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Netskope Help

Exceptions

A steering configuration steers traffic to the Netskope cloud. By specifying exceptions in a steering configuration you can send traffic from a selected source (e.g., apps, domains, etc.) directly to their respective destination and bypass the Netskope cloud. For example, in an environment that uses a full tunnel VPN setup, you might want to send specific traffic to the respective VPN gateway directly instead of the Netskope cloud.

To better understand exceptions, Netskope recommends reading the following articles:

This article provides insight on adding various exceptions to a steering configuration. Ensure you have administrator privileges to your Netskope account.

Steering Exception Guidelines

When creating exceptions, consider the following:

  • OU and User Group based exceptions cannot be applied when the Netskope Secure Web Gateway uses the cookie-surrogate feature to get user identity.

  • In the case of GRE and IPSec deployments, the Netskope Secure Web Gateway gets the user identity with the help of the Netskope Client (if installed and enabled), or through SAML authentication. If by chance the traffic arrives before the user identity is known to the Netskope Secure Web Gateway, OU and User Group based exceptions cannot be applied.

  • If the user identity is not known to the Netskope Secure Web Gateway, the default exception configuration will be applied.

Exception Traffic Logs

By default exception traffic is not logged in Skope IT Events. If you prefer to see exception traffic in Skope IT, you must enable it on the Steering Configuration page.

Supported Exceptions

The following are the supported exceptions:

Exception Type

Dynamic Steering Enabled

Dynamic Steering Disabled

On-Prem

Off-Prem

Cloud Apps

All Traffic

Application

Y

N

Y

Y

Category

N

Y

N

Y

Certificate Pinned Applications

Y

Y

Y

Y

Domains

Y

Y

Y

Y

DNS

N

Y

N

Y

Destination Location

Y

Y

Y

Y

Source Location

Y

Y

Y

N

Source Countries

Y

Y

Y

Y

Application

Organizations that use home grown applications can use the Application exception to bypass traffic from their custom app definitions. App definitions allows you to add custom apps, connectors or private apps. To learn more about creating App Definitions, see App Definition.

Adding an Application Exception

To add an application exception:

  1. Go to Settings > Security Cloud Platform > Steering Configuration.

  2. On the Steering Configuration page, click The More icon. for the steering configuration you want to add exceptions to.

  3. Click View Exceptions.

  4. In the Exceptions tab, click New Exception and then Application.

  5. In the New Exception window:

    • Exception Type: Choose Application and select applications from the dropdown list. You can also search for applications.

    • Action: Choose one of the following actions.

      • Bypass: Choose to bypass the selected apps, sending all traffic straight to the destination. This is the default action.

      • Bypass, except for DNS traffic: If you enabled the Steer DNS traffic option and selected an application that includes port 53 (the standard port for DNS), choose to bypass the selected apps, sending all traffic except DNS traffic to the destination.

    • Notes: Optionally, enter comments or notes for the exception.

    New Exception for Application in Steering Configuration.
  6. Click Add.

Category

A category defines a collection of destinations (websites) that serve similar types of content.  For example, the Art category is a collection of websites that contain creative art judged solely for its intellectual or aesthetic components. When you select the Art category as an exception, traffic to all destinations (websites) in this category will bypass Netskope cloud and will be sent directly to their respective destinations

Note

  • If dynamic steering is enabled, the Category exception is not available for on-premises devices.

  • To learn more about built-in categories, see Category Definitions.

  • To learn more about creating custom categories, see Create Custom Categories.

Adding a Category Exception
  1. Select a steering configuration. This procedure illustrates using the Default Tenant Configuration.

  2. In the Default Tenant Configuration page, click the EXCEPTIONS tab.

    img-01-exceptionTab.png
  3. To add a new category exception click the NEW EXCEPTION drop down list and select Category.

  4. In the New Exception pop-up window, do the following:

    img-03-catSelection.png
    1. Click the Categories textbox to view the list of default built-in categories.

    2. Select one or more categories. Click anywhere outside the drop down list to complete your selection.

    3. Click ADD to complete the procedure.

Certificate Pinned Applications

By adding applications as a certificate pinned application exception, the traffic from such applications is bypassed by Netskope cloud. A pinned app stores the public certificate or key of its destination website and presents it to Netskope cloud. When contacting the destination website/server, Netskope cloud verifies the pinned certificate with the server certificate. If they are validated, Netskope cloud bypasses traffic from the pinned application.

Adding a Certificate Pinned Application Exception
  1. On the Steering Configuration page, select a steering configuration.

  2. Go to EXCEPTIONS tab in the Steering Configuration page and select Certificate Pinned Application from the NEW EXCEPTION drop down list.

  3. In the New Exception pop-up window, enter the following:

    1. Certificate Pinned App: Select from one of the pre-configured certificate pinned applications. Click The Settings icon. to view the predefined and custom certificate pinned apps on the Certificate Pinned Apps page. You can also click the + icon to create a new certificate pinned app.

    2. Custom App Domains: These are domains used by the application to send traffic from the managed device. Enter each domain separated by a comma. Netskope doesn't support wildcard domains (e.g., *.example.com) for certificate pinned applications but bypasses the subdomains of the domain entries. For example, if you enter example.com, Netskope bypasses *.example.com. If you enter subdomain.example.com, Netskope bypasses *subdomain.example.com.

    3. Actions: You can choose to bypass or block traffic per platform.

      Note

      There are separate platforms options to add a new application for Android and Chrome OS. When adding a certificate pinned application, use:

      • Domain-based configuration for Android 9 or lower.

      • Process-based configuration for Android 10 or higher.

    4. Toggle the Advanced Options (available only for Windows and Mac devices) to enable the following granular control:

      • Bypass + Direct: Bypass the configured apps / domains directly to the destination.

      • Bypass + Tunnel: The client tunnels the traffic from apps / domains but the Netskope proxy will bypass it. This option is useful for domains associated with an SSO authentication service, since these services use the source IP of the Netskope cloud to determine if access to the cloud app is protected by Netskope.

      • Bypass Managed Devices + Direct: The client will bypass the app only if the device is managed, per the Device Classification policy, but will otherwise block it.

      • Bypass Managed Devices + Tunnel: The client will tunnel (to be bypassed by Netskope proxy) only if the device is managed, per the Device Classification policy, but will otherwise block it.

      • Block: The mode and other options are not applicable and the client blocks all the app traffic.

    Cert-pinned_app.png
Viewing Domain Exceptions for Predefined Certificate Pinned Applications

On the Exceptions page, you can see the predefined and custom certificate pinned applications that are bypassed from the Netskope cloud for your steering configuration. To see a list of all predefined certificate pinned application exceptions: Certificate Pinned Applications.

Exceptions_viewodmainexceptions_97_1.png

You can click the certificate pinned application exception to edit the bypass settings and view a list of the default App Domains bypassing Netskope.

exceptions_editcertpinnedapp_97_1.png

In Custom App Domains, you can enter