Posts Tagged ‘reverse proxy’

Publish DirectAccess with Forefront TMG 2010

January 26, 2015 Comments off

DirectAccess is a compelling remote access solution that provides seamless and transparent, always-on, bi-directional remote corporate network connectivity for managed Windows clients. In Windows Server 2008 R2 and Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010, the DirectAccess server had to be configured with two network adapters, with the external network interface configured with two consecutive public IPv4 addresses. Many security engineers were understandably concerned about exposing a domain-joined Windows server directly to the public Internet, which limited the adoption of the technology. Beginning with Windows Server 2012, DirectAccess is integrated in to the operating system and provides more flexible network configuration. DirectAccess can now be deployed behind an existing edge security solution performing NAT, and even supports single-NIC configuration.

The Forefront TMG 2010 firewall is an excellent choice to provide essential protection for the DirectAccess workload. When DirectAccess is deployed behind a NAT device, the only firewall port that needs to be opened is TCP port 443 (HTTPS).

When publishing DirectAccess with TMG, it is important to use a server publishing rule and not a web publishing rule. To publish DirectAccess, open the Forefront TMG 2010 management console, right-click Firewall Policy in the navigation tree, and then choose New Non-Web Server Publishing Rule.

Publish DirectAccess with Forefront TMG 2010

Provide a descriptive name for the rule, enter the IP address of the DirectAccess server, choose HTTPS Server for the protocol, and then select the network interface on which to listen for these requests.

Publish DirectAccess with Forefront TMG 2010

To ensure the proper operation of Receive Side Scaling (RSS) on the DirectAccess server, it is recommended that the server be configured to use TMG as its default gateway and to configure the publishing rule on TMG using the option Requests appear to come from the original client.

Publish DirectAccess with Forefront TMG 2010

Also, TMG does not support load balancing for server publishing rules, so it is not possible to deliver traffic to multiple back end servers using TMG. For high availability and to provide for scalability, it is recommended to configure load balancing for DirectAccess using NLB or an external load balancer (recommended) and publish the virtual IP address (VIP) using the steps described above.

To learn more about DirectAccess, visit

Recommended Forefront TMG 2010 SSL and TLS Configuration

September 8, 2014 6 comments

Last year I wrote an article for that provided detailed guidance for improving security for SSL and TLS protected web sites using Forefront TMG 2010. Many people have reached out to me recently to ask about enabling forward secrecy, which my original article did not include because, at the time, it was not recommended to enable it. However, as times have changed, it is now recommended to enable forward secrecy so I recently wrote a short post with guidance on how to do that. The post was written with a very narrow scope and addressed only the enabling of forward secrecy for TLS. Many of you have since asked for guidance on overall security best practices with regard to SSL and TLS along with adding support for forward secrecy. In addition to the configuration changes detailed in my original article, I also recommend the following list of SSL and TLS cipher suites be explicitly enforced using the method outlined here.


Using this configuration, the Forefront TMG 2010 firewall should receive an A rating from the SSL Labs test site (at the time of this writing).

Forefront TMG 2010 SSL Security Configuration

Enabling and supporting the above list of cipher suites will provide the best overall protection and performance for your SSL protected web sites. Note that the list above does not include support for SSL 3.0. If you need to support SSL 3.0 you should add the following cipher suites to the end of the list.


Please note that this configuration may not work with older browsers on old, unsupported operating systems, for example Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP. Before deploying this configuration in production I would encourage you to conduct some testing with your supported clients to ensure operability.

Improving SSL Security for Forefront TMG 2010 Published Web Sites

October 8, 2013 Comments off

Recently I wrote an article for entitled Improving SSL Security for Forefront TMG 2010 Published Web Sites. In the article I demonstrate how to evaluate the current security configuration of your Forefront TMG firewall for published SSL web sites and how to make changes to the default settings in order to improve the overall security posture of TMG in reverse proxy scenarios. Implementing these changes will provide dramatically improved protection for Forefront TMG published SSL web sites. The steps outlined in the article include details for changes to be made to specific registry entries on the Forefront TMG 2010 firewall. I’ve had a number of requests to make the registry file available for download in order to simplify the process and ensure that these changes are made correctly. You can download the registry file used in the post here. Enjoy!

