F5 BIG-IP APM SAML Integration with AuthPoint

Deployment Overview

This document describes how to set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) for F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) with AuthPoint as an identity provider. BIG-IP APM must already be configured and deployed before you set up MFA with AuthPoint.

This integration was tested with BIG-IP APM v15.0.1-0.0.11.

BIG-IP APM Authentication Data Flow with AuthPoint

AuthPoint communicates with various cloud-based services and service providers with the SAML protocol. This diagram shows the data flow of an MFA transaction for BIG-IP APM.

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Before You Begin

Before you begin these procedures, make sure that:

Configure BIG-IP APM

In the F5 BIG-IP Setup Utility, in the Resource Provisioning step, you must change Access Policy (APM) to Nominal. The default is Local Traffic (LTM).

Download AuthPoint Metadata

To start, you must download the metadata file from the Certificate Management page in the AuthPoint management UI. Once you have that, you can configure BIG-IP APM.

  1. Log in to WatchGuard Cloud.
  2. From the navigation menu, select Configure > AuthPoint. If you have a Service Provider account, you must first pivot to your Subscriber view.
  3. Select Resources.
  4. Click Certificate.

  1. Next to AuthPoint certificate you will associate with your resource, click and select Download Metadata and Download Certificate. We recommend that you choose the certificate with the latest expiration date.

    The AuthPoint metadata provides your resource, in this case BIG-IP APM, with information necessary to identify AuthPoint as a trusted identity provider.

Configure BIG-IP APM as a Service Provider

  1. Log in to the BIG-IP APM web UI from the management port (https://management port IP address).
  2. Select Access > Federation > SAML Service Provider > Local SP Services.

    Local SP Service

  3. Click Create.
  4. Type a name for the service provider (BIG-IP APM). In our example, we type BIGIP-SAML.
  5. In the Entity ID text box, type the external access URL of the BIG-IP APM.

    SAML SP Service

  6. Click OK.

Configure AuthPoint as an Identity Provider

The BIG-IP APM system is a SAML service provider. It sends authentication requests to AuthPoint and receives assertions from the AuthPoint (the identity provider).

AuthPoint must be set as an identity provider. This requires the metadata file that you downloaded in the Download AuthPoint Metadata section.

  1. Select Access > Federation > SAML Service Provider > External IdP Connectors.

    External IdP Connectors

  2. Select Create > From Metadata.
  3. Click Browse and select the AuthPoint metadata file you downloaded in the Download AuthPoint Metadata section.
  4. Type a name for the identity provider (AuthPoint). In our example, we type AuthPoint_SAML.

    SAML IdP Connector

  5. Click OK.

Associate an Identity Provider Connector with the Service Provider

  1. Select Access > Federation > SAML Service Provider > Local SP Services.

    Local SP Service

  2. Select the service provider you created for BIG-IP APM.
  3. Click Bind/Unbind IdP Connectors.

    SAML Bind Unbind IdP Connectors

    SAML Bind Unbind IdP Connectors

  4. Click Add New Row.

     Add New Row

  5. From the SAML IdP Connectors drop-down list, select the IdP connector you created for AuthPoint.
  6. Click Update.

     Add New Row

  7. Click OK.

Configure a Lease Pool

You configure a lease pool to associate a group of IPv4 or IPv6 addresses with a network access resource. When a lease pool is assigned to a network access resource, network access clients are automatically assigned unallocated IP addresses from the pool during the network access session.

To create a lease pool to provide internal network addresses for network access tunnel users:

  1. Select Access > Connectivity/VPN > Network Access (VPN) > IPV4 Lease Pools.

    Screenshot of the add Lease Pools page

  2. Click Create.
  3. Type a name for the lease pool.
  4. For Type, select IP Address Range.
  5. Type the Start IP Address and End IP Address.
  6. Click Add.

    Screenshot of the Add Lease Pool page

  7. Click Finished.

    Screenshot of the Add Lease Pool page

Configure Network Access

The BIG-IP APM Network Access feature provides users with the functionality of a traditional IPSec VPN client. With Network Access, employees, partners, and customers can securely access corporate resources from any location using a standard web browser or the BIG-IP Edge Client.

  1. Select Access > Connectivity/VPN > Network Access (VPN) > Network Access Lists.

    Screenshot of the add Network Access List

  2. Click Create.
  3. Type a name.
  4. Select the Auto launch check box.

    Screenshot of the add Network Access List

  5. Click Finished.
  6. Select the Network Settings tab.
  7. From the IPV4 Lease Pool drop-down list, select the lease pool that you created.

