Tutorial: Azure Active Directory single sign-on (SSO) integration with Cisco AnyConnect
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Cisco AnyConnect with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate Cisco AnyConnect with Azure AD, you can:
- Control in Azure AD who has access to Cisco AnyConnect.
- Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Cisco AnyConnect with their Azure AD accounts.
- Manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal.
To get started, you need the following items:
- An Azure AD subscription. If you don't have a subscription, you can get a free account.
- Cisco AnyConnect single sign-on (SSO) enabled subscription.
In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD SSO in a test environment.
- Cisco AnyConnect supports IDP initiated SSO.
Adding Cisco AnyConnect from the gallery
To configure the integration of Cisco AnyConnect into Azure AD, you need to add Cisco AnyConnect from the gallery to your list of managed SaaS apps.
- Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account, or a personal Microsoft account.
- On the left navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directory service.
- Navigate to Enterprise Applications and then select All Applications.
- To add new application, select New application.
- In the Add from the gallery section, type Cisco AnyConnect in the search box.
- Select Cisco AnyConnect from results panel and then add the app. Wait a few seconds while the app is added to your tenant.
Alternatively, you can also use the Enterprise App Configuration Wizard. In this wizard, you can add an application to your tenant, add users/groups to the app, assign roles, as well as walk through the SSO configuration as well. Learn more about Microsoft 365 wizards.
Alternatively, you can also use the Enterprise App Configuration Wizard. In this wizard, you can add an application to your tenant, add users/groups to the app, assign roles, as well as walk through the SSO configuration as well. You can learn more about O365 wizards here.
Configure and test Azure AD SSO for Cisco AnyConnect
Configure and test Azure AD SSO with Cisco AnyConnect using a test user called B.Simon. For SSO to work, you need to establish a link relationship between an Azure AD user and the related user in Cisco AnyConnect.
To configure and test Azure AD SSO with Cisco AnyConnect, perform the following steps:
- Configure Azure AD SSO - to enable your users to use this feature.
- Configure Cisco AnyConnect SSO - to configure the single sign-on settings on application side.
- Create Cisco AnyConnect test user - to have a counterpart of B.Simon in Cisco AnyConnect that is linked to the Azure AD representation of user.
- Test SSO - to verify whether the configuration works.
Configure Azure AD SSO
Follow these steps to enable Azure AD SSO in the Azure portal.
In the Azure portal, on the Cisco AnyConnect application integration page, find the Manage section and select single sign-on.
On the Select a single sign-on method page, select SAML.
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, click the edit/pen icon for Basic SAML Configuration to edit the settings.
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, enter the values for the following fields (note that the values are case-sensitive):
In the Identifier text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
In the Reply URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
For clarification about these values, contact Cisco TAC support. Update these values with the actual Identifier and Reply URL provided by Cisco TAC. Contact the Cisco AnyConnect Client support team to get these values. You can also refer to the patterns shown in the Basic SAML Configuration section in the Azure portal.
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, find Certificate (Base64) and select Download to download the certificate file and save it on your computer.
On the Set up Cisco AnyConnect section, copy the appropriate URL(s) based on your requirement.
If you would like to on board multiple TGTs of the server then you need to add multiple instances of the Cisco AnyConnect application from the gallery. You can also choose to upload your own certificate in Azure AD for all these application instances. That way you can have same certificate for the applications but you can configure different Identifier and Reply URL for every application.
Create an Azure AD test user
In this section, you'll create a test user in the Azure portal called B.Simon.
- From the left pane in the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory, select Users, and then select All users.
- Select New user at the top of the screen.
- In the User properties, follow these steps:
- In the Name field, enter
- In the User name field, enter the firstname.lastname@example.org. For example,
- Select the Show password check box, and then write down the value that's displayed in the Password box.
- Click Create.
- In the Name field, enter
Assign the Azure AD test user
In this section, you'll enable B.Simon to use Azure single sign-on by granting access to Cisco AnyConnect.
- In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
- In the applications list, select Cisco AnyConnect.
- In the app's overview page, find the Manage section and select Users and groups.
- Select Add user, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.
- In the Users and groups dialog, select B.Simon from the Users list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.
- If you are expecting a role to be assigned to the users, you can select it from the Select a role dropdown. If no role has been set up for this app, you see "Default Access" role selected.
- In the Add Assignment dialog, click the Assign button.
Configure Cisco AnyConnect SSO
You are going to do this on the CLI first, you might come back through and do an ASDM walk-through at another time.
Connect to your VPN Appliance, you are going to be using an ASA running 9.8 code train, and your VPN clients will be 4.6+.
First you will create a Trustpoint and import our SAML cert.
config t crypto ca trustpoint AzureAD-AC-SAML revocation-check none no id-usage enrollment terminal no ca-check crypto ca authenticate AzureAD-AC-SAML -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- … PEM Certificate Text from download goes here … -----END CERTIFICATE----- quit
The following commands will provision your SAML IdP.
webvpn saml idp https://sts.windows.net/xxxxxxxxxxxxx/ (This is your Azure AD Identifier from the Set up Cisco AnyConnect section in the Azure portal) url sign-in https://login.microsoftonline.com/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/saml2 (This is your Login URL from the Set up Cisco AnyConnect section in the Azure portal) url sign-out https://login.microsoftonline.com/common/wsfederation?wa=wsignout1.0 (This is Logout URL from the Set up Cisco AnyConnect section in the Azure portal) trustpoint idp AzureAD-AC-SAML trustpoint sp (Trustpoint for SAML Requests - you can use your existing external cert here) no force re-authentication no signature base-url https://my.asa.com
Now you can apply SAML Authentication to a VPN Tunnel Configuration.
tunnel-group AC-SAML webvpn-attributes saml identity-provider https://sts.windows.net/xxxxxxxxxxxxx/ authentication saml end write mem
There is a work around with the SAML IdP configuration. If you make changes to the IdP configuration you need to remove the saml identity-provider configuration from your Tunnel Group and re-apply it for the changes to become effective.
Create Cisco AnyConnect test user
In this section, you create a user called Britta Simon in Cisco AnyConnect. Work with Cisco AnyConnect support team to add the users in the Cisco AnyConnect platform. Users must be created and activated before you use single sign-on.
In this section, you test your Azure AD single sign-on configuration with following options.
- Click on Test this application in Azure portal and you should be automatically signed in to the Cisco AnyConnect for which you set up the SSO
- You can use Microsoft Access Panel. When you click the Cisco AnyConnect tile in the Access Panel, you should be automatically signed in to the Cisco AnyConnect for which you set up the SSO. For more information about the Access Panel, see Introduction to the Access Panel.
Once you configure Cisco AnyConnect you can enforce session control, which protects exfiltration and infiltration of your organization’s sensitive data in real time. Session control extends from Conditional Access. Learn how to enforce session control with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps.