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Server Certificates

For secure SSL communication, gateways must establish trust with endpoint computers by showing a Server Certificate. This section discusses the procedures necessary to generate and install server certificates.

Check Point gateways, by default, use a certificate created by the Internal Certificate Authority on the Security Management Server as their server certificate. Browsers do not trust this certificate. When an endpoint computer tries to connect to the gateway with the default certificate, certificate warning messages open in the browser. To prevent these warnings, the administrator must install a server certificate signed by a trusted certificate authority.

All portals on the same Security Gateway IP address use the same certificate.

Obtaining and Installing a Trusted Server Certificate

To be accepted by an endpoint computer without a warning, gateways must have a server certificate signed by a known certificate authority (such as Entrust, VeriSign or Thawte). This certificate can be issued directly to the gateway, or be a chained certificate that has a certification path to a trusted root certificate authority (CA).

The next sections describe how to get a certificate for a gateway that is signed by a known Certificate Authority (CA).

Generating the Certificate Signing Request

First, generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). The CSR is for a server certificate, because the gateway acts as a server to the clients.

Note - This procedure creates private key files. If private key files with the same names already exist on the computer, they are overwritten without warning.

  1. From the gateway command line, log in to expert mode.
  2. Run:

    cpopenssl req -new -out <CSR file> -keyout <private key file> -config $CPDIR/conf/openssl.cnf

    This command generates a private key. You see this output:

    Generating a 2048 bit RSA private key
    writing new private key to 'server1.key'
    Enter PEM pass phrase:

  3. Enter a password and confirm.

    Fill in the data.

    • The Common Name field is mandatory. This field must have the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). This is the site that users access. For example:
    • All other fields are optional.
  4. Send the CSR file to a trusted certificate authority. Make sure to request a Signed Certificate in PEM format. Keep the .key private key file.

Generating the P12 File

After you get the Signed Certificate for the gateway from the CA, generate a P12 file that has the Signed Certificate and the private key.

  1. Get the Signed Certificate for the gateway from the CA.

    If the signed certificate is in P12 or P7B format, convert these files to a PEM (Base64 encoded) formatted file with a CRT extension.

  2. Make sure that the CRT file has the full certificate chain up to a trusted root CA.

    Usually you get the certificate chain from the signing CA. Sometimes it split into separate files. If the signed certificate and the trust chain are in separate files, use a text editor to combine them into one file. Make sure the server certificate is at the top of the CRT file.

  3. From the gateway command line, log in to expert mode.
  4. Use the *.crt file to install the certificate with the *.key file that you generated.
    1. Run:

      cpopenssl pkcs12 -export -out <output file> -in <signed cert chain file> -inkey <private key file>

      For example:
      cpopenssl pkcs12 -export -out server1.p12 -in server1.crt -inkey server1.key

    2. Enter the certificate password when prompted.

Generating Wildcard Certificates for Hostname Translation

If you use Hostname Translation, you need a wildcard certificate. This lets clients access Web applications on sub-domains behind the gateway. If Mobile Access uses a fixed domain certificate, client browsers issue certificate warnings when users try to access Web applications in a sub-domain behind the Mobile Access gateway. This is because each Web application URL is translated to a different Mobile Access hostname.

Before you begin, make sure the Hostname Translation support is configured in the DNS server and in the SmartDashboard.

To prepare a request a 3rd-Party wildcard server certificate:

  1. In Subject DN, start with CN=FQDN.

    For example:

  2. In Alternate Name, enter two DNS names: the FQDN and the wildcard.

    For example:, *

To configure wildcard certificate generation:

  1. Backup and edit the configuration file of the csr_gen script:
    • R66.x, R71.x, R75, R75.10 - $CVPNDIR/conf/openssl.cnf
    • R75.20 and higher - $CPDIR/conf/openssl.cnf
  2. In the [ req ] section, uncomment the line:
    req_extensions = v3_req
  3. In the [ v3_req ] section, add this line:

    For example:,DNS:*

  4. Save openssl.cnf.
  5. Run csr_gen and create the CSR.

    To make sure the CSR was generated properly, run:

    • R75.x - cpopenssl req -in requestFile.csr -text
    • earlier versions - openssl req -in requestFile.csr -text
  6. When asked for the CommonName (CN), enter the FQDN. For example:
  7. Restore the openssl.cnf file from the backup.

Installing the Signed Certificate

To install the certificate:

  1. Log in to SmartConsole.
  2. From the left Navigation Toolbar, click Gateways & Servers.
  3. Open the Identity Awareness Gateway object.
  4. In the navigation tree, click the appropriate Software Blade page:
    • Mobile Access > Portal Settings
    • Platform Portal
    • Data Loss Prevention
    • Identity Awareness > Captive Portal > Settings > Access Settings

    In the Certificate section, click Import or Replace.

