Configure an Administrator with SSH Key-Based Authentication for the CLI

For administrators who use Secure Shell (SSH) to access the Panorama CLI, SSH keys provide a more secure authentication method than passwords. SSH keys almost eliminate the risk of brute-force attacks, provide the option for two-factor authentication (private key and passphrase), and don’t send passwords over the network. SSH keys also enable automated scripts to access the CLI.
  1. Use an SSH key generation tool to create an asymmetric key pair on the client system of the administrator.
    The supported key formats are IETF SECSH and Open SSH. The supported algorithms are DSA (1024 bits) and RSA (768-4096 bits).
    For the commands to generate the key pair, refer to your SSH client documentation.
    The public key and private key are separate files. Save both to a location that Panorama can access. For added security, enter a passphrase to encrypt the private key. Panorama prompts the administrator for this passphrase during login.
  2. Configure the administrator account to use public key authentication.
      • Configure one of two authentication methods to use as a fallback if SSH key authentication fails:
        External authentication service
        —Select an
        Authentication Profile
        .
        Local authentication
        —Set the
        Authentication Profile
        to
        None
        and enter a
        Password
        and
        Confirm Password
        .
      • Select the
        Use Public Key Authentication (SSH)
        check box, click
        Import Key
        ,
        Browse
        to the public key you just generated, and click
        OK
        .
    1. Click
      OK
      to save the administrative account.
    2. Select
      Commit
      Commit to Panorama
      and
      Commit
      your changes.
  3. Configure the SSH client to use the private key to authenticate to Panorama.
    Perform this task on the client system of the administrator. Refer to your SSH client documentation as needed to complete this step.
  4. Verify that the administrator can access the Panorama CLI using SSH key authentication.
    1. Use a browser on the client system of the administrator to go to the Panorama IP address.
    2. Log in to the Panorama CLI as the administrator. After entering a username, you will see the following output (the key value is an example):
      Authenticating with public key “dsa-key-20130415”
    3. If prompted, enter the passphrase you defined when creating the keys.

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