Manual Chapter : Using APM as a SAML IdP (SSO portal)

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BIG-IP APM

  • 14.0.0
Manual Chapter

Using APM as a SAML IdP (SSO portal)

Overview: Configuring BIG-IP as IdP for IdP- and SP-initiated connections

This configuration supports:
  • An SSO portal on the BIG-IP® system configured as a SAML Identity Provider (IdP).
  • Service providers (SPs) with the same or different requirements for assertion type and value and attributes (provided by the IdP).
  • SP- and IdP-initiated connections.

About local IdP service

A
SAML IdP service
is a type of single sign-on (SSO) authentication service in Access Policy Manager (APM). When you use a BIG-IP system as a SAML identity provider (IdP), a SAML IdP service provides SSO authentication for external SAML service providers (SPs). You must bind a SAML IdP service to SAML SP connectors, each of which specifies an external SP. APM responds to authentication requests from the service providers and produces assertions for them.

About SP connectors

A SAML service provider connector (an SP connector) specifies how a BIG-IP® system, configured as a SAML Identity Provider (IdP), connects with an external service provider.

What are the available ways I can configure a SAML SP connector?

You can use one or more of these methods to configure SAML service provider (SP) connectors in Access Policy Manager.
  • From metadata - Obtain a metadata file from the vendor and import it into Access Policy Manager. The advantage to this method is that the vendor provides the majority of all required data, including certificates. You can complete the configuration by simply typing a unique name for the SP connector, a very few additional required fields, and browsing to and importing the file. Access Policy Manager then configures the SP connector.
  • From template - Use templates that Access Policy Manager provides for some vendors; for example, Google. The advantages to this method are that:
    • Most required data is included in the template
    • Additional required data is minimal. You can obtain it and certificates from the vendor
    After you select a template and type data into a few fields, Access Policy Manager configures the SP connector.
  • Custom - Obtain information from the vendor and type the settings into the Configuration utility. To use this method, you must also obtain certificates from the vendor and import them into the BIG-IP® system. Use this method when a metadata file or a template for an SP connector is not available.

Task summary for using APM as a SAML IDP SSO portal

Setting up a BIG-IP® system as a SAML identity provider (IdP) system involves two major activities:
  • First, you set up connection from the BIG-IP system to the external SAML service providers (SPs)
  • Then, you set up connection from the external SAML SPs to the BIG-IP system

Flowchart: Configuration to support a SAML SSO portal

This flowchart illustrates the process for configuring a BIG-IP® system as a SAML identity provider (IdP) that provides an SSO portal.
configuration flowchart

Creating a virtual server for a BIG-IP (as SAML IdP) system

Before you start this task, configure a client SSL profile and a server SSL profile if you are going to create an SSL virtual server.
Access Policy Manager supports using a non-SSL virtual server for the BIG-IP® system configured as a SAML Identity Provider (IdP). However, we recommend using an SSL virtual server for security reasons. The following procedures include steps that are required for configuring an SSL virtual server, such as selecting client and server SSL profiles, and setting the service port to HTTPS.
Specify a host virtual server to use as the SAML IdP.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Local Traffic
    Virtual Servers
    .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the
    Create
    button.
    The New Virtual Server screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the virtual server.
  4. In the
    Destination Address
    field, type the IP address for a host virtual server.
    This field accepts an address in CIDR format (IP address/prefix). However, when you type the complete IP address for a host, you do not need to type a prefix after the address.
  5. In the
    Service Port
    field, type
    443
    or select
    HTTPS
    from the list.
  6. For the
    HTTP Profile
    setting, verify that the default HTTP profile,
    http
    , is selected.
  7. For the
    SSL Profile (Client)
    setting, from the
    Available
    list, select the name of the Client SSL profile you previously created and move the name to the
    Selected
    list.
  8. For the
    SSL Profile (Server)
    setting, from the
    Available
    list, select the name of the Server SSL profile you previously created and move the name to the
    Selected
    list.
  9. Click
    Finished
    .
The virtual server for the BIG-IP system configured as an IdP now appears on the Virtual Server List. The virtual server destination is available for use in one or more SAML IdP service configurations.

