Citrix Secure Web

Citrix Secure Web is a mobile web browser that provides secure access to internal and external sites. You can configure Secure Web to be pushed to user devices automatically when the devices are enrolled in Citrix Secure Hub, or users can add the app from the Endpoint Management app store.

For Secure Web and other mobile productivity apps system requirements, see System requirements.

Integrating and delivering Secure Web

Important:

The MDX Toolkit 10.7.10 is the final release that supports the wrapping of mobile producticity apps. Users access mobile producticity apps versions 10.7.5 and later from the public app stores.

To integrate and deliver Secure Web, follow these general steps:

  1. To enable SSO to the internal network, configure Citrix Gateway.

    For HTTP traffic, Citrix ADC can provide SSO for all proxy authentication types supported by Citrix ADC. For HTTPS traffic, the Web password caching policy enables Secure Web to authenticate and provide SSO to the proxy server through MDX. MDX supports basic, digest and NTLM proxy authentication only. The password is cached using MDX and stored in the Endpoint Management shared vault, a secure storage area for sensitive app data. For details about Citrix Gateway configuration, see Citrix Gateway.

  2. Download Secure Web.
  3. Determine how you want to configure user connections to the internal network.
  4. Add Secure Web to Endpoint Management, by using the same steps as for other MDX apps and then configure MDX policies. For details about policies specific to Secure Web, see “About Secure Web policies” later in this article.

Configuring user connections

Secure Web supports the following configurations for user connections:

  • Secure browse: Connections that tunnel to the internal network can use a variation of a clientless VPN, referred to as secure browse. This is the default configuration specified for the Preferred VPN mode policy. Secure browse is recommended for connections that require single sign-on (SSO).
  • Full VPN tunnel: Connections that tunnel to the internal network can use a full VPN tunnel, configured by the Preferred VPN mode policy. Full VPN tunnel is recommended for connections that use client certificates or end-to-end SSL to a resource in the internal network. Full VPN tunnel handles any protocol over TCP and can be used with Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android devices.
  • The Permit VPN mode switching policy allows automatic switching between the full VPN tunnel and secure browse modes as needed. By default, this policy is off. When this policy is on, a network request that fails due to an authentication request that cannot be handled in the preferred VPN mode is retried in the alternate mode. For example, server challenges for client certificates can be accommodated by the full VPN tunnel mode, but not secure browse mode. Similarly, HTTP authentication challenges are more likely to be serviced with SSO when using secure browse mode.
  • Full VPN tunnel with PAC: You can use a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file with a full VPN tunnel deployment for iOS and Android devices. A PAC file contains rules that define how web browsers select a proxy to access a given URL. PAC file rules can specify handling for both internal and external sites. Secure Web parses PAC file rules and send the proxy server information to Citrix Gateway.
  • The full VPN tunneling performance when a PAC file is used is comparable to secure browse mode. For details about PAC configuration, see Full VPN Tunneling with PAC.

The following table notes whether Secure Web prompts a user for credentials, based on the configuration and site type:

Connection mode Site type Password Caching SSO configured for Citrix Gateway Secure Web prompts for credentials on first access of a website Secure Web prompts for credentials on subsequent access of the website Secure Web prompts for credentials on after password change
Secure Browse http No Yes No No No
Secure Browse https No Yes No No No
Full VPN http No Yes No No No
Full VPN https Yes; If the Secure Web MDX policy Enable web password caching is On. No Yes; Required to cache the credential in Secure Web. No Yes

Full VPN Tunneling with PAC

Important:

If Secure Web is configured with a PAC file and Citrix ADC is configured for proxy operation, Secure Web will time out. You must remove Citrix Gateway traffic policies configured for proxy before using full VPN tunneling with PAC.

When you configure Secure Web for full VPN tunneling with your PAC file or proxy server, Secure Web sends all traffic to the proxy through Citrix Gateway, which then routes traffic according to the proxy configuration rules. In this configuration, Citrix Gateway is unaware of the PAC file or proxy server. The traffic flow is the same as for full VPN tunneling without PAC.

The following diagram shows the traffic flow when Secure Web users navigate to a web site:

Image of the traffic from Secure Web to a website

In that example, the traffic rules specify that:

  • Citrix Gateway directly connects to the intranet site example1.net.
  • Traffic to intranet site example2.net is proxied through internal proxy servers.
  • External traffic is proxied through internal proxy servers. Proxy rules block external traffic to Facebook.com.

