Security - How To's

How to secure communication of mobile/roaming users using Secure Gateway?


This document will explain you the steps involved in securing the communication of roaming users using Secure Gateway component. Secure Gateway can be used when roaming agents (on the mobile devices and desktops) access the server through internet. It prevents the exposure of Desktop Central Server directly to the internet by serving as an intermediate server between the Desktop Central server and roaming agents. This ensures that the Desktop Central Server is secure from risks and threats of vulnerable attacks.

How Secure Gateway works?

Desktop Central Secure Gateway is a component that will be exposed to the internet. This Secure Gateway acts as an intermediate server between the managed roaming agents and the Desktop Central server. All communications from the roaming agents will be navigated through the Secure Gateway. When the agent tries to contact the Desktop Central server, Secure Gateway receives all the communications and redirects to the Desktop Central Server. 

Desktop Central Forwarding Server Architecture

Note: Map your Secure Gateway's public IP adress and Desktop Central server's private IP address to a common FQDN in your respective DNS. For example, if your FQDN is "", map this to both your Secure Gateway and Desktop Central server IP address. By this mapping, the WAN agents of roaming users will access Desktop Central server via Secure Gateway  (using internet) and the agents within the LAN network will directly reach Desktop Central server, hence leading to quicker resolution.

Hardware requirements for forwarding server

The hardware requirements for forwarding server include the following :

Processor : Intel Core i5(4 core/8 thread) 2.3 GHz. 6 MB cache
RAM size : 4 GB


To introduce Secure Gateway based communication to Desktop Central, follow the steps given below:

  • Modify Desktop Central Settings
  • Install and configure Secure Gateway
  • Copy the certificates
  • Infrastructure recommendations

Modify Desktop Central Settings

  1. Enter Secure Gateway IP address instead of Desktop Central server IP address under Desktop Central server details while adding remote office. This is to ensure the WAN agents and DS communication to Secure Gateway.
  2. Enable secured communication(HTTPS) under DS/WAN agent to Desktop central server communication.
  3. Configure NAT settings using the Secure Gateway's public FQDN/IP address.

Install and configure Secure Gateway

  1. Download and install Secure Gateway on a machine in Demilitarized zone.
  2. Enter the following details under Setting up the Secure Gateway window, which will open after the installation process.
    • DC Server Name: Specify the FQDN/DNS/IP address of the DC server
    • DC Http Port: Specify the port number that the Secure Gateway uses to contact the DC server (eg: 8020)
    • DC Https Port: Specify the port number that the mobile devices use to contact the DC server (eg: 8383 - it is recommended to use the same port 8383(HTTPS) for Desktop Central Server in secured mode)
    • DC Notification Server port: 8027 (to perform on-demand operations), this will be pre-filled automatically
    • Web Socket Port : 8443(HTTPS), this will be pre-filled automatically.

Copy the certificates

If you are using self signed certificate, follow the steps given below:

  1. Copy the server.crt and server.key files located in Desktop Central Server under ManageEngine\DesktopCentral_Server\apache\conf directory, to the location where Secure Gateway is installed - ManageEngine\MEForwardingServer\nginx\conf 

If you are using third party certificate, follow the steps given below:

  1. Rename the third party certificate as server.crt
  2. Rename the private key as server.key
  3. If you are using an intermediate certificate, modify the file name as intermediate.crt
  4. Copy the server.crt, server.key and intermediate.crt files to the location where Secure Gateway is installed - ManageEngine\MEForwardingServer\nginx\conf\
  5. Navigate to ManageEngine\MEForwardingServer\conf\websetting.conf file and add the line: intermediate.certificate=intermediate.crt

After copying the certificates, click install to complete the installation process.

Infrastructure recommendations

Ensure that you follow the steps given below

  1. Configure Secure Gateway in such a way, that it should be reachable via public IP/FQDN address configured in NAT settings. You can also configure the Edge Device/Router in such a way that all the request that are sent to the Public IP/FQDN address gets redirected to the Desktop Central Secure Gateway.
  2. It is mandatory to use HTTPS communication
  3. You will have to ensure that the following port is open on the firewall for the WAN agents to communicate the Desktop Central Secure Gateway.
Port Type Purpose Connection
8383 HTTPS For communication between the WAN agent/Distribution Server and the Desktop Central server using Desktop Central Secure Gateway. Inbound to Server
8027 TCP To perform on-demand operations  Inbound to Server
8443 HTTPS Web socket port used for remote control, chat, system manager etc. Inbound to Server

You have now secured communication between Desktop central server, WAN agents and roaming users.