Configuring an artifact resolution service

Before you configure the artifact resolution service (ARS), you need to have configured a virtual server. That virtual server can be the same as the one used for the SAML Identity Provider (IdP), or you can create an additional virtual server.
F5 highly recommends that the virtual server definition include a server SSL profile.
You configure an ARS so that a BIG-IP system that is configured as a SAML IdP can provide SAML artifacts in place of assertions. With ARS, the BIG-IP system can receive Artifact Resolve Requests (ARRQ) from service providers, and provide Artifact Resolve Responses (ARRP) for them.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Identity Provider
    Artifact Resolution Services
    .
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The Create New SAML Artifact Resolution Service popup screen opens, showing general settings.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a name for the artifact resolution service.
  4. In the
    Description
    field, type a new description.
  5. Click
    Service Settings.
  6. From the
    Virtual Server
    list, select the virtual server that you created previously.
    ARS listens on the IP address and port configured on the virtual server.
  7. In the
    Artifact Validity (Seconds)
    field, type the number of seconds for which the artifact remains valid. The default is 60 seconds.
    The BIG-IP system deletes the artifact if the number of seconds exceeds the artifact validity number.
  8. For the
    Send Method
    setting, select the binding to use to send the artifact, either
    POST
    or
    Redirect
    .
  9. In the
    Host
    field, type the host name defined for the virtual server, for example
    ars.siterequest.com
    .
  10. In the
    Port
    field, type the port number defined in the virtual server. The default is
    443
    .
  11. Click
    Security Settings.
  12. To require that artifact resolution messages from an SP be signed, select the
    Sign Artifact Resolution Request
    check box.
  13. To use HTTP Basic authentication for artifact resolution request messages, in the
    User Name
    field, type a name for the artifact resolution service request and in the
    Password
    field, type a password.
    These credentials must be present in all Artifact Resolve Requests sent to this ARS.
  14. Click
    OK
    .
    The popup screen closes, leaving the Artifact Resolution Services list screen open.
The Artifact Resolution Service is ready for use.

