Manage ASA Certificates

Digital certificates provide digital identification for authenticating devices and individual users. A digital certificate includes information that identifies a device or user, such as the name, serial number, company, department, or IP address. A digital certificate also includes a copy of the public key for the user or device. For more information on digital certificates, see the "Digital Certificates" chapter in the "Basic Settings" book of the Cisco ASA Series General Operations ASDM Configuration, X.Y document.

Certificate Authorities (CAs) are trusted authorities that “sign” certificates to verify their authenticity, thereby guaranteeing the identity of the device or user. CAs also issue identity certificates.

  • Identity Certificate — Identity certificates are certificates for specific systems or hosts. You can generate these yourself using the OpenSSL toolkit or get them from a Certificate Authority. You can also generate a self-signed certificate. CAs issue identity certificates, which are certificates for specific systems or hosts.

  • Trusted CA Certificate — Trusted CA certificates are certificates that the system can use to sign other certificates. These certificates differ from internal identity certificates with respect to the basic constraints extension and the CA flag, which are enabled for CA certificates but disabled for identity certificates. A trusted CA certificate is self-signed and called a root certificate.

The Remote Access VPN uses digital certificates for authenticating secure gateways and AnyConnect clients (endpoints) to establish a secure VPN connection. For more information, see Remote Access VPN Certificate-Based Authentication.

Guidelines for Certificate Installation

Read the following guidelines for certificate installation on ASA:

  • Certificate can be installed on a single or multiple ASA devices simultaneously.

  • Only one certificate can be installed at a time.

  • Certificate can be installed only on a live ASA device and not on a modal device.