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Getting Started Guide for Secure Remote Access
Provides information to get up and running with Secure Remote Access
Sue Highmoor
George Smith
Getting Started
Secure Remote Access
Getting Started/

Getting Started Guide for Secure Remote Access


Intended audience

This document is for customers who have:

  • Completed the UKCloud Assurance Wrap

  • Been approved to use the Secure Remote Access (SRA) service to manage services in the Elevated OFFICIAL security domain on the UKCloud platform

Post approval

Once the SRA Assurance Wrap has been approved, we'll raise a Service Request for the implementation of the SRA virtual data centre (VDC) and, if needed, an Elevated VDC. (If a service request for this VDC implementation already exists, a new one won't be raised.)

You can track the progress of the Service Request using the My Calls section of the UKCloud Portal.

During creation of the UKCloud SRA VDC, we'll ask you for some additional information via the Service Request:

  • Confirm the customer account number in Elevated as a new Org will be created under the account to contain the SRA VDC. The Org number will be used as an identifier when signing certificates.

  • The preferred IP pool you want to use for your client devices. If the IP Pool you'd prefer is in use by another customer then another will have to be chosen. We'll inform you if this is the case.

  • If you want to specify an IP from the IP pool for each device, we'll need you to supply the mapping.

  • Any specified DNS servers.

  • The Elevated Network Firewall Tenant (NFT) number and the Elevated organisation containing it for connection into Elevated.

  • A certificate signing request for each remote access device.

Certificate signing request generation

To enable SRA access, we'll need the certificate-signing request (CSR) from each remote access device you'll be using. The certificate-generation process will vary depending on the OS of the client device.


Follow the steps below to generate the CSR for a Windows device.

  1. Open the Certificates MMC snap-in (click Start, click Run, type mmc and then press Enter) select Certificates and then Computer Account.

  2. In the console tree, double-click Personal and then click Certificates.

  3. On the Actions menu, point to All Tasks, point to Advanced Options and then click Create Custom Request to start the Certificate Enrolment wizard. Click Next.

  4. On the Custom request page, in the Templates list, we recommend using the Custom Request option as your domain policy may be incompatible with the SRA service.

    • Select Proceed without enrolment policy and click Next.
  5. Select (No template) CNG key and ensure the PKCS#10 radio button is selected, then click Next.

  6. At the Certificate Information page, click the down arrow next to Details then click the Properties button.

  7. Click the Private Key tab, then the down arrow to the right of Key options.

  8. Change the Key size to 2048 and click Apply.

    • Optional: If you want to back up the certificate (to protect against client device failure) click the check boxes for the private key. You'll be asked for a password.
  9. For the file format, select Base 64 and then save the CSR.


For Linux, an equivalent OpenSSL command would be the following:

openssl req -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout myserver.key -out server.csr

Ensure that the key file is preserved for the later installation steps below, as without this the AnyConnect client will not be able to connect the SRA service.

CSR submission to UKCloud

We request that you paste the contents of the CSR file directly into a ticket for us to generate the associated certificate(s), but you can also email it to us if you cannot access the Portal.

VPN Cisco AnyConnect client setup

To access your SRA VDC you need to raise a service request to acquire the Cisco AnyConnect client and install (requires UKCloud Portal login).

For each OS there is the main Cisco AnyConnect client software install and an additional executable to enable the FIPS capability. You need to run both.


Install the AnyConnect client

tar zxvf anyconnect-linux-64-<version number>-k9.tar.gz

cd anyconnect-<version number>-/vpn

sudo ./

Enable FIPS

tar zxvf anyconnect-linux-64-<version number>-enableFIPS.tar.gz

./ anyconnect-linux-64-<version number>-enableFIPS


Install the AnyConnect client

The windows installation has the option of .msi or .iso (that contains the .msi) for the AnyConnect client image. The following installs may need to be run as administrator depending on the local policy of your Windows device.

Right click on the anyconnect-win-<version number>-pre-deploy.msi and select Install.

Enable FIPS

Double click anyconnect-EnableFIPS-win-<version number>.exe and then enter y when asked at the command prompt.


No further instructions required.

AnyConnect client software

We'll make the latest Cisco AnyConnect client software available via the Knowledge Centre using the link above. Using the latest version of the AnyConnect client will probably be a requirement of your ITSHC or service assurance wrap so it will be worth checking the above articles periodically.

If a client is upgraded from a previous install then the following post installation steps will need to be performed again to ensure the client configuration isn't reverted to the default.

