Scaling Privileged Access for Modern Infrastructure: Real-World Insights
Apr 25
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Access Requests with ServiceNow

With Teleport's ServiceNow integration, engineers can access the infrastructure they need to resolve incidents quickly, without granting longstanding admin permissions that can become a vector for attacks.

Teleport's ServiceNow integration allows you to treat Teleport Access Requests as ServiceNow incidents, notify the appropriate on-call team, and approve or deny the requests via Teleport. You can also configure the plugin to approve Access Requests automatically if the user making the request is in a specific on-call rotation.

This guide will explain how to set up Teleport's Access Request plugin for ServiceNow.

Prerequisites

  • An ServiceNow account with access to read and write to and from the 'incident' table.
  • To check that you can connect to your Teleport cluster, sign in with tsh login, then verify that you can run tctl commands using your current credentials. tctl is supported on macOS and Linux machines. For example:
    tsh login --proxy=teleport.example.com --user=[email protected]
    tctl status

    Cluster teleport.example.com

    Version 15.2.2

    CA pin sha256:abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678abdc1245efgh5678

    If you can connect to the cluster and run the tctl status command, you can use your current credentials to run subsequent tctl commands from your workstation. If you host your own Teleport cluster, you can also run tctl commands on the computer that hosts the Teleport Auth Service for full permissions.

Step 1/4. Create services

We will configure the ServiceNow plugin to create an incident when certain users create an Access Request.

Step 2/4. Define RBAC resources

The Teleport ServiceNow plugin works by receiving Access Request events from the Teleport Auth Service and, based on these events, interacting with the ServiceNow API.

Before making the access request ensure the user making the request has the requester role.

For the plugin to know which ServiceNow rotations to check for the auto approval flow, the rotation you wish users to be checked against must be included in one of the requesting user's roles. To do so, add the teleport.dev/schedules annotation as shown in the following example:

kind: role
version: v5
metadata:
  name: YOUR_ROLE_NAME_HERE
spec:
  allow:
    request:
      roles: ['editor']
      thresholds:
        - approve: 1
          deny: 1
      annotations:
        teleport.dev/schedules:
        - YOUR_SERVICENOW_ROTA_ID_HERE

To retrieve the ServiceNow rotation ID, navigate to the group record of the ServiceNow group the rotation belongs to and right click on header, then click 'Select copy sys_id' to copy the ID.

Then using the ServiceNow endpoint '/api/now/on_call_rota/workbench/group/' retrieve the group's on-call rota information. Select the value of the desired 'rota' from the response.

Step 3/4. Configure the ServiceNow plugin

At this point, you have a ServiceNow user that the ServiceNow plugin will use to connect to the ServiceNow API. To configure the plugin to use this user navigate to Management -> Integrations -> Enroll New Integration.

The plugin requires credentials that can read and write to the incident table.

Step 4/4. Test the ServiceNow plugin

Create an Access Request

As the Teleport user myuser, create an Access Request for the editor role:

A Teleport admin can create an Access Request for another user with tctl:

tctl request create myuser --roles=editor

Users can use tsh to create an Access Request and log in with approved roles:

tsh request create --roles=editor
Seeking request approval... (id: 8f77d2d1-2bbf-4031-a300-58926237a807)

Users can request access using the Web UI by visiting the "Access Requests" tab and clicking "New Request":

In ServiceNow, you will see a new incident containing information about the Access Request.

If the a ServiceNow rotation was specified in the requester's role annotations, then the ServiceNow plugin will check that the requester's username matches the ServiceNow user currently on-call in that rotation and approve the Access Request.

Resolve the request

Once you receive an Access Request message, click the link to visit Teleport and approve or deny the request:

You can also review an Access Request from the command line:

Replace REQUEST_ID with the id of the request

tctl request approve REQUEST_ID
tctl request deny REQUEST_ID

Replace REQUEST_ID with the id of the request

tsh request review --approve REQUEST_ID
tsh request review --deny REQUEST_ID