I am trying to setup two way SSL to communicate with partner web service. I understand I have to provide server certificate on client side. However, questions are:

  1. Is self signed certificate okay?
  2. Should the client certificate be on web servers (1&2) or on outbound firewall?

The connectivity is as below: web server (1..2) -> Outbound corporate firewall -> partner firewall -> partner web server hosting web service

  • Are you trying to do client authentication with SSL or just connect to a web service over SSL? Why would firewalls make any difference? – Brendan Long Mar 20 '13 at 23:16
  • It is outbound traffic and want to use cert to provide our identity to the business partner – Ashish Mar 21 '13 at 16:49

A self signed certificate is fine as long as you ensure it is strongly generated. It won't have implied trust, but if it is going between two end points you know, then you can independently establish trust and add the certificate to the trusted certificate list.

The second question is really up to you depending on how you want the connection to function. It will protect in between the firewalls either way and will protect even behind the firewalls if you go all the way to the machine, but it will have to bypass the firewall unless you also tell the firewalls about the keys and use a key exchange that the firewalls can follow.

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