FortiGate Remote Access IPSec VPN Configuration

In today’s digital era, remote access is becoming a fundamental requirement for businesses to ensure continuous productivity. But with remote access comes the risk of cyber threats, making VPN security a top priority.

1. Access the FortiGate Web Interface:
Connect to your FortiGate firewall’s web interface using a web browser. Enter the IP address of the FortiGate in the address bar and log in with administrator credentials.
2. Create a VPN User Group:
Navigate to “User & Device” > “User Groups.”
Click on “Create New.”
Name the group (e.g., “VPN_Users”).
Add the remote users who will be connecting to this group.
3. Configure the VPN Tunnel:
Navigate to “VPN” > “IPsec Wizard.”
Select “Custom” and click “Next.”
Enter a name for the VPN tunnel.
Select “Remote Access” as the type of VPN.
Choose “Pre-shared Key” for authentication.
Create a Pre-shared Key (PSK) and make note of it. This will be used by remote clients to authenticate.
Select the appropriate interface for the VPN (usually the WAN interface).
Configure the Local Interface and Local IP Address settings.
Under Authentication/Phase 1, select the appropriate encryption and authentication settings.
Under Authentication/Phase 2, select the appropriate encryption and authentication settings.
Click “Next” and review your settings.
Click “Finish” to create the VPN tunnel.
4. Configure the Firewall Policies:
Navigate to “Policy & Objects” > “IPv4 Policy.”
Create a new policy for traffic from the VPN to the internal network.Set the source interface to the VPN interface.
Set the destination interface to the internal network.
Specify the appropriate source and destination addresses and services.
Allow the traffic.
5. Configure DNS Settings (optional):
If you want remote users to resolve internal hostnames, configure DNS settings for the VPN users. Navigate to “Network” > “DNS.”
Add internal DNS servers to the list and enable DNS settings for the VPN tunnel.
6. Configure NAT (optional):
If your internal network uses NAT, configure NAT settings for the VPN users. Navigate to “Policy & Objects” > “NAT.”
Create a new NAT policy to translate VPN user traffic to the internal network.
7. Configure User Authentication:
Navigate to “System” > “Administrators” and create a user account for remote authentication.
Ensure the user has permissions to connect via VPN.
8. Configure VPN Client:
On the remote client side, configure the VPN client software (e.g., FortiClient) with the FortiGate’s public IP address and the Pre-shared Key you created earlier.
9. Test the Connection:
Connect the remote client to the FortiGate using the configured VPN settings.
Verify that the connection is established successfully.
These are the basic steps for configuring a FortiGate Remote Access IPSec VPN. Depending on your specific network requirements and security policies, you may need to make additional configurations or adjustments. Always refer to the FortiGate documentation for the most up-to-date and specific instructions for your device.