    Screenshot of the add Network Access List

  8. Click Update.

Configure a Connectivity Profile

A connectivity profile is the profile that is selected in a virtual server definition to define connectivity and client settings for a network access session.

  1. Select Access > Connectivity/VPN > Connectivity > Profiles.

    Screenshot of the add Connectivity Profiles

  2. Click Add.
  3. Type a name.
  4. From the Parent Profile drop-down list, select /Common/connectivity.

    Screenshot of the add Connectivity Profiles

  5. Click OK.

    Screenshot of the add Connectivity Profiles

Configure Webtop

A webtop is a remote implementation of a desktop environment that provides the functionality of a local machine. You connect to a webtop with a web browser.

You can define three types of webtops in BIG-IP APM:

  • A network access only Webtop
  • A portal access Webtop
  • A full Webtop

To configure a webtop:

  1. Select Access > Webtops > Webtop Lists.

    Screenshot of the add Webtop

  2. Click Create.
  3. Type a name for the webtop.
  4. From the Type drop-down list, select Full.

    Screenshot of the add Webtop

  5. Click Finished.

    Screenshot of the add Webtop

Configure Webtop Links

Webtop links are the links to the resources that you add to the webtop. After the user authenticates, they see links to the resources on their webtop.

  1. Select Access > Webtop > Webtop Links.

Screenshot of the add Webtop Link

  1. Click Create.
  2. Type a name for the webtop link.
  3. From the Link Type drop-down list, select Application URL.

Screenshot of the add Webtop Link

  1. Click Finished.

Screenshot of the add Webtop Link

Configure an Access Profile

The access profile is where you define the criteria for granting or denying access to the various servers, applications, and other resources on the network.

  1. Select Access > Profiles/Policies > Access Profiles (Per-Session Policies).

Screenshot of the add Access Profiles

  1. Click Create.
  2. Type a name.
  3. From the Profile Type drop-down list, select SSL-VPN.
  4. In the Language Settings, add English to Accepted Languages.

Screenshot of the add Access Profiles

  1. Click Finished.

Screenshot of the add Access Profiles

Edit the Access Profile

You can use an Access Policy to define a sequence of checks to enforce the required level of security on a user’s system before that user is granted access to servers, applications, and other resources on the network.

An access policy can also include authentication checks to authenticate a user before access to network resources is granted.

  1. In the row of the Access Profile that you added, click Edit.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click +.

The first page for a user will be the redirected page for SAML authentication. To add the SAML authentication redirection:

  1. On the Authentication page, select SAML Auth.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Add Item.
  2. Type a name.
  3. From the AAA Server drop-down list, select the service provider that you created in the previous section.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Save.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Deny.
  2. Select Allow.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Save.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

When a user successfully authenticates, they see a webtop with customized resources and a Network Access.

To add a webtop and a Network Access:

  1. Click the + next to Successful.
  2. Select the Assignment tab.
  3. Select Advanced Resource Assign.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Add Item.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Add new entry.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Under Expression, click Add/Delete.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Select the Webtop Links tab.
  2. Select the check box for the Webtop link that you created in the previous section.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Select the Webtop tab.
  2. Select the Webtop that you created.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Select the Network Access tab.
  2. Select the Network Access that you created.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Update.
  2. Click Save.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Close.

Screenshot of the Edit Access Profiles

  1. Click Apply Access Policy.
  2. Click Apply.

Configure Virtual Server

With BIG-IP APM, virtual servers are configured with specific settings for network access connections or web application access. The IP address assigned to a host virtual server is the one that is usually exposed to the Internet.

You can configure a remote access connection to one or more internal web applications. With web applications, you create an Access Policy and local traffic virtual server so that end users can access internal web applications through a single external virtual server.

  1. Select Local Traffic > Virtual Servers > Virtual Server List.

Screenshot of the Configuring Virtual Server

  1. Click Create.
  2. Type a name.
  3. From the Type drop-down list, select Standard.
  4. For Destination Address/Mask ,select Host.
  5. Type the virtual server host IP address.
  6. For Service Port, select Port.
  7. From the drop-down list, select HTTPS.
  8. From the HTTP Profile (Client) drop-down list, select http.
  9. From the HTTP Profile (Server) drop-down list, select Use Client Profiles.
  10. For SSL Profile (Client), select the clientssl profile to use with this virtual server.
  11. For SSL Profile (Server), select the serverssl profile to use with this virtual server.

