I’m happy to announce that my latest Trainsignal video training course is now available! This new video training course is on Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010. It is an introductory course on Forefront UAG designed to teach network engineers and security administrators the basic essentials of planning, preparing, installing, configuring, monitoring, and maintain a Forefront UAG 2010 remote access solution. In the course I demonstrate how to publish popular Microsoft on-premises applications like SharePoint and Exchange Outlook Web App (OWA). In addition I cover publishing Remote Desktop Services and VPN remote access. I also provide a high level explanation of endpoint detection and endpoint policy enforcement and demonstrate how to provide high availability for the solution. Here is the entire course outline:
Lesson 1 – Introduction and Course Outline
Lesson 2 – Forefront UAG 2010 Overview
Lesson 3 – Planning to Deploy Forefront UAG 2010
Lesson 4 – Installing and Configuring Forefront UAG 2010
Lesson 5 – Configuring a Portal
Lesson 6 – Publishing Exchange Outlook Web App
Lesson 7 – Publishing SharePoint
Lesson 8 – Publishing Remote Desktop Services
Lesson 9 – Configuring VPN Remote Access
Lesson 10 – Enabling Endpoint Detection
Lesson 11 – Configuring High Availability
Lesson 12 – Web Monitor Overview
Lesson 13 – Forefront UAG Backups
Once again I had the opportunity to work with my good friend and fellow Microsoft MVP Jordan Krause on this course. As he did in my previous Trainsignal video training course on Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess, Jordan served as the technical reviewer and provided valuable insight that ultimately made the course better. If you’re planning to implement Forefront UAG 2010 to provide secure remote access to both managed and non-managed systems and devices, be sure to sign up for a subscription at Trainsignal.com today! Not only will you have access to this video training course on Forefront UAG 2010, you will gain access to the entire Trainsignal library of content, including my course on Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess, all for just $49.00 per month!
Recently I announced the availability of my Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess video training course at TrainSignal. Click here to read the full story!
Since Microsoft formally announced the end of life for the venerable Forefront TMG 2010 firewall, the most common question I hear is “What should I replace my Forefront TMG firewall with?” It’s an excellent question, and one that I can’t really answer for you definitively. Since Microsoft has elected to leave this space entirely, you’ll obviously be replacing it with a solution from another vendor. But which one? Well, the answer is “it depends”. There are many excellent firewalls, web proxies, and secure web gateways on the market today. So-called “Next Generation Firewalls” are gaining in popularity as well, and provide some interesting capabilities a security administrator can leverage to provide increased protection for their corporate networks. Which one to choose depends on many factors, and will vary greatly depending on your deployment scenario. My suggestion when evaluating potential replacements for your Forefront TMG 2010 firewall is to take a look at your current configuration, review your corporate security policy to determine network security requirements, then begin researching products that include the features you need. If you take a look at the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways or Next Generation Firewalls and choose a product in the leaders or challengers quadrants you will probably be satisfied. Regardless which solution you choose, demand a proof-of-concept or insist on an evaluation period with which you can return the product for a full refund if it doesn’t meet your needs or expectations. Be open-minded during the process, as you’re not likely to have the comfort level with the new solution as you do with your existing Forefront TMG 2010 firewall. If you are using your Forefront TMG 2010 firewall as a dedicated remote access solution, I would encourage you to look closely at Windows Server 2012 remote access VPN and especially DirectAccess.
Keep in mind that although Microsoft has announced the end of life for Forefront TMG 2010, it will still be supported for many years to come. You will have full feature functionality until the end of 2015, and the product will be supported in some fashion until early 2020 so there’s no need to rush. Perhaps the best replacement for Forefront TMG 2010 hasn’t even been created yet! If you have questions about Forefront TMG 2010 replacements, or you are in the process of evaluating another solution to replace your existing Forefront TMG firewall today, feel free to ask questions or share your experiences by commenting below. Thanks!
Today, Microsoft announced the Forefront TMG 2010 product will be discontinued. Microsoft will continue to provide mainstream support for TMG until April 14, 2015, and extended support until April 14, 2020. The Forefront TMG 2010 Web Protection Services (WPS) will be discontinued on December 31, 2015. Beginning on January 1, 2016, Web Protection Services (URL filtering, virus/malicious software scanning, and Network Inspection System) will continue to function but will no longer receive updates.
The end of life for Forefront TMG 2010 comes as part of sweeping changes made to the entire Forefront protection suite of products. In addition to ending development of Forefront TMG 2010, Microsoft also announced that Forefront Protection for Exchange (FPE), Forefront Protection for SharePoint (FPSP), Forefront Security for OCS (FSOCS), and Forefront Protection Server Management Console (FPSMC) are all being discontinued. Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), which has been a part of Office 365, is being renamed Exchange Online Protection.