Configuring SAML SP connectors

Before you can configure a SAML service provider, you must first obtain an SSL certificate from the SAML service provider (SP) and import it into the certificate store on the BIG-IP system.
You configure information about a SAML service provider so that Access Policy Manager (APM) can act as a SAML Identity Provider (IdP) for it.
Configure one SAML SP connector for each external SAML service provider for which this BIG-IP system provides SSO authentication service.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Identity Provider
    External SP Connectors
    .
    A list of SAML SP connectors displays.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The Create New SAML SP Connector screen opens.
  3. In the
    Service Provider Name
    field, type a unique name for the SAML SP connector.
  4. In the
    SP Provider Entity ID
    field, type a unique identifier for the service provider.
    This is usually a unique URI that represents the service provider. You should obtain this value from the service provider.
  5. From the left pane, select
    Endpoint Settings
    .
    The appropriate settings are displayed.
  6. In the
    Relay State
    field, type a value.
    The relay state can be an absolute path, such as
    /hr/index.html
    ; it can be a URL, such as
    https://www.abc.com/index.html
    ; or, it can be anything that the service provider understands. The information passed in relay state could be used by the service provider according to business logic. For example, some service providers use relay state to maintain a session state, while others use it to perform an action, such as redirecting the user to the page passed in relay state. APM sends the relay state value back to the service provider as part of the assertion response in the
    RelayState
    parameter.
    When the
    RelayState
    parameter is already part of the authentication request to the BIG-IP system, APM returns the value that was sent in the request. Otherwise, APM uses the value from this configuration.
  7. In the
    Assertion Consumer Services
    area, specify at least one assertion consumer service.
    A service provider can use multiple bindings to receive an assertion from the Identity Provider. The service provider can specify a different assertion consumer service (ACS) URL for each binding, and provide a unique ACS URL index for the binding.
    To support SAML artifacts, make sure that at least one ACS specifies the artifact binding.
    1. Click
      Add
      .
      A new row displays in the table.
    2. In the
      Index
      field, type the index number, zero (0) or greater.
    3. If this is the default service, select the
      Default
      check box.
      You must specify one of the services as the default.
    4. In the
      Location URL
      field, type the URL where the IdP can send an assertion to this service provider.
      APM supports HTTP-Artifact binding, POAS (HTTP reverse SOAP) binding, and HTTP-POST binding to this service.
    5. From the
      Binding
      list, select
      Artifact
      ,
      PAOS
      , or
      POST
      .
    6. Click
      Update
      .
  8. From the left pane, select
    Security Settings
    .
    1. If the SP should sign the authentication or the artifact resolution requests that it sends to the SAML IdP (this BIG-IP system), select the
      Require Signed Authentication Request
      check box, select a private key from the
      Message Signing Private Key
      list, and select a certificate from the
      Message Signing Certificate
      list.
      This device (BIG-IP system as IdP) uses the certificate to verify the signature of the request from the SP.
    2. To require that the SAML IdP sign the assertion before sending it to the SP, select the
      Assertion must be signed
      check box, and select an algorithm from the
      Signing Algorithm
      list.
      Assertion must be signed
      is selected by default. Clearing this check box is not recommended.
    3. To require that the SAML IdP sign the response before sending it to the SP, select the
      Response must be signed
      check box.
      The algorithm specified in the
      Signing Algorithm
      list applies to a signed assertion and a signed response.
    4. To require that the SAML IdP encrypt the assertion before sending it to the SP, select the
      Assertion must be encrypted
      check box, select a type from the
      Encryption Type
      list, and select a certificate from the
      Encryption Certificate
      list.
      APM supports AES128, AES192, and AES256 encryption types.
  9. From the left pane, select
    SLO Service Settings
    .
    SLO stands for Single Logout.
    1. In the
      Single Logout Request URL
      field, type a URL specifying where APM should send a logout request to this service provider when the BIG-IP system initiates a logout request.
    2. In the
      Single Logout Response URL
      field, type a URL to which the SP should send a logout response for the BIG-IP system to indicate that single logout is complete.
    3. From the
      Single Logout Binding
      list, select how the BIG-IP system sensd a logout request to the service provider.
    APM supports HTTP-POST binding for the SLO service. For SLO to work, all entities (SPs and IdPs), must support SLO.
  10. From the left pane, select
    SP Location Settings
    .
    1. From the
      Service Provider Location
      list, select whether the location of the SP is external, internal, or internal multi-domain.
  11. Click
    OK
    .
    The popup screen closes.
APM creates a SAML SP connector. It is available to bind to a SAML IdP service.

