Juniper Secure Access: Testing Web Rewrite via Proxy SA

I recently learned a new trick from JTAC to test rewriting issues through Content Intermediation Engine without affecting production traffic. This can be used to test new code releases, or change parameters (ACL, rewriting filters, cross-domain access, etc.) on a lab SA and still be able to provide full access to TAC for additional troubleshooting.

The basic idea is to set up a JSAM role on the production SA, and connect via a proxying server (I have had good luck with the program CCProxy – it’s free for up to three users). From there, point a test SA (the Demonstration and Training Edition SA is perfect for this!) to the proxying server via a web bookmark. Lastly, use a client PC to connect to the lab SA to perform your tests. A diagram of the layout is shown below:

sa proxy

So let’s begin!

On the Production SA, create a JSAM access resource that points to the web resource:

JSAM-config

Connect to the customer’s SA and load JSAM, and take note of the localhost address being used (in the session manager window, click on Details to see the address):

Loopback

From here, configure CCProxy to send traffic to that address (in this case, it’s 127.0.1.11) by clicking on the Configuration Button:

CCProxy

In your test SA, create a resource to point to your proxy server instead of the main server:

Bookmark

From there, log in as a user on the Test SA, and try and access the resource:

Resource

LabSAAccess

Success! You can confirm the connection in the logs in CCProxy by clicking the Monitor button:

Monitor

Feel free to make adjustments in the test SA to try out new resource policies, code versions or even set up a passthrough proxy. Hope this tip helps someone!

Junos Security is dead! Long live Junos Security!

I was hoping that title would catch your attention.

First and foremost this is a technical blog to discuss neat tricks and tips that I use daily, but sometime it’s a good idea to jump off the path and take a look at what is going on in the tech world. It is high time we start looking past traditional security firewalls or Next-Generation Firewalls and see where the path takes us.

For starters, I was recently at the Juniper Ambassador’s Conference and got to speak with the brilliant minds at Juniper Networks. I am quite sure everyone has heard about the significant changes that has been occurring at Juniper, and like many of you I had my concerns/reservations. While it is important to note is that there are still plenty of opportunities to improve the realm of Junos security in the short term I am excited for what is to come.

I feel that there is always going to be a need for traditional hardware firewalls in the network. Certain features make it extremely tough to remove hardware appliances completely; in particular I am talking about the edge firewalls that handle massive amounts of IPSEC tunnels or NATing public/private IP’s. In the future it would not be a long shot to put security functions in other parts of the network. As an example by moving firewall functions to the hypervisor then we can reduce the need of massive firewalls at the head end.

Let’s look at this idea for a moment. Consider the following traditional network:

traditional network

Typically you would have your network segments trunked to an interface on a firewall, or a unique interface per vlan directly connected to the firewall. This works great until you run out of interfaces, bandwidth, or processing power of the firewall – especially for that pesky intra-zone traffic!

Now consider adding security features to the hypervisor, such as a virtual firewall that connects its external interface to a flat vlan, and its internal interface to a specific vlan on the virtual switch. A diagram of such an idea is shown below:

new network

By offloading basic firewall or even IPS features to the hypervisor (which has far more compute power than that of a single hardware firewall) we can now free up the firewall to do more important tasks, and increase our scalability significantly! Combining this solution with some of the cool tools like Firefly Packer to help with automating these deployments you can have a significantly faster turnaround time for the needs of your network. This type of design also helps with reducing the failure domain of the network – if an issue crops up one of the hypervisor firewalls it only affects one group of devices, instead of causing an entire network outage. Smaller failure domains = higher overall stability.

Now certainly there are still a bunch of unanswered questions about designs like these, but this is the start of a significant change in how we all can view security and its application to the network. Sometimes it helps to take a step back from what features are missing in a device, and instead look at the opportunities that exist today and in the future.