Introduction to Identity Awareness

Traditionally, firewalls use IP addresses to monitor traffic and are unaware of the user and computer identities behind those IP addresses. Identity Awareness removes this notion of anonymity since it maps users and computer identities. This lets you enforce access and audit data based on identity.

Identity Awareness is an easy to deploy and scalable solution. It is applicable for both Active Directory and non-Active Directory based networks, as well as for employees and guest users.

Identity Awareness uses the Source and Destination IP addresses of network traffic to identity users and computers. You can use these elements as matching criteria in the Source and Destination fields of your policy rules:

  • The identity of users or user groups

  • The identity of computers or computer groups

With Identity Awareness you define policy rules for specified users, who send traffic from specified computers or from any computer. Likewise, you can create policy rules for any user on specified computers.

Identity Awareness gets identities from the configured identity sources. See Identity Sources.

You can see the logs based on user and computer name, and not just IP addresses, in the SmartConsole > Logs & Monitor > Logs tab. You can see events in the Logs & Monitor > Access Control views.

Identity Awareness Security Gateway can share the identity information that they acquire with other Identity Awareness Security Gateway. This way, users that need to pass through many Security Gateways are identified only one time. See Advanced Identity Awareness Environment for more information.