Certificates: Create and Manage SSL Certificates
Manage SSL certificates, creating self-signed certificates and certificate requests, and importing certificates signed by a certificate authority.
The Secure Remote Access Appliance comes with a self-signed certificate pre-installed. However, to effectively use your Secure Remote Access Appliance, you also need to create a self-signed certificate at minimum, preferably requesting and uploading a certificate signed by a certificate authority. In addition to the CA certificate request feature, BeyondTrust includes functionality for obtaining and automatically renewing its own TLS certificates from the open Certificate Authority Let's Encrypt.
Let's Encrypt issues signed certificates which are valid for 90 days, yet have the capability of automatically renewing themselves indefinitely. In order to request a Let's Encrypt certificate, or to renew one in the future, you must meet the following requirements:
- The DNS for the hostname you are requesting must resolve to the appliance.
- The appliance must be able to reach Let's Encrypt on TCP 443.
- Let's Encrypt must be able to reach the appliance on TCP 80.
For more information, please see letsencrypt.org.
To implement a Let's Encrypt certificate, In the Security :: Let's Encrypt™ Certificates section:
- Enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the appliance in the Hostname field.
- Use the dropdown to choose the certificate key type.
- Click Request.
As long as the above requirements are met, this results in a certificate that will automatically renew every 90 days once the validity check with Let's Encrypt has completed.
The appliance starts the certificate renewal process 30 days before the certificate is due to expire and requires the same process as the original request process does. If it has been unsuccessful 25 days prior to expiry, the appliance sends daily admin email alerts (if email notifications are enabled). The status will show the certificate in an error state.
Because DNS can apply only to one appliance at a time, and because an appliance must be assigned the DNS hostname for which it makes a certificate request or renewal request, we recommend that you avoid use of Let's Encrypt certificates for failover appliance pairs.
Other CA-Issued Certificates
To create a self-signed certificate or a certificate request from another issuer, locate the Security :: Other Certificates section and click Create. In Certificate Friendly Name, enter a name used to identify this certificate. From the Key dropdown, choose to create a new key or select an existing key. Enter the remaining information pertaining to your organization.
If the certificate being requested is a replacement, you should select the existing key of the certificate being replaced.
If the certificate being requested is a re-key, you should select New Key for the certificate.
For a re-key, all information on the Security :: Certificates :: New Certificate section should be the same as the certificate for which re-key is being requested. A new certificate friendly name should be used so that it is be easy to identify the certificate in the Security :: Certificates section.
Required information for the re-key can be obtained by clicking on the earlier certificate from the list displayed in the Security :: Certificates section.
For a new key or re-key certificate, the steps to import are the same.
Other CA-Issued Certificates
To create a certificate request:
- Locate the Security :: Other Certificates section and click Create.
- In Certificate Friendly Name, enter a name you will use to identify this certificate.
- From the Key dropdown, choose the Existing Key of your *.beyondtrustcloud.com certificate.
- Enter the remaining information pertaining to your organization.
- In the Name (Common Name) field, enter a descriptive title for your BeyondTrust site.
- In the Subject Alternative Names section, enter your BeyondTrust site hostname and click Add. Add a SAN for each DNS name or IP address to be protected by this SSL certificate.
DNS addresses can be entered as fully qualified domain names, such as access.example.com, or as wildcard domain names, such as *.example.com. A wildcard domain name covers multiple subdomains, such as access.example.com, and so forth.
If you intend to obtain a signed certificate from a certificate authority, click Create Certificate Request to create a certificate signing request (CSR). Otherwise, click Create Self-Signed Certificate.
To use a CA-signed certificate, contact a certificate authority of your choice and purchase a new certificate from them using the CSR you created in BeyondTrust. Once the purchase is complete, the CA will send you one or more new certificate files, each of which you must install on the Secure Remote Access Appliance.
To download the root certificate for your appliance certificate, check the information sent from your CA for a link to the appropriate root. If there is none, contact the CA to obtain it. If this is impractical, search their website for their root certificate store. This contains all the root certificates of the CA, and all major CAs publish their root store online.
Usually, the easiest way to find the correct root for your certificate is to open the certificate file on your local machine and inspect its "Certification Path" or "Certificate Hierarchy". The root of this hierarchy or path is typically shown at the top of the tree. Locate this root certificate on the root store of your CA's online root store. Once done, download it from the CA's root store and import it to your Secure Remote Access Appliance as described above.
If the intermediate and/or root certificates are different from those currently in-use (or if a self-signed certificate was in-use), please request an update from BeyondTrust Technical Support. BeyondTrust Technical Support will need a copy of the new certificate and its intermediate and root certificates.
View a table of SSL certificates available on your appliance.
For connections that do not supply a Server Name Indication (SNI) or supply an incorrect SNI, select a default SSL certificate from the list to provide for these connections by clicking the button under the Default column. The default SSL certificate cannot be a self-signed certificate nor the default Secure Remote Access Appliance certificate provided for initial installation.
To learn more about SNI, please see Server Name Indication.
To export one or more certificates, check the box for each desired certificate, select Export from the dropdown at the top of the table, and then click Apply.
If you are exporting only one certificate, you immediately can choose to include the certificate, the private key (optionally secured by a passphrase), and/or the certificate chain, depending upon each item’s availability. Click Export to start the download.
If you are exporting multiple certificates, you will have the option to export each certificate individually or in a single PKCS#7 file.
When selecting to export multiple certificates as one file, click Continue to start the download.
To include private keys and/or certificate chains in the export, select individual export and click Continue to view all selected certificates. For each listing, choose to include the certificate, the private key (optionally secured by a passphrase), and/or the certificate chain, depending upon each item’s availability. Click Export to start the download.
The private key should never,or rarely, be exported from an appliance. If it is stolen, an attacker could easily compromise the BeyondTrust site which generated the key. If it does need to be exported, be sure to assign a strong password to the private key.
To delete one or more certificates, check the box for each desired certificate, select Delete from the dropdown at the top of the table, and then click Apply.
Under normal circumstances, a certificate should never be deleted unless it has already been successfully replaced by a working substitute.
To confirm accuracy, review the certificates you wish to delete, and then click Delete.
View a table of pending requests for third-party-signed certificates. Click a certificate request name to view details.
The detail view also provides the request data you will give your preferred certificate authority when requesting a signed certificate.
If you are renewing a certificate, use the same certificate Request Data that was used for the original certificate.
To delete one or more certificate requests, check the box for each desired request, select Delete from the dropdown at the top of the table, and then click Apply.
To confirm accuracy, review the certificate requests you wish to delete, and then click Delete.