User’s view of authentication

User’s view of authentication

From the user’s point of view, they see a request for authentication when they try to access a protected resource, such as an FTP repository of intellectual property or simply access a website on the Internet. The way the request is presented to the user depends on the method of access to that resource.

VPN authentication usually controls remote access to a private network.

Web-based user authentication

Security policies usually control browsing access to an external network that provides connection to the Internet. In this case, the FortiGate unit requests authentication through the web browser.

The user types a username and password and then selects Continue or Login. If the credentials are incorrect, the authentication screen is redisplayed with blank fields so that the user can try again. When the user enters valid credentials, access is granted to the required resource. In some cases, if a user tries to authenticate several times without success, a message appears, such as: “Too many bad login attempts. Please try again in a few minutes.” This indicates the user is locked out for a period of time. This prevents automated brute force password hacking attempts. The administrator can customize these settings if required.

After a defined period of user inactivity (the authentication timeout, defined by the FortiGate administrator), the user’s access expires. The default is 5 minutes. To access the resource, the user will have to authenticate again.

VPN client-based authentication

A VPN provides remote clients with access to a private network for a variety of services that include web browsing, email, and file sharing. A client program such as FortiClient negotiates the connection to the VPN and manages the user authentication challenge from the FortiGate unit.

FortiClient can store the username and password for a VPN as part of the configuration for the VPN connection and pass them to the FortiGate unit as needed. Or, FortiClient can request the username and password from the user when the FortiGate unit requests them.

SSL VPN is a form of VPN that can be used with a standard Web browser. There are two modes of SSL VPN operation (supported in NAT/Route mode only):

l web-only mode, for remote clients equipped with a web-browser only l tunnel mode, for remote computers that run a variety of client and server applications.

After a defined period of user inactivity on the VPN connection (the idle timeout, defined by the FortiGate administrator), the user’s access expires. The default is 30 minutes. To access the resource, the user will have to authenticate again.


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