External Authentication Services

The firewall and Panorama can use external servers to control administrative access to the web interface and end user access to services or applications through Captive Portal and GlobalProtect. In this context, any authentication service that is not local to the firewall or Panorama is considered external, regardless of whether the service is internal (such as Kerberos) or external (such as a SAML identity provider) relative to your network. The server types that the firewall and Panorama can integrate with include Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), SAML, Kerberos, TACACS+, RADIUS, and LDAP. Although you can also use the Local Authentication services that the firewall and Panorama support, usually external services are preferable because they provide:
  • Central management of all user accounts in an external identity store. All the supported external services provide this option for end users and administrators.
  • Central management of account authorization (role and access domain assignments). SAML, TACACS+, and RADIUS support this option for administrators.
  • Single sign-on (SSO), which enables users to authenticate only once for access to multiple services and applications. SAML and Kerberos support SSO.
  • Multiple authentication challenges of different types (factors) to protect your most sensitive services and applications. MFA services support this option.
Authentication through an external service requires a server profile that defines how the firewall connects to the service. You assign the server profile to authentication profiles, which define settings that you customize for each application and set of users. For example, you can configure one authentication profile for administrators who access the web interface and another profile for end users who access a GlobalProtect portal. For details, see Configure an Authentication Profile and Sequence.

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