Looking ahead, Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 and Forefront Identify Manager (FIM) 2010 R2 both have current roadmaps and will continue to be developed, although it is likely that they will not continue under the Forefront brand name.
At the recent DEFCON hacking conference, security researchers demonstrated a method to crack the MS-CHAPv2 authentication protocol with a 100% success rate. MS-CHAPv2 is used as the default authentication method for remote access VPN in Forefront TMG 2010.
With the public availability of tools to automate the cracking process, PPTP communication using MS-CHAPv2 should be considered unencrypted. There are two options available to mitigate this concern: disable MS-CHAPv2 and enable EAP with PPTP, or disable PPTP and switch to a more secure remote access VPN protocol such as L2TP/IPsec or SSTP. Enabling EAP requires the use of smart cards or certificates for authentication which makes implementation more challenging. SSTP is an excellent option as it leverages SSL/TLS to protect the MS-CHAPv2 authentication process. However, SSTP is only supported on Windows Vista SP1 and later clients. L2TP/IPsec is another good choice, and although it does support certificates it can also be configured using a pre-shared key. If long, complex passwords are used and care is taken to ensure that the password is well protected, it can provide a secure remote access solution.
For anyone interested in news and information about Microsoft DirectAccess, I have started another blog at directaccess.richardhicks.com. With this blog I’ll be writing about DirectAccess in Windows Server 2008 R2, Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 DirectAccess, and DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012. In addition, I’ll be touching on topics related to VPN and remote access in general, IPv6, and core networking. DirectAccess is the way of the future for managed client remote access, so I would encourage you to follow my blog and stay up to date with this wonderful technology. Of course I’ll still continue to write about edge security and Forefront TMG 2010 here, don’t worry!
TechDays San Francisco 2012, sponsored by the Pacific IT Professionals user group, is a two day IT professional conference being held on March 23 and 24, 2012. The event features a lineup of speakers that includes Chris Avis, CA Callahan, Jennelle Crothers, Jessica DeVita, Steve Evans, Jason C. Helmick, Chris Henley, Ed Horley, Darren Mar-Elia, Mark Minasi, Stephen Rose, Joey Snow, Doug Spindler, Mark Vinkour, Harold Wong, and Chris Zwergel. Sessions will cover topics such as Azure and cloud, Clustering, DNS/DHCP/IPAM, Exchange, Hyper-V, IIS, Lync, MDOP, networking and VPN, Powershell, SharePoint, System Center, VDI, Windows 8 Client and Server, and Windows Phone 7. I will be presenting sessions on Forefront Edge Security (Forefront TMG 2010 and UAG 2010) as well as DirectAccess. Visit the TechDaysSF web site for the full speaker lineup and session abstracts, then click here to register for the event. Hope to see you there!
A hotfix rollup for Forefront TMG 2010 SP2 is now available. The hotfix rollup resolves several reported issues with TMG, including:
KB2654016 – A client may be unsuccessful in accessing a Java SSO application published to the web by Forefront TMG 2010
KB2653703 – “Error: Subreport could not be shown” error message in the User Activity or Site Activity report in Forefront TMG 2010
KB2654585 – UDP packets may become backlogged when you increase the “maximum concurrent UDP sessions per IP address” setting in Forefront TMG 2010
KB2624178 – Forefront TMG 2010 administrators may be unable to generate reports
KB2636183 – Both sides of a TCP connection are closed when the client or remote application half-closes the TCP connection in Forefront TMG 2010
KB2653669 – Summary information for the Top Overridden URLs table and for the Top Rule Override Users table display incorrect information in Forefront TMG 2010
KB2617060 – Forefront TMG 2010 enables L2TP site-to-site connections in RRAS
KB2655951 – Japanese characters in the subject line of an Alert email message are not readable in the Japanese version of Forefront TMG 2010
KB2654068 – “The Web Listener is not configured to use SSL” warning message may occur when you configure a Web Listener to use a valid SSL certificate in Forefront TMG 2010
KB2654193 – You receive a “Bad Request” error message when you try to access Outlook Web App published by Forefront TMG 2010
KB2654074 – String comparison may become case-sensitive when you published a website using Forefront TMG 2010
KB2658903 – Forefront TMG 2010 firewall service (wspsrv.exe) may crash frequently for a published website secured by SSL after you install Service Pack 2.
Hotfix rollup 1 for Forefront TMG 2010 SP2 can be downloaded here. After applying this update, the new Forefront TMG 2010 build number will be 7.0.9193.515.