PAN-OS NGFW - LDAP Authentication via Group Membership - Admin UI

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PAN-OS NGFW - LDAP Authentication via Group Membership - Admin UI

L1 Bithead



I'm trying to set up NGFW in a lab environment where all users have an account defined in a centralized authentication store. We're using FreeIPA, which provides authentication services via LDAP and Kerberos.


I've gotten authentication working with LDAP, but it requires specifying a unique Administrator account and then pointing it to the Authentication Profile associated with the LDAP Authentication Server.


IMHO, this completely defeats the purpose of having a centralized directory.


Is there a way to set up NGFW to authenticate users based on group membership so I don't have to create unique admin user objects?


It looks like this is possible via RADIUS but not via LDAP. It looks like it's possible to set up a FreeRADIUS server in conjunction with FreeIPA. If setting up LDAP Group Membership checking isn't possible with NGFW, I may go that route.


Thanks in advance!


Cyber Elite
Cyber Elite

Hi @JeffH-SecBBQ ,


There is a way to set up the NGFW to authenticate administrators based on group membership so you don't have to create unique admin user objects.  It is done under Device > Setup > Management > Authentication Settings.  Notice that it supports only RADIUS, TACACS+, or SAML.




The reason, I believe, is because those protocols can also specify the role to be used in addition to authenticating.  With local admins, you specify the role.  With centralized admins, the authentication server needs to specify the role.  You could have one group for superusers, one group for read-only superusers, etc.


With RADIUS, the roles are configured with VSAs.


Here is the dictionary.






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L1 Bithead

@TomYoung, that's a phenomenal explanation! Thank you so much! I will continue setting up FreeRADIUS to proxy authentication against FreeIPA via LDAP, then set up NGFW to authenticate against FreeRADIUS.


Much appreciated!!!

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