  5. Install the Access Policy on the gateway.

    Note - The Repository of Certificates on the IPsec VPN page of the gateway object is only for self-signed certificates. It does not affect the certificate installed manually using this procedure.

Viewing the Certificate

To see the new certificate from a Web browser:

The Security Gateway uses the certificate when you connect with a browser to the portal. To see the certificate when you connect to the portal, click the lock icon that is next to the address bar in most browsers.

The certificate that users see depends on the actual IP address that they use to access the portal - not only the IP address configured for the portal in SmartDashboard.

To see the new certificate from SmartConsole:

From a page that contains the portal settings for that blade/feature, click View in the Certificate section.

Web Data Compression

Mobile Access can be configured to compress Web content. This can produce a much faster website for users. It also reduces bandwidth needs, and therefore, costs.

Most compression algorithms, when applied to a plain-text file, can reduce its size by 70% or more, depending on the content in the file.

Be aware that compression does increase the CPU usage of Mobile Access, which in itself does have some performance implications.

Most browsers can accept compressed data, uncompress it and display it.

If configured to compress data, Mobile Access compresses the data received from Web servers (the http or https response). If the Web browser at the endpoint compresses the http or https request, Mobile Access uncompresses it and sends it on to the server. This is illustrated in the figure below.

Mobile Access supports the gzip, deflate, and compress compression methods.

It is possible to specify the mime types that will be compressed.




Web Browser


Compressed Request


Mobile Access enabled Security Gateway


Uncompressed request (eg.gunzip)


Web Server




Compressed Response (e.g. gzip)

Configuring Data Compression

Web data compression is configured per gateway in GuiDBedit Tool (see sk13009).

To configure data compression by Mobile Access:

  1. Connect with GuiDBedit Tool to Security Management Server.
  2. In the top left pane, go to Network Objects > network_objects.
  3. In the top right pane click gateway / cluster object.
  4. In the bottom pane, search for web_compression under connectra_settings and fill in the following parameters:
    • enable_web_compression - Enter true to enable data compression and false to disable it.
    • compression_level - Enter e a value between 1 and 9. The higher the number, the more CPU is used. The default is 5.
    • compress_specific_mime - Enter true if you want to compress specific mime types and false if you do not.
    • mime_types - If you typed true for compress_specific_mime, enter the mime type, for example, text/html.
  5. Save the changes in GuiDBedit Tool (File menu > Save All) and close it.
  6. Connect with SmartConsole to Security Management Server.
  7. Install policy on gateway / cluster object.

Using Mobile Access Clusters

A remote access enabled gateway is a business critical device for an organization. A failure of a gateway results in immediate loss of remote access traffic in and out of the organization. Many of these sessions may be mission critical, and losing them will result in loss of critical data.

Using ClusterXL, you can set up a Load Sharing or High Availability clustering solution that distributes network traffic among Mobile Access cluster members.

A cluster including Mobile Access gateways provides:

All cluster members are aware of the sessions tracked through each of the other cluster members. The cluster members synchronize their sessions and status information across a secure synchronization network.

The Sticky Decision Function

If you are using SSL Network Extender, you must enable the Sticky Decision Function.

A connection is sticky when all of its packets are handled, in either direction, by a single cluster member.

The Sticky Decision Function distributes sessions from client IPs between the cluster members, and ensures that connections from a given IP always pass through the same member.

How Mobile Access Applications Behave on Failover

The table below summarizes the end-user experience upon failover for each Mobile Access application.



User experience upon failover

Web browsing through the user portal

Domino Web Access

Outlook Web Access

File Shares


User is unaware of failover. If the failover happens while a user is clicking a link or waiting for a server response, user may be disconnected and may need to refresh the page.

Web Mail


If failover occurs while a user is clicking a link or waiting for a server response, user sees an error page. By clicking the link "Go to the login page" the user returns to the Inbox, and the original session is lost.



User is disconnected, and the Citrix session is lost. User must actively re-establish a connection.

Endpoint Compliance Scan


Re-scan may be required if user logs out of the portal, or needs to log in again.

Secure Workspace


User is unaware of failover. However, if the failover happens while a user is clicking a link or waiting for a server response, user may be disconnected and may need to refresh the page.

Multi challenge login


If user is in the middle of a multi-challenge login he/she is redirected to the initial login page.

SSL Network Extender Network Mode


The user may notice the connection stalling for a few seconds, as if there was a temporary network disconnection.

SSL Network Extender Application Mode


SSL Network Extender remains open and in a connected state. However, connections of applications using the VPN tunnel are lost. Some applications (such as Outlook) try to reopen lost connections, while others (Telnet for example) are closed (or exit).

SSL Network Extender - Downloaded-to-Mobile Access applications


Network Mode - Survives failover.

Application Mode - Does not survive failover.