Integrating ACLs with the Cisco Zone-based Policy Firewall

A previous article about the Cisco Zone-based Policy Firewall (ZFW) exemplified the construction of a simple L4 policy. Several other posts in the ZFW series underlined the fact that we cannot use interface ACLs in a ZFW environment (to avoid breaking the stateful inspection activities).

The current post builds upon our past discussions and documents the correct way of configuring ACLs within a zone-based firewall policy.

The focus of the policy structure depicted below is on the class-map called JOINT1, which specifies two simultaneous conditions that must be met for packets to flow from the INSIDE to the OUTSIDE zone:

  • Inspection happens at L4 for application protocols that use either TCP or UDP transport. This is governed by the class-map TOP-CLASS1, already studied in the article Building a simple policy with the Cisco Zone-based Firewall.
  • Restrictions that involve combination of source and destination addresses and L4 ports are imposed the extended access-list ACL1. This ACL is called by the match-all class-map JOINT1.
Sample Zone-based Firewall policy that includes an Access Control List
The figure also shows a simple Syslog message associated with the scenario. An NTP session from the host to the server was allowed by class JOINT1. This means that this particular connection was in accordance with both rules contained in this class.
** Notes:
  • The object-groups referred to by access-list ACL1 are those defined in the post ‘The use of object-groups in Cisco IOS software’.
  • There is no interface ACL in this setup. The ACL rules are taken care of as part of one of the building blocks of a Zone-based firewall policy. It is important to emphasize that this is the correct manner of inserting L3/L4 restrictions into a basic ZFW L4 inspection policy.
  • The log keyword cannot be configured as part of an Access Control Entry (ACE) that is used inside a ZFW class-map.
  • Newer releases of IOS allow you to list the existent class-maps and policy-maps with the show running-config class-map and show running-config policy-map commands.

** Topics for study:

** Related Posts:


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