Post-installation configuration

Once you've installed the AnyConnect software and certificates on your device, you need to install the connection profile, which is available from UKCloud Support. Unzip the file and copy the xml to the following location:

OS type CPA XML location
Linux/Mac /opt/cisco/anyconnect/profile
Windows C:\ProgramData\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\Profile

For Linux only

In addition to the AnyConnect profile, you also need to install a local policy, which is available from UKCloud Support.

Unzip the file and copy it to: /opt/cisco/anyconnect/AnyConnectLocalPolicy.xml.

Once you've copied the connection profile and local policy to the correct locations, you need to restart the AnyConnect service (using the command service vpnagentd restart) or reboot the VM.

SRA certificates

Once the SRA VDC has been set up (and Elevated VDC, if needed), we'll send you an email containing the certificates we've generated (based on the CSR sent to us as above) which you need to install onto your remote access devices.

For each customer SRA service a unique IssuingCA certificate is generated and used to sign each individual device certificates. The IssuingCA certificate along with the specific certificate for the device will be emailed. Both the certificates need to be installed.

The certificates sent through will named as below:

  • IssuingCAclientcert.pem

  • Device Certificate - E51FFC7D50C<HEX VALUE>.pem

Windows certificate store

Follow the steps below to import the certificates into the Windows certificate store. This assumes that you have the certificates we sent accessible to the MMC:

  1. Open the Certificates MMC snap-in (click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then press Enter) select Certificates and then Computer Account.

  2. In the console tree, open Trusted Root Certification Authorities, right click Certificates and select All tasks – Import - Next.

  3. Click Browse, change the filter from *X.509 Certificate (*.cer, .crt) to All files.

  4. Find the IssuingCA sent to you, double click clientcert.pem and click Next.

  5. Ensure that the Place all certificates radio button has Trusted Root Certification Authorities selected then click Next then Finish.

  6. In the console tree, open Personal, right click Certificates and select All tasks – Import - Next.

  7. Click Browse, change the filter from *X.509 Certificate (*.cer, .crt) to All files.

  8. Find the device certificate sent to you, double click E51FFC7D50C.pem and click Next.

  9. Ensure that the Place all certificates radio button has Personal selected then click Next then Finish.

Using the example customer SRAS-1-1-2 you should now see the client certificate in the Personal store.

Windows certificate store

Double click it and as in the examples pictures below:

  • In the General tab it should say "You have a private key that corresponds to this certificate".

    General tab of Certificate dialog

  • The UID should be displayed the Details tab in the Subject line in the format SRAS-1-1-2-

    Details tab of Certificate dialog

  • The certification path listed in the Certification Path tab as highlighted in the example below should show the IssuingCA

    Certification Path of Certificate dialog

Linux certificate store

The Linux certificate store is just a file structure under the root or user account depending on how you use Linux OS. For the Linux client to work the following must be true:

  • All certificate files must end with the extension .pem

  • All private key files must end with the extension .key

  • A client certificate and its corresponding private key must have the same filename. For example client.pem and client.key

Using the example customer issued certificate SRAS1-1-2-001.pem the files would be stored in the following locations for root. The key file generated above needs to moved and renamed appropriately.

PEM file certificate store folders Type of certificates stored
~/.cisco/certificates/client/private/SRAS1-1-2-001.key Private keys
~/.cisco/certificates/client/SRAS1-1-2-001.pem Client certificates
~/.cisco/certificates/ca/clientcert.pem Trusted CA and root certificates

Connecting to SRA

Once connected to your SRA VPN, you can access your SRA walled garden via IP address or DNS name (if you have a DNS set up). Client connection methods are listed below.


Once you've restarted AnyConnect and installed the certificates, you can use the client with the following command line:

/opt/cisco/anyconnect/bin/vpn connect

Or if you use a Linux desktop the client software should be available as an icon.


When you open the AnyConnect client you'll see a small window appear and the location of the SRA service should be populated:

Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client connection dialog box

Click the Connect button and after a couple of status checks the client should scan the certificate store and offer the relevant certificate to initiate access.

Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client certificate selection

Select the certificate and click OK.

Accessing the UKCloud Portal using SRA

There is no direct access to the Elevated portal once the AnyConnect client connects.

In most instances we'll create a virtual machine (VM) within the SRA VDC that you can VPN into in order to log in to the Elevated portal to provision and manage your SRA and Elevated VDC. Once this VM is deployed, it becomes your responsibility to manage and maintain it. This VM will be billed according to standard UKCloud billing process.

To obtain addresses for the Elevated portal and vCloud API, raise a Service Request through the My Calls section of the UKCloud Portal.


If you find a problem with this article, click Improve this Doc to make the change yourself or raise an issue in GitHub. If you have an idea for how we could improve any of our services, send an email to