To configure full VPN tunneling with PAC

  1. Validate and test the PAC file.

    Note:

    For details about creating and using PAC files, see https://findproxyforurl.com/.

    Validate your PAC file using a PAC validation tool such as Pacparser. When you read your PAC file, ensure the Pacparser results are what you expect. If the PAC file has a syntax error, mobile devices will silently ignore the PAC file. (A PAC file is stored only in memory on mobile devices.)

    A PAC file is processed from the top down and processing stops when a rule matches the current query.

    Test the PAC file URL with a web browser before entering into the PAC/Proxy field of Endpoint Management. Make sure that the computer can access the network where the PAC file is located.

    https://webserver.local/GenericPAC.pac https://webserver.local/GenericPAC.pac

    Tested PAC file extensions are .txt or .pac.

    The PAC file should show its contents inside the web browser.

    Important:

    Each time you update the PAC file used with Secure Web, inform users that they must close and reopen Secure Web.

  2. Configure Citrix Gateway

    • Disable Citrix Gateway split tunneling. If split tunneling is on and a PAC file is configured, the PAC file rules override the Citrix ADC split tunneling rules. A proxy does not override Citrix ADC split tunneling rules.
    • Remove Citrix Gateway traffic policies configured for proxy. This is required for Secure Web to work correctly. The following figure shows an example of the policy rules to remove.

    Image of the Citrix Gateway traffic policies configuration screen

  3. Configure Secure Web policies:

    • Set the Preferred VPN mode policy to Full VPN tunnel.
    • Set the Permit VPN mode switching policy to Off.
    • Configure the PAC file URL or proxy server policy. Secure Web supports HTTP and HTTPS as well as default and non-default ports. For HTTPS, the root certificate authority must be installed on the device if the certificate is self-signed or untrusted.

      Be sure to test the URL or proxy server address in a web browser before configuring the policy.

      Example PAC file URLs:

      http[s]://example.com/proxy.pac http[s]://10.10.0.100/proxy.txt

      Example proxy servers (port is required):

      myhost.example.com:port

      10.10.0.100:port

      Note:

      If you configure a PAC file or proxy server, do not configure PAC in system proxy settings for WiFi.

    • Set the Enable web password caching policy to On. Web password caching handles SSO for HTTPS sites.

      Citrix ADC can perform SSO for internal proxies if the proxy supports the same authentication infrastructure.

Limitations of PAC file support

Secure Web does not support:

  • Failover from one proxy server to another. PAC file evaluation can return multiple proxy servers for a hostname. Secure Web uses only the first proxy server returned.
  • Protocols, such as ftp and gopher in a PAC file.
  • SOCKS proxy servers in a PAC file.
  • Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD).

Secure Web ignores the PAC file function alert so that Secure Web can parse a PAC file that doesn’t include those calls.

Secure Web policies

When adding Secure Web, be aware of these MDX policies that are specific to Secure Web. For all supported mobile devices:

Allowed or blocked websites

Secure Web normally does not filter web links. You can use this policy to configure a specific list of allowed or blocked sites. You configure URL patterns to restrict the websites the browser can open, formatted as a comma-separated list. Each pattern in the list is preceded by a plus sign (+) or minus sign (-). The browser compared a URL against the patterns in the order listed until a match is found. When a match is found, the action taken is dictated by the prefix as follows:

  • A minus (-) prefix instructs the browser to block the URL. In this case, the URL is treated as if the web server address could not be resolved.
  • A plus (+) prefix allows the URL to be processed normally.
  • If neither + or - is provided with the pattern, + (allow) is assumed.
  • If the URL does not match any pattern in the list, the URL is allowed

To block all other URLs, end the list with a minus sign followed by an asterisk (-*). For example:

  • The policy value +http://*.mycorp.com/*,-http://*,+https://*,+ftp://*,-* permits HTTP URLs within mycorp.com domain, but blocks them elsewhere, permits HTTPS and FTP URLS anywhere, and blocks all other URLs.
  • The policy value +http://*.training.lab/*,+https://*.training.lab/*,-* allows users open any sites in Training.lab domain (intranet) via HTTP or HTTPS, but no public URLs, such as Facebook, Google, Hotmail, and so on, regardless of protocol.

Default value is empty (all URLs allowed).