Configuring a SAML IdP service for one SP connector

Configure a SAML Identity Provider (IdP) service for Access Policy Manager, as a SAML IdP, to provide single sign-on authentication for one SAML service provider (SP).
Configure one IdP service for each SAML service provider.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Identity Provider
    .
    The Local IdP Services screen opens.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The Create New IdP Service popup screen displays.
  3. In the
    IdP Service Name
    field, type a unique name for the SAML IdP service.
    The maximum length of a single sign-on configuration, such as the SAML IdP service, is 225 characters, including the partition name.
  4. In the
    IdP Entity ID
    field, type a unique identifier for the IdP (this BIG-IP system).
    Typically, the ID is a URI that points to the BIG-IP virtual server that is going to act as a SAML IdP. If the entity ID is not a valid URL, the
    Host
    field is required.
    For example, type
    https://siterequest.com/idp
    , where the path points to the virtual server you use for BIG-IP system as a SAML IdP.
  5. If the
    IdP Entity ID
    field does not contain a valid URI, you must provide one in the IdP Name Settings area:
    1. From the
      Scheme
      list select
      https
      or
      http
      .
    2. In the
      Host
      field, type a host name.
      For example, type
      siterequest.com
      in the
      Host
      field.
  6. If you select
    SAML Profiles
    on the left pane, the
    Web Browser SSO
    check box is selected by default.
    At least one profile must be selected.
  7. To specify that this IdP use an artifact resolution service, click
    Endpoint Settings
    on the left pane and select a service from the
    Artifact Resolution Service
    list.
  8. On the left pane, select
    Assertion Settings
    and complete the settings that display:
    1. From the
      Assertion Subject Type
      list, select the type of subject for the IdP to authenticate.
    2. From the
      Assertion Subject Value
      list, select the name of a session variable.
      This variable,
      %{session.logon.last.username}
      , is generally applicable. Some session variables are applicable depending on the type of authentication that you use for your site.
    3. In the
      Authentication Context Class Reference
      field, select a URI reference.
      The URI reference identifies an authentication context class that describes an authentication context declaration.
    4. In the
      Assertion Validity (in seconds)
      field, type the number of seconds for which the assertion is valid.
    5. To encrypt the subject, select the
      Enable encryption of Subject
      check box.
      The
      Encryption Strength
      list becomes available.
    6. From the
      Encryption Strength
      list, select a value.
      Supported values are AES128, AES192, and AES256.
  9. On the left pane, select
    SAML Attributes
    , and for each attribute that you want to include in the attribute statement, repeat these substeps.
    1. Click
      Add
      .
      A Create New SAML Attribute popup screen displays.
    2. In the
      Name
      field, type a unique name for the attribute.
      Usually, the name is a fixed string, but it can be a session variable.
    3. To add a value to the attribute, click
      Add
      , type a value in the
      Value(s)
      field, and click
      Update
      to complete the addition.
      You can use a session variable for the value.
      This example shows using a fixed string for the name and a session variable for the value. Name:
      user_telephonenumber
      and value:
      %{session.ad.last.attr.telephoneNumber}
      .
      You can repeat this step to add multiple values for an attribute.
    4. To encrypt the values, select the
      Encrypt
      check box and select a value from the
      Type
      list.
      Supported values for type are AES128, AES192, and AES256.
    5. Click
      OK
      .
      The Create New SAML Attribute popup screen closes.
  10. Click
    Security Settings
    from the left pane.
    1. From the
      Signing Key
      list, select the key from the BIG-IP system store.
      None
      is selected by default.
    2. From the
      Signing Certificate
      list, select the certificate from the BIG-IP system store.
      When selected, the IdP (the BIG-IP system) publishes this certificate to the service provider so the service provider can verify the assertion.
      None
      is selected by default.
  11. Click
    OK
    .
    The popup screen closes. The new IdP service appears on the list.
Access Policy Manager (APM) creates a SAML IdP service. It is available to bind to an SP connector.

Binding a SAML IdP service to one SP connector

Bind a SAML Identity Provider (IdP) service and a SAML service provider (SP) connector so that the BIG-IP system can provide authentication (SAML IdP service) to the external SAML service provider.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Identity Provider
    .
    The Local IdP Services screen opens.
  2. Select a SAML IdP service from the list.
    Select an IdP service that you configured for use with one particular SP connector only.
  3. Click
    Bind/Unbind SP Connectors
    .
    The screen displays a list of available SAML SP connectors.
  4. Select the one SAML SP connector that you want to pair with this IdP service.
  5. Select
    OK
    .
    The screen closes.
The SAML SP connector that you selected is bound to the SAML IdP service.

