SSH Tectia

User Certificate Authentication

As the user needs to be personally involved in the certificate enrollment process in order to tie the user identity to the certificate, SSH Tectia Manager does not automate user certificate enrollment. The user certificate life-cycle management process is handled by a third-party certification authority system. Two-factor authentication is a recommended, secure method for user authentication, typically implemented by using X.509 certificates stored on smart cards or USB tokens.

Configuring SSH Tectia Server G3

The servers need to be properly configured to accept certificates for authenticating users. This is done by adding one or more CAs into the CA list on the PKI page of an SSH Tectia Server G3 configuration (under Configurations → Edit configurations → SSH Tectia G3 → Server) and configuring certificate selectors on the Certificate Authentication page of the same SSH Tectia Server G3 configuration.

For more information on certificate selectors, see Certificate Authentication.

Configuring SSH Tectia Server 4.x

The servers need to be properly configured to accept certificates for authenticating users. This is done by adding one or more CAs into the CA list in the User authentication section of a PKI configuration (under Configurations → Edit configurations → PKI → Authentication settings). Each item in the CA list consists of the following items:

  • A trusted CA certificate. This is used to identify the certificate authority and to validate the certificates issued by the CA.

  • A user mapping file, used to map certificates to user accounts based on the data in the certificates (4.x only).

The user mapping file defines how certificates and user accounts are linked to each other: it instructs the SSH Tectia Server how to obtain the user account name based on the data in a user certificate.

For details on the syntax of the mapping file, refer to the SSH Tectia Server 4.x Administrator Guide, or the SSH Tectia Manager online help text for the User Mapping File field. The recommended setup is to use a generic EmailRegex or SubjectRegex with subst to avoid the need to update the mapping file whenever users are added or removed, letting the CA system take care of the certificate life cycle.

For users who protect applications with SSH Tectia Connector, a user mapping entry such as the following can be used:

%subst% emailregex ([a-z]+)@example\.com

This line essentially allows anyone with a valid certificate for the example\.com e-mail address to log in. Refer to Configuring SSH Tectia Connector 4.x-5.x for instructions on how to configure the user accounts on the server system securely for tunneling purposes.

Several CAs can be configured, each with different CA certificates and mapping files. When a PKI configuration has been created, it must be assigned and deployed to the appropriate hosts to take effect.

Configuring SSH Tectia Client and Connector

The user certificates used for user authentication in SSH Tectia Client or Connector are not centrally managed with SSH Tectia Manager. They can be configured manually, per user, in SSH Tectia Client and Connector settings or in the SSH Accession authentication agent component (in 4.x).