This article describes features that require Banyan Netagent v1.27.1+.

Motivation

Following Zero Trust principles, Banyan enables security policies to be applied at the granularity of a single Service, or even individual Resources (such as APIs) under that Service. This means TCP services are typically defined individually, a single domain at a time. For example, you might configure an individual TCP service at server1.tcp.example.com and server2.tcp.example.com, and define a policy to precisely specify which users and devices that can access those services.

However, organizations often maintain and manage multiple services, sometimes thousands, at a time. While some services require a unique set of access restrictions, many of them require identical access restrictions. Rather than configure each service individually, you can group them and configure via a single service definition.

You can create a single collection service that will use HTTP Connect Tunneling to route traffic the appropriate backend.

How it Works

Banyan uses standards-compliant HTTP Connect Tunneling to enable connectivity to multiple services via a single TCP service definition.

In the Banyan Desktop App, the end user clicks Connect on the service to start banyanproxy in HTTP Connect mode, listening on a specific port. The end user also configures their TCP client with the application-specific setting or environment variable to connect to the banyanproxy using HTTP Connect proxy.

  1. When the TCP client supporting HTTP Connect is run, it connects to banyanproxy, which forwards an HTTP Connect message that contains an argument including the actual destination.

  2. banyanproxy initiates an MTLS connection with the Banyan service on the Netagent side at tcpcollection.example.com:8443. Netagent checks the device posture and identity and, if successful, establishes the MTLS session. banyanproxy then uses HTTP Connect to specify the actual destination of the TCP request.

  3. Netagent checks the Service Backend configurations for the httpconnect and allow_pattern settings. If the connection request matches, Netagent makes the connection to the backend.

Once the TCP connection is established, communication from the TCP client is as if it directly connected to TCP server.


Steps

To configure tunneling to a collection of TCP Services:

1. Navigate to Manage Services > Infrastructure and click + Register Service. Select the option Other TCP Service.

2. On the service registration page, configure all applicable fields and set the method for how incoming connection should be proxied to the backend to Client specified using HTTP Connect.

Additionally, you can configure a simple list of Allowed Hostnames and CIDR Ranges.

On that page, also configure the Service Connection Details, such as an Assigned Listen Port and whether or not end users are able to override the settings.

In the Banyan App, end users will see a single entry per collection of TCP services. Once they click into the Service details view, they can click Connect to launch banyanproxy and create an HTTP Connect tunnel with the Banyan Enforcement Component.

3. On the end-user’s TCP client, configure the HTTP Proxy setting for the specified address on localhost.

Almost all clients have native support for HTTP Connect Proxy tunneling. Here’s an example of a clients’ setting page:

Once the client is configured for the HTTP Connect Proxy, the end-user can enter the address of their TCP service as normal and they will be able to securely connect to it.


Notes

Include & Exclude Backends in your Collection

Simple Allow List

For simple use cases, you can restrict backend connectivity to the specified hostnames or CIDR ranges when configuring a collection of TCP services. In the example below, connections are allowed only if the service destination has the hostname vnc1.com and is in the CIDR range 10.10.34.0/24.

Advanced Use Cases with Complex Patterns

For advanced use cases that require complex patterns, you can create a custom Hosted Service JSON to specify CIDRs and IP Ranges in an “allow list” in the service spec. This lets you manage allow lists that include and exclude specific backends in your collection.

For example, you can define the pattern for the allowed backends using hostnames (via allow_patterns). Additionally, you can override the destination hostname to a different backend service name (via dns_overrides).

In the example below, connections are allowed only the service destination has the hostname vnc1.com and in the CIDR range 10.10.34.0/24. Also, the destination hostname is overridden from vnc1.com to myvncservice.com. Finally, connections have to be in the port range 5901-5999.

"backend": {
  "target": {},
  "dns_overrides": {
    "vnc1.com": "myvncservice.com"
  },
  "allow_patterns": [
    {
      "hostnames": [
        "vnc1.com"
      ],
      "cidrs": [
        "10.10.34.0/24"
      ],      
      "ports": {
        "port_ranges": [
          {
            "Min": 5901,
            "Max": 5999
          }
        ]
      }
    }
  ]
}


Last modified: Oct 07, 2021