Exporting SAML IdP metadata from APM

You need to convey the SAML Identity Provider (IdP) metadata from Access Policy Manager (APM) to the external service providers that use the SAML IdP service. Exporting the IdP metadata for a SAML IdP service to a file provides you with the information that you need to do this.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Identity Provider
    .
    The Local IdP Services screen opens.
  2. Select a SAML IdP service from the table and click
    Export Metadata
    .
    A popup screen opens, with
    No
    selected on the
    Sign Metadata
    list.
  3. For APM to sign the metadata, perform these steps:
    1. From the
      Sign Metadata
      list, select
      Yes
      .
    2. From the
      Signing Key
      list, select a key.
      APM uses the key to sign the metadata.
    3. From the
      Signature Verification Certificate
      list, select a certificate.
      APM exports the certificate to the metadata file. The system on which you import the metadata file can use the certificate to verify the metadata signature.
  4. Select
    OK
    .
    APM downloads an XML file.
An XML file that contains IdP metadata is available.

Configuring a SAML resource and attaching a SAML IdP service

Configure a SAML resource to provide access to services on a SAML service provider when using Access Policy Manager (APM) as a SAML IdP.
Configure one SAML resource for each SAML IdP service that you have configured.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Federation
    SAML Resources
    .
    The SAML Resources list screen opens.
  2. Click the
    Create
    button.
    The SAML Resource New Resource window opens
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a unique name for the SAML resource.
  4. Do not clear the
    Publish on Webtop
    check box unless when you want to remove this resource from the webtop.
    When
    Publish on Webtop
    is selected, the SAML resource is displayed on a webtop where a user can initiate connection to an SP by clicking the icon. If you want users to initiate connection to this resource from an external SAML service provider only and do not want to show this resource on a webtop, clear the check box.
  5. In the Configuration area from the
    SSO Configuration
    list, select the SAML IdP service that is bound to the SAML SP connector with the resources you want.
  6. In the
    Customization Settings for English
    area in the
    Caption
    field, type a caption for this SAML resource.
  7. Click
    Finished
    .
    The SAML resource is created and associated with a SAML IdP service that is bound to one external service provider.

Configuring a full webtop

A full webtop allows your users to connect and disconnect from a network access connection, portal access resources, SAML resources, app tunnels, remote desktops, and administrator-defined links.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Webtops
    Webtop Lists
    .
    The Webtops screen displays.
  2. Click
    Create
    .
    The New Webtop screen opens.
  3. In the
    Name
    field, type a name for the webtop.
  4. From the
    Type
    list, select
    Full
    .
    The Configuration area displays with additional settings configured at default values.
  5. Click
    Finished
    .
The webtop is now configured, and appears in the list. You can edit the webtop further, or assign it to an access policy.
To use this webtop, it must be assigned to an access policy with an advanced resource assign action or with a webtop, links, and sections assign action. All resources assigned to the full webtop are displayed on the full webtop.