Forefront TMG 2010 Protocols and Ports Reference

September 10, 2012 5 comments

When deploying Forefront TMG 2010 as a forward or reverse proxy, many organizations will place their TMG firewalls in a perimeter or DMZ network to provide an additional layer of protection for their proxies. When deployed in this manner, configuring perimeter firewalls to allow proper communication to and from the Forefront TMG firewall can be challenging. Although the Service Overview and Network Port Requirements for Windows document on TechNet includes information about ISA server (which also applies to TMG) it includes all protocols and ports used by TMG in all deployment scenarios. This can be confusing when you simply want to allow TMG firewalls in a perimeter network to communicate with an Enterprise Management Server (EMS) on the internal network, or simply manage a TMG firewall in a perimeter network from a management workstation on the internal network. Opening all of the ports listed in the Microsoft KB article mentioned above would be unnecessary and would violate the principle of least privilege, which dictates that only the specific ports required for communication should be opened.

Note: This reference covers typical TMG configurations and may not include all protocols and ports required for every deployment scenario. For example, if you are using RADIUS or RSA for authentication, have configured connectivity verifiers or a remote SQL server, or have deployed Forefront TMG 2010 for Exchange integration, each of these configurations will require additional perimeter firewall access. Also, don’t forget that your perimeter firewalls will need to allow access to the protocols and ports required for the services you are accessing/publishing through Forefront TMG 2010.

For reference, here are the protocols and ports required for specific, common Forefront TMG 2010 deployment scenarios:


TCP 135, 10000-65535* – RPC
TCP 3847 – MS Firewall Control


TCP 445 – CIFS
UDP 445 – CIFS
TCP 2171 – MS Firewall Storage (domain-joined only)
TCP 2172 – MS Firewall Storage Secure (workgroup mode only)
TCP 3847 – MS Firewall Control

TMG to DCs

Domain joined…

TCP 88 – Kerberos
UDP 88 – Kerberos (send receive)
UDP 123 – NTP
TCP 135, 49152-65535* – RPC
TCP 389 – LDAP
UDP 389 – LDAP
TCP 445 – CIFS
UDP 445 – CIFS
TCP 3268 – LDAP Global Catalog

Non domain-joined…

TCP 389 – LDAP (required only for pre-authentication in reverse proxy scenarios)
TCP 636 – LDAPS (required only for pre-authentication in reverse proxy scenarios)


TCP 53 – DNS (send receive)
UDP 53 – DNS

Primary EMS to Replica EMS

TCP 135, 49152-65535* – RPC
TCP 2173 – MS Firewall Storage Replication

Replica EMS to Primary EMS

TCP 135, 49152-65535* – RPC
TCP 445 – CIFS
UDP 445 – CIFS
TCP 2171 – MS Firewall Storage – domain-joined only
TCP 2172 – MS Firewall Storage (Secure) – workgroup mode only
TCP 3847 – MS Firewall Control

Web Proxy Client to TMG

TCP 80 – HTTP (WPAD only)
TCP 8080 – HTTP Proxy

Firewall Client to TMG

TCP 80 – HTTP (WPAD only)
TCP 1745 – Firewall Client Control Channel
UDP 1745 – Firewall Client Control Channel
TCP 1024-65535 – All high ports**
UDP 1024-65535 – All high ports**

Management Workstation to TMG

TCP 135, 10000-65535* – RPC
TCP 2171 – MS Firewall Storage – Domain mode only
TCP 2172 – MS Firewall Storage (Secure) – Workgroup mode only
TCP 3847 – MS Firewall Control

*The default dynamic port range for Windows Server 2008 R2 is 49152-65535. When TMG is installed this setting is changed to 10000-65535. This does not apply to TMG EMS, however. RPC can be configured to use a smaller range of dynamic ports, if necessary. For more information, please see Microsoft KB 154956.

**The Forefront TMG 2010 Firewall Client is designed to operate without a firewall between itself and the TMG firewall. It is highly recommended that you avoid this design whenever possible. If this is unavoidable, all TCP and UDP high ports will have to be opened, as the TMG Firewall Client control channel utilizes random high ports and cannot be restricted as RPC can.