ActiveSync is a mobile data synchronization protocol developed by Microsoft primarily for mail applications. It synchronizes data with handheld devices and desktop computers. While primarily used with Microsoft Exchange it is also used with other applications such as Lotus Notes.
As ActiveSync delivers emails to client applications, it introduces a security risk if not scanned as it can deliver malware similar to other mail protocols.
It is a requirement therefore for many organizations to control, secure and protect ActiveSync communication.
The ActiveSync protocol is based on XML and the communication is over HTTP or HTTPS and as such not covered by mail security gateways that scan SMTP traffic.
The following discusses FortiWeb’s capabilities around ActiveSync and a step by step configuration guide to secure ActiveSync with FortiWeb.
FortiWeb and ActiveSync
As part of its core publishing functionality FortiWeb allows publishing ActiveSync as well. This means any access to the application over ActiveSync is proxied through FortiWeb which secures the connection, enforcing multiple security rules including scanning email attachments with Antivirus and FortiSandbox. FortiWeb can also be used for its publishing functionality for SSO and authentication delegation.
This guide configuration discusses two use cases – when the requirement is specifically for ActiveSync antivirus and sandboxing scanning or when SSO and authentication delegation is also required.