Configuring an access policy for a SAML SSO portal

Before you configure this access policy, configure an access profile without selecting an SSO configuration for it.
Configure an access policy so that the BIG-IP system, as a SAML Identity Provider (IdP) can authenticate users using any non-SAML authentication type, and assign SAML resources and a webtop to the session.
This access policy supports users that initiate a connection at a SAML service provider or at the SAML IdP.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Profiles / Policies
    .
    The Access Profiles (Per-Session Policies) screen opens.
  2. In the Per-Session Policy column, click the
    Edit
    link for the access profile you want to configure.
    The visual policy editor opens the access policy in a separate screen.
  3. Click the
    (+)
    icon anywhere in the access policy to add a new item.
    Only an applicable subset of access policy items is available for selection in the visual policy editor for any access profile type.
    A popup screen opens, listing predefined actions on tabs such as General Purpose, Authentication, and so on.
  4. On the Logon tab, select
    Logon Page
    and click the
    Add Item
    button.
    The Logon Page Agent properties screen opens.
  5. Make any changes that you require to the logon page properties and click
    Save
    .
    The properties screen closes and the policy displays.
  6. Add one or more authentication checks on the fallback branch after the
    Logon Page
    action.
    Select the authentication checks that are appropriate for application access at your site.
  7. On a successful branch after an authentication check, assign SAML resources and a full webtop to the session.
    1. Click plus
      [+]
      on a successful branch after an authentication check.
      The Add Item window opens.
    2. On the Assignment tab, select the
      Advanced Resource Assign
      agent, and then click
      Add Item
      .
      The Resource Assignment window opens.
    3. Click
      Add new entry
      .
      An
      Empty
      entry displays.
    4. Click the
      Add/Delete
      link below the entry.
      The screen changes to display resources on multiple tabs.
    5. Select the SAML tab, then from it select the SAML resources that represent the service providers that authorized users can access.
    6. Click
      Update
      .
      The window changes to display the Properties screen, where the selected SAML resources are displayed.
    7. Click the
      Add/Delete
      link below the entry.
      The screen changes to display resources on multiple tabs.
    8. Select the Webtop tab, then select a full webtop on which to present the selected resources.
      You must assign a full webtop to the session even if you have configured all SAML resources to not publish on a webtop.
    9. Click
      Update
      .
      The window changes to display the Properties screen. The selected webtop and SAML resources are displayed.
    10. Click
      Save
      .
      The Properties window closes and the Access Policy window is displayed.
    You have configured a webtop to display resources that are available from service providers and that an authorized user can access.
  8. Add any other branches and actions that you need to complete the policy.
  9. Change the Successful rule branch from
    Deny
    to
    Allow
    , and then click the
    Save
    button.
  10. Click the
    Apply Access Policy
    link to apply and activate the changes to the policy.
  11. Click the
    Close
    button to close the visual policy editor.
You have an access policy that presents a logon page, authenticates the user, and assigns SAML resources and a full webtop on which to present them to the user.
Simple access policy for access to services on SAML service providers
Example access policy for SAML IdP-initiated connection
To apply this access policy to network traffic, add the access profile to a virtual server.
To ensure that logging is configured to meet your requirements, verify the log settings for the access profile.

Verifying log settings for the access profile

Confirm that the correct log settings are selected for the access profile to ensure that events are logged as you intend.
Log settings are configured in the
Access
Overview
Event Log
Settings
area of the product. They enable and disable logging for access system and URL request filtering events. Log settings also specify log publishers that send log messages to specified destinations.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Access
    Profiles / Policies
    .
    The Access Profiles (Per-Session Policies) screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the access profile that you want to edit.
    The properties screen opens.
  3. On the menu bar, click
    Logs
    .
    The access profile log settings display.
  4. Move log settings between the
    Available
    and
    Selected
    lists.
    You can assign up to three log settings that enable access system logging to an access profile. You can assign additional log settings to an access profile provided that they enable logging for URl request logging only.
    Logging is disabled when the
    Selected
    list is empty.
  5. Click
    Update
    .
An access profile is in effect when it is assigned to a virtual server.

Adding the access profile to the virtual server

You associate the access profile with the virtual server so that Access Policy Manager can apply the profile to incoming traffic.
  1. On the Main tab, click
    Local Traffic
    Virtual Servers
    .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the virtual server you want to modify.
  3. In the Access Policy area, from the
    Access Profile
    list, select the access profile that you configured earlier.
  4. Click
    Update
    to save the changes.
Your access policy is now associated with the virtual server.

Adding IdP metadata from APM to external SAML SPs

To complete the agreement between Access Policy Manager as the SAML IdP and a SAML Service Provider (SP), you must configure IdP metadata at the service provider.
Complete this step on each SAML service provider for which an SP connector is bound to the SAML IdP service in APM.
  1. Using the method that the vendor provides, either:
    • Import the SAML IdP metadata file that you exported from APM for the SAML IdP service that this service provider uses.
    • Or take information from the SAML IdP metadata file that you exported from APM for the SAML IdP service and add it to the service provider using the vendor's interface. Pay particular attention to the values for entityID, AssertionConsumerService, SingleSignOnService, and the certificate.
      Regardless of the value of entityID in the metadata file, type an SSO URI that consists of the virtual server host and /saml/idp/profile/redirectorpost/sso. For example, if the host virtual server is https://Bigip-idp, type:
      https://Bigip-idp/saml/idp/profile/redirectorpost/sso