an SSL/TLS service profile that uses a publicly-signed certificate for the specified FQDN.
    3. Enter the following command to adjust the number of requests supported for Captive Portal: set deviceconfig setting ctd cap-portal-ask-requests <threshold-value>
      By default, the firewall has a rate limit threshold for Captive Portal that limits the number of requests to one request every two seconds. The CNA sends multiple requests that can exceed this limit, which can result in a TCP reset and an error from the CNA. The recommended threshold value is 5 (default is one). This value will allow up to 5 requests every two seconds. Based on your environment, you may need to configure a different value. If the current value is not sufficient to handle the number of requests, increase the value.
  7. Configure the Captive Portal settings.
    1. Select DeviceUser IdentificationCaptive Portal Settings and edit the settings.
    2. Enable Captive Portal (default is enabled).
    3. Specify the Timer, which is the maximum time in minutes that the firewall retains an IP address-to-username mapping for a user after that user authenticates through Captive Portal (default is 60; range is 1 to 1,440). After the Timer expires, the firewall removes the mapping and any associated Authentication Timestamps used to evaluate the Timeout in Authentication policy rules.
      When evaluating the Captive Portal Timer and the Timeout value in each Authentication policy rule, the firewall prompts the user to re-authenticate for whichever setting expires first. Upon re-authenticating, the firewall resets the time count for the Captive Portal Timer and records new authentication timestamps for the user. Therefore, to enable different Timeout periods for different Authentication rules, set the Captive Portal Timer to a value the same as or higher than any rule Timeout.
    4. Select the SSL/TLS Service Profile you created for redirect requests over TLS. See Configure an SSL/TLS Service Profile.
    5. Select the Mode (in this example, Redirect).
    6. (Redirect mode only) Specify the Redirect Host, which is the intranet hostname (a hostname with no period in its name) that resolves to the IP address of the Layer 3 interface on the firewall to which web requests are redirected.
      If users authenticate through Kerberos single sign-on (SSO), the Redirect Host must be the same as the hostname specified in the Kerberos keytab.
    7. Select the authentication method to use if NTLM fails (or if you don’t use NTLM):
      • To use client certificate authentication, select the Certificate Profile you created.
      • To use global settings for interactive or SSO authentication, select the Authentication Profile you configured.
      • To use Authentication policy rule-specific settings for interactive or SSO authentication, assign authentication profiles to authentication enforcement objects when you Configure Authentication Policy.
    8. Click OK and Commit the Captive Portal configuration.
  8. Next steps...
    The firewall does not display the Captive Portal web form to users until you Configure Authentication Policy rules that trigger authentication when users request services or applications.

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