Screenshot of the Configuring Virtual Server

  1. From the Access Profile drop-down list, select the Access Profile that you created.
  2. From the Connectivity Profile drop-down list, select the Connectivity Profile that you created.

Screenshot of the Configuring Virtual Server

  1. Click Finished.

Configure AuthPoint

Before AuthPoint can receive authentication requests from BIG-IP APM, you must specify BIG-IP APM as a SAML resource in AuthPoint. You must also assign an access policy for the F5 BIG-IP APM resource to the user group(s) that must authenticate to log in.

Export F5 BIG-IP APM metadata

  1. Select Access > Federation > SAML Service Provider > Local SP Services.

Local SP Service

  1. Select the check box next to your service provider.
  2. Click Export Metadata.

 Export Metadata

 Export Metadata

  1. From the Sign Metadata drop-down list, select No.
  2. Click Download.

 Export Metadata

Add a SAML Resource in AuthPoint

From the AuthPoint management UI:

  1. From the navigation menu, select Resources.
  2. From the Choose a Resource Type drop-down list, select SAML. Click Add Resource.

  1. On the SAML page, in the Name text box, type a name for this resource.
  2. From the Application Type drop-down list, select BIG-IP APM.
  3. Open the BIG-IP APM metadata file you downloaded and find the entityID and AssertionConsumerService Location values.
  4. In the Service Provider Entity ID text box, type or paste the entityID value from the BIG-IP APM metadata file.
  5. In the Assertion Consumer Service text box, type or paste the AssertionConsumerService Location value from the BIG-IP APM metadata file.
  6. From the User ID sent on redirection to service provider drop-down list, select User Name. The user ID is the attribute for an AuthPoint user that is compared to the user name in your application. These values must match.
  7. From the Signature Method drop-down list, select SHA-256.
  8. From the AuthPoint Certificate drop-down list, select the AuthPoint certificate to associate with your resource. This must be the same certificate that you used to download the metadata file in the Download AuthPoint Metadata section.
  9. Click Save.

Add an Access Policy to AuthPoint

You must have at least one user group in AuthPoint for authentication with F5 BIG-IP APM, and you must assign an access policy for the BIG-IP APM resource and the IdP portal resource to that group. If you already have a group, you do not have to add another group.

In the AuthPoint management UI:

  1. From the navigation menu, select Groups.
  2. To add a new group, click Add Group. If you already have a group that you want to use, select the group to edit it.

  1. In the Name text box, type a descriptive name for the group.
  2. (Optional) In the Description text box, type a description of the group.

  1. In the Access Policy section, click Add Policy.

  1. In the Add Policy dialog box, from the Resource drop-down list, select the resource you want to add an access policy for.
  2. (Optional) To require that users type their password before they authenticate for this resource, enable the Require Password Authentication toggle.
  3. Select the authentication options that users in this group can select from when they authenticate.

    For SAML resources, if you select more than one authentication option, users must select one of the available options when they authenticate. For example, if you select OTP and Push, users can choose to type their OTP or approve a push to authenticate. You cannot require that they do both.

  1. Click Add.

  1. (Optional) Add one or more safe locations to your group. For more information about safe locations and detailed instructions to add them, see About Safe Locations.
  2. Click Save.

Before you assign users to a group, you must add the users to AuthPoint. You can manually add user accounts or import user accounts from an external user database. For more information on how to add user accounts, see Add User Accounts.

Test the Integration

To test AuthPoint MFA with BIG-IP APM, you can authenticate with a mobile token on your mobile device. For SAML resources, you can choose any method (push, QR code, or one-time password).

In this example, we show the push authentication method (users receive a push notification in the mobile app that they must approve to authenticate).

The user name that you use must be associated with both your AuthPoint and BIG-IP APM user accounts.

To test the AuthPoint MFA:

  1. In a web browser, type your Virtual Server host IP address. In our example, we type https://203.0.113.1.
  2. Type your email address or AuthPoint user name. Click Next.
  3. If required, in the Password text box, type your password.
  4. For the authentication method, select Send Push.
  5. Approve the authentication request that is sent to your mobile device.

SAML login success