Block pop-ups

Popups are new tabs that websites open without your permission. This policy determines whether Secure Web allows popups. If On, Secure Web prevents websites from opening pop-ups. Default value is Off.

Preloaded bookmarks

Defines a preloaded set of bookmarks for the Secure Web browser. The policy is a comma-separated list of tuples that include folder name, friendly name, and web address. Each triplet should be of the form folder,name,url where folder and name may optionally be enclosed in double quotes (“).

For example, the policy values,"Mycorp, Inc. home page",https://www.mycorp.com, "MyCorp Links",Account logon,https://www.mycorp.com/Accounts "MyCorp Links/Investor Relations","Contact us",https://www.mycorp.com/IR/Contactus.aspx define three bookmarks. The first is a primary link (no folder name) titled “Mycorp, Inc. home page”. The second link will be placed in a folder titled “MyCorp Links” and labeled “Account logon”. The third will be placed in the “Investor Relations’ subfolder of the “MyCorp Links” folder and displayed as “Contact us”.”

Default value is empty.

Home page URL

Defines the website that Secure Web loads when started. Default value is empty (default start page).

For supported Android and iOS devices only:

Browser user interface

Dictates the behavior and visibility of browser user interface controls for Secure Web. Normally all browsing controls are available. These include forward, backward, address bar, and the refresh/stop controls. You can configure this policy to restrict the use and visibility of some of these controls. Default value is All controls visible.

Options:

  • All controls visible. All controls are visible and users are not restricted from using them.
  • Read-only address bar. All controls are visible, but users cannot edit the browser address field.
  • Hide address bar. Hides the address bar, but not other controls.
  • Hide all controls. Suppresses the entire toolbar to provide a frameless browsing experience.

Enable web password caching

When Secure Web users enter credentials when accessing or requesting a web resource, this policy determines whether Secure Web silently caches the password on the device. This policy applies to passwords entered in authentication dialogs and not to passwords entered in web forms.

If On, Secure Web caches all passwords users enter when requesting a web resource. If Off, Secure Web does not cache passwords and removes existing cached passwords. Default value is Off.

This policy is enabled only when you also set the Preferred VPN policy to Full VPN tunnel for this app.

Proxy servers

You can also configure proxy servers for Secure Web when used in secure browse mode. For details, see this blog post.

DNS suffixes

On Android, if DNS suffixes aren’t configured, the VPN could fail. For details on configuring DNS suffixes, see Supporting DNS Queries by Using DNS Suffixes for Android Devices.

Preparing intranet sites for Secure Web

This section is for website developers who need to prepare an intranet site for use with Secure Web for Android and iOS. Intranet sites designed for desktop browsers require changes to work properly on Android and iOS devices.

Secure Web relies on Android WebView and iOS UIWebView to provide web technology support. Some of the web technologies supported by Secure Web are:

  • AngularJS
  • ASP .NET
  • JavaScript
  • JQuery
  • WebGL
  • WebSockets

Some of the web technologies not supported by Secure Web are:

  • Flash
  • Java

The following table shows the HTML rendering features and technologies supported for Secure Web. X indicates the feature is available for a platform, browser, and component combination.

Technology iOS Secure Web Android 5.x/6.x/7.x Secure Web
JavaScript engine JavaScriptCore V8
Local Storage X X
AppCache X X
IndexedDB   X
SPDY X  
WebP   X
srcet X X
WebGL   X
requestAnimationFrame API   X
Navigation Timing API   X
Resource Timing API   X

Technologies work the same across devices; however, Secure Web returns different user agent strings for different devices. To determine the browser version used for Secure Web, you can view its user agent string. From Secure Web, navigate to https://whatsmyuseragent.com/.

Troubleshooting intranet sites

To troubleshoot rendering issues when your intranet site is viewed in Secure Web, compare how the website renders on Secure Web and a compatible third-party browser.

For iOS, the compatible third-party browsers for testing are Chrome and Dolphin.

For Android, the compatible third-party browser for testing is Dolphin.

Note:

Chrome is a native browser on Android. Do not use it for the comparison.

In iOS, make sure the browsers have device-level VPN support. You can configure this on the device in Settings > VPN > Add VPN Configuration.

You can also use VPN client apps available on the App Store, such as Citrix VPN, Cisco AnyConnect, or Pulse Secure.

  • If a web page renders the same for the two browsers, the issue is with your website. Update your site and make sure it works well for the OS.
  • If the issue on a web page appears only in Secure Web, contact Citrix Support to open a support ticket. Please provide your troubleshooting steps, including the tested browser and OS types. If Secure Web for iOS has rendering issues, please include a web archive of the page as described in the following steps. Doing so helps Citrix resolve the issue faster.

To create a web archive file

Using Safari on macOS 10.9 or later, you can save a web page as a web archive file (referred to as a reading list) that includes all linked files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript.

  1. From Safari, empty the Reading List folder: In the Finder, click the Go menu in the Menu bar, choose Go to Folder, type the path name ~/Library/Safari/ReadingListArchives/, and then delete all of the folders in that location.

  2. In the Menu bar, go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced and enable Show Develop menu in menu bar.

  3. In the Menu bar, go to Develop > User Agent and enter the Secure Web user agent: (Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 8_3 like macOS) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/12F69 Secure Web/ 10.1.0(build 1.4.0) Safari/8536.25).

  4. In Safari, open the web site you will save as a reading list (web archive file).

  5. In the Menu bar, go to Bookmarks > Add to Reading List. This can take a few minutes. The archiving occurs in the background.

  6. Locate the archived reading list: In the Menu bar, go to View > Show Reading List Sidebar.

  7. Verify the archive file:

    • Turn off network connectivity to your Mac.
    • Open the web site from the reading list.

      The web site should completely render.

  8. Compress the archive file: In the Finder, click the Go menu in the Menu bar, choose Go to Folder, type the path name ~/Library/Safari/ReadingListArchives/, and then compress the folder that has a random hex string as a file name. This is the file that you can send to Citrix support when you open a support ticket.

Secure Web Features

Secure Web makes use of mobile data exchange technologies to create a dedicated VPN tunnel for users to access internal and external websites and all other websites - including sites with sensitive information - in an environment secured by your organization’s policies.

The integration of Secure Web with Secure Mail and Citrix Files offers a seamless user experience within the secure Endpoint Management container. Here are some examples of integration features:

  • When users tap mailto links, a new email message opens in Citrix Secure Mail with no additional authentication required.
  • In iOS, users can open a link in Secure Web from a native mail app by inserting ctxmobilebrowser:// in front of the URL. For example, to open example.com from a native mail app, use the URL ctxmobilebrowser://example.com.
  • When users click an intranet link in an email message, Secure Web goes to that site with no additional authentication required.
  • Users can upload files to Citrix Files that they download from the web in Secure Web.

Secure Web users can also perform the following actions:

  • Block pop-ups.

    Note:

    Much of Secure Web memory goes into rendering pop-ups, so performance is often improved by blocking pop-ups in Settings.

  • Bookmark their favorite sites.
  • Download files.
  • Save pages offline.
  • Auto-save passwords.
  • Clear cache/history/cookies.
  • Disable cookies and HTML5 local storage.
  • Securely share devices with other users.
  • Search within the address bar.
  • Allow web apps they run with Secure Web to access their location.
  • Export and import settings.
  • Open files directly in Citrix Files without having to download the files. To enable this feature, add ctx-sf: to the Allowed URLs policy in Endpoint Management.
  • In iOS, use 3D Touch actions to open a new tab and access offline pages, favorite sites, and downloads directly from the home screen.
  • In iOS, download files of any size and open them in Citrix Files or other apps.

    Note:

    Putting Secure Web in the background causes the download to stop.

  • Search for a term within the current page view using Find in Page.

    Image of the Find in Page option

Secure Web also has dynamic text support, so it displays the font that users set on their devices.

Supported File Formats

Note:

Secure Web does not support video playback for any platform.

The following file formats are supported on iOS:

Audio Image Document  
.aac .jpeg .txt  
.mp3 .png .pdf  
.m4v .wav .gif .ppt
  Animated gif .doc  
    .docx  
    .xls  
    .xlsx  

The following file formats are supported on Android:

Audio Image Document; To preview documents on Android, you need Office apps, like QuickEdit, installed
.flac .jpeg .txt
.aac .png .pdf; Download only. Open in QuickEdit or other app to preview.
.m4a .gif .ppt
.3gp (AMR-NB) Animated .gif .doc
.mp3   .docx
.wav   .xls
.wma   .xlsx