SSH key release request workflow
Safeguard for Privileged Passwords provides secure control of managed accounts by storing SSH keys until they are needed, and releases them only to authorized persons. Then, Safeguard for Privileged Passwords automatically updates the account SSH keys based on configurable parameters.
Typically, an SSH key release request follows this workflow.
- Request: Users that are designated as an authorized user of an entitlement can request SSH keys for any account in the scope of that entitlement's policies.
- Approve: Depending on policy configuration, approval can be automatic or require the consent of one or more users which provides closer control over system accounts.
- Review: The Security Policy Administrator can optionally configure an access request policy to require a review of completed SSH key release requests for accounts in the scope of the policy.
Requesting an SSH key release
If you are designated as an authorized user of an entitlement, you can request SSH keys for any account in the scope of the entitlement's policies.
You can configure Safeguard for Privileged Passwords to notify you of pending SSH key release workflow events, such as when an SSH key release request is pending, denied, or revoked, and so forth. For more information, see Configuring alerts.
To request an SSH key release
Click Home then New Request or open My Requests then click New Request.
NOTE: You can also submit an access request from your Favorites pane, if you previously saved it as a favorite.
On the New Access Request page, select the accounts to be included in the access request and the type of access being requested for each selected account. You can search for accounts based on asset information. The assets available for selection are based on the scope defined in the entitlement's access request policies.
NOTE: Use the button to select the columns to display.
Asset: The display name of the managed system.
- Account: The available account appears in the Account column. When an asset has multiple accounts available, either Select Account(s) or the account name appears as a hyperlink in the Account column. Click the hyperlink in the Account column to display a list of accounts available and select the accounts to be included in the access request.
Access Type: The type of access request appears in the Access Type column. If the type is a drop-down, you can click the drop-down then multiple access request types are available. Click the drop-down and select the access type, in this case, SSH Key.
Account Description: (When applicable) The description of the account.
Asset Description: (When applicable) The description of the asset.
You can remove an asset or account from the list by clearing the check box associated with an entry in the grid.
- On Request Details, configure the following settings, which will apply to all of the selected assets and accounts:
Emergency Access: If the policy has emergency access enabled, select this option to gain immediate emergency access to this SSH key. When you use Emergency Access, the request requires no approval. For more information, see Creating an access request policy.
When:Select one of the following options:
Now: If selected, the request is immediately created.
Later: If selected, fields will appear allowing you to enter a specific date and time for the request in the user's local time.
- How Long: Based on the policy, do one of the following:
- View the Checkout Duration.
- If the Allow Requester to Change Duration option is enabled in the policy, you can set the days, hours, and minutes that you want to use the password. This overrides the Checkout Duration set in the access request policy. For more information, see Creating an access request policy.
Ticket Number: If the policy requires a ticket number, enter a ticket number. If multiple accounts are in the request and one or more require a ticket number, the ticket number is applied to all of the requests associated with this access request. For more information, see Ticket systems.
Reason: If the policy requires a reason, enter a reason. If multiple accounts are in the request and one or more require a reason. The reason is applied to all of the requests associated with this access request. For more information, see Reasons.
Select the Description down arrow to view the description defined for the selected reason.
Comment: If required, enter information about this request. When multiple accounts are specified in the request, if any of the selected accounts require a comment, you must enter a comment. The comment will be applied to all of the requests associated with this access request. The limit is 1000 characters.
To save the access request as a favorite, select the Save this request as a favorite check box and enter a name for the request.
This access request is then added to your Favorites. In the web client, favorites are displayed on the Home page and the My Requests page.
After entering the required information, click Submit Request.
Additional information displays if the access requests submitted were unsuccessful with information on how to address the issues. Once they have been addressed, you can resubmit the request.
When the request has been approved, you can use the SSH key. For more information, see Taking action on an SSH key release request.
Taking action on an SSH key release request
The actions that can be taken on an SSH key release request depends on the state of the request and the client interface you are using.
To take action on an SSH key release request
From the web client, click My Requests. Use any of the following methods to control the request displayed:
You can take any of the following actions on the SSH key release request:
- Available request: Make selections on the request based on your user interface.
- The name, account, and remaining time is displayed. Click on the tile to see additional information or use the Fetch SSH Details button.
- The Format displays and can be selected, if necessary. Formats include OpenSSH, SSH2, and PuTTY. The Format chosen is preselected as the default for the next access request.
- Click Checkout SSH Key to check out the SSH key. This puts the SSH key onto your clipboard, ready for you to use.
- Click Start SSH Session to launch the session.
- Private Key: You can click Save or Copy.
- Passphrase: You can click Show or Copy if Passphrase Protect SSH Key was selected on when creating an access request policy.
- The following types of information may display based on the format you select.
- SHA-1 Fingerprint
- MD5 Fingerprint
- Public Key: You can click Save or Copy.
If the SSH key changes while you have it checked out, and your current request is still valid, you can select the following to obtain an new SSH key, as available: Save, Copy, or Show.
- Once you are done working, click Check-In Request to complete the SSH key check out process.
Approved request: Select Cancel Request to remove the request.
An SSH key release request changes from Approved to Available when the requested time is reached. It stays available until you either cancel the request or it reaches the end of the duration period.
- Pending request: Select Cancel Request to remove the request.
Revoked request: Select Resubmit to request the SSH key again.
Select Remove to delete the request from the list.
- Expired request: Select Remove Request to delete the request from the list.
Denied request: Select Resubmit to request the SSH key again.
Select Remove Request to delete the request from the list.
Approving an SSH key release request
Depending on how the Security Policy Administrator configured the policy, an SSH key release request will either require approval by one or more Safeguard for Privileged Passwords users, or be auto-approved. Depending on policy configuration, approval can be automatic or require the consent of one or more users which provides closer control over system accounts.
You can revoke a request between the time the requester views it and checks it in.
Any eligible approver can deny an SSH key release request after it has already been approved or auto-approved. Once disallowed, the requester will no longer have access to the SSH key, but they are given another opportunity to request that SSH key again. The requester receives an email notifying them that the request was denied.
Safeguard for Privileged Passwords can be configured to notify you of an SSH key release request that requires your approval. For more information, see Configuring alerts.
To approve or deny an SSH key release request
Click Approvals on the left of the page to manage approvals. On the Approvals page, you can:
- View details by selecting a request then looking at the details display on the right of the page.
- Approve one or more request: Select the requests. Then, click Approve all selected requests to approve all the requests you selected. Optionally, enter a comment.
- Deny one or more request: Select the requests. Then, click Deny all selected requests to deny all the requests you selected. Optionally, enter a comment.
- Change the columns that display: Click and select the columns you want to see. You can select columns including:
- Action: Displays Approve only this request and Deny only this request.
- Requester / Status: Displays the user name and the status of the approval (for example, Pending 1 approval).
- Asset / Access Type: Displays the name of the asset and the type of access (for example, Password, SSH Key, RDP, SSH, or Telnet).
- Account: Displays the managed account name.
- Ticket Number: Displays the ticket number, if required.
- Requested For: Displays the date and time as well as the window of availability (for example, March 20, 2021 9:56 AM 2 hours).
- Search: For more information, see Search box.