Store Private Keys on an HSM

For added security, you can use an HSM to secure the private keys used in SSL/TLS decryption for:
  • SSL Forward Proxy—The HSM can store the private key of the Forward Trust certificate that signs certificates in SSL/TLS forward proxy operations. The firewall will then send the certificates that it generates during such operations to the HSM for signing before forwarding the certificates to the client.
  • SSL Inbound Inspection—The HSM can store the private keys for the internal servers for which you are performing SSL/TLS inbound inspection.
If you use the DHE or ECDHE key exchange algorithms to enable perfect forward secrecy (PFS) support for SSL decryption, you can use an HSM to store the private keys for SSL Inbound Inspection. You can also use an HSM to store ECDSA keys used for SSL Forward Proxy or SSL Inbound Inspection decryption.
  1. On the HSM, import or generate the certificate and private key used in your decryption deployment.
    For instructions on importing or generating a certificate and private key on the HSM, refer to your HSM documentation.
  2. (Thales nShield Connect only) Synchronize the key data from the Thales nShield remote file system to the firewall.
    Synchronization with the SafeNet Network HSM is automatic.
    1. Access the firewall web interface and select DeviceSetupHSM.
    2. Synchronize with Remote Filesystem (Hardware Security Operations settings).
  3. Import the certificate that corresponds to the HSM-stored key.
    1. Select DeviceCertificate ManagementCertificatesDevice Certificates and click Import.
    2. Enter the Certificate Name.
    3. Browse to the Certificate File on the HSM.
    4. Select a File Format.
    5. Select Private Key resides on Hardware Security Module.
    6. Click OK and Commit your changes.
  4. (Forward Trust certificates only) Enable the certificate for use in SSL/TLS Forward Proxy.
    1. Open the certificate you imported in Step 3 for editing.
    2. Select Forward Trust Certificate.
    3. Click OK and Commit your changes.
  5. Verify that you successfully imported the certificate onto the firewall.
    Locate the certificate you imported in Step 3 and check the icon in the Key column:
    • Lock icon—The private key for the certificate is on the HSM.
    • Error icon—The private key is not on the HSM or the HSM is not properly authenticated or connected.

Related Documentation