Configure SAML Authentication for Panorama Administrators

You can use Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 for administrative access to the Panorama web interface (but not the CLI). You can also use SAML attributes to manage administrator authorization. SAML attributes enable you to quickly change the roles, access domains, and user groups of administrators through your directory service instead of reconfiguring settings on Panorama.
To configure SAML single sign-on (SSO) and single logout (SLO), you must register Panorama and the identity provider (IdP) with each other to enable communication between them. If the IdP provides a metadata file containing registration information, you can import it onto Panorama to register the IdP and to create an IdP server profile. The server profile defines how to connect to the IdP and specifies the certificate that the IdP uses to sign SAML messages. You can also use a certificate for Panorama to sign SAML messages. Using certificates is optional but recommended to secure communications between Panorama and the IdP.
  1. (
    Recommended
    ) Obtain the certificates that the IdP and Panorama will use to sign SAML messages.
    If the certificates don’t specify key usage attributes, all usages are allowed by default, including signing messages. In this case, you can obtain certificates by any method.
    If the certificates do specify key usage attributes, one of the attributes must be Digital Signature, which is not available on certificates that you generate on Panorama. In this case, you must import the certificates:
    • Certificate Panorama uses to sign SAML messages
      —Import the certificate from your enterprise certificate authority (CA) or a third-party CA.
    • Certificate the IdP uses to sign SAML messages
      —Import a metadata file containing the certificate from the IdP (see the next step). The IdP certificate is limited to the following algorithms:
      • Public key algorithms
        —RSA (1,024 bits or larger) and ECDSA (all sizes).
      • Signature algorithms
        —SHA1, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512.
  2. Add a SAML IdP server profile.
    The server profile registers the IdP with Panorama and defines how they connect.
    In this example, you import a SAML metadata file from the IdP so that Panorama can automatically create a server profile and populate the connection, registration, and IdP certificate information.
    If the IdP doesn’t provide a metadata file, select
    Panorama
    Server Profiles
    SAML Identity Provider
    ,
    Add
    the server profile, and manually enter the information (consult your IdP administrator for the values).
    1. Export the SAML metadata file from the IdP to a client system that Panorama can access.
      The certificate specified in the file must meet the requirements listed in the preceding step. Refer to your IdP documentation for instructions on exporting the file.
    2. Select
      Panorama
      Server Profiles
      SAML Identity Provider
      and
      Import
      the metadata file onto Panorama.
    3. Enter a
      Profile Name
      to identify the server profile.
    4. Browse
      to the
      Identity Provider Metadata
      file.
    5. (
      Recommended
      ) Select
      Validate Identity Provider Certificate
      (default) to have Panorama validate the
      Identity Provider Certificate
      .
      Validation occurs only after you assign the server profile to an authentication profile and
      Commit
      . Panorama uses the
      Certificate Profile
      in the authentication profile to validate the certificate.
      Validating the certificate is a best practice for improved security.
    6. Enter the
      Maximum Clock Skew
      , which is the allowed difference in seconds between the system times of the IdP and Panorama at the moment when Panorama validates IdP messages (default is 60; range is 1 to 900). If the difference exceeds this value, authentication fails.
    7. Click
      OK
      to save the server profile.
    8. Click the server profile Name to display the profile settings. Verify that the imported information is correct and edit it if necessary.
  3. Configure an authentication profile.
    The authentication profile specifies a SAML IdP server profile and defines options for the authentication process, such as SLO.
    1. Select
      Panorama
      Authentication Profile
      and
      Add
      a profile.
    2. Enter a
      Name
      to identify the profile.
    3. Set the
      Type
      to
      SAML
      .
    4. Select the
      IdP Server Profile
      you configured.
    5. Select the
      Certificate for Signing Requests
      .
      Panorama uses this certificate to sign messages it sends to the IdP.
    6. (
      Optional
      )
      Enable Single Logout
      (disabled by default).
    7. Select the
      Certificate Profile
      that Panorama will use to validate the
      Identity Provider Certificate
      .
    8. Enter the
      Username Attribute
      that IdP messages use to identify users (default
      username
      ).
      When you predefine dynamic administrator roles for users, use lower-case to specify the role (for example, enter
      superuser
      , not
      SuperUser
      ). If you manage administrator authorization through the IdP identity store, specify the
      Admin Role Attribute
      and
      Access Domain Attribute
      also.
    9. Select
      Advanced
      and
      Add
      the administrators who are allowed to authenticate with this authentication profile.
    10. Click
      OK
      to save the authentication profile.
  4. Configure Panorama to use the authentication profile for all administrators.
    1. Select
      Panorama
      Setup
      Management
      , edit the Authentication Settings, and select the
      Authentication Profile
      you configured.
    2. Select
      Commit
      Commit to Panorama
      to activate your changes on Panorama and to validate the
      Identity Provider Certificate
      that you assigned to the SAML IdP server profile.
  5. Create a SAML metadata file to register Panorama on the IdP.
    1. Select
      Panorama
      Authentication Profile
      and, in the Authentication column for the authentication profile you configured, click
      Metadata
      .
    2. Set the
      Management Choice
      to
      Interface
      (default is selected) and select the management (MGT) interface.
    3. Click
      OK
      and save the metadata file to your client system.
    4. Import the metadata file into the IdP server to register Panorama. Refer to your IdP documentation for instructions.
  6. Verify that administrators can authenticate using SAML SSO.
    1. Go to the URL of the Panorama web interface.
    2. Click
      Use Single Sign-On
      .
    3. Click
      Continue
      .
      Panorama redirects you to authenticate to the IdP, which displays a login page. For example:
      saml_sso_login-page_3.png
    4. Log in using your SSO username and password.
      After you successfully authenticate on the IdP, it redirects you back to Panorama, which displays the web interface.
    5. Use your Panorama administrator account to request access to another SSO application.
      Successful access indicates SAML SSO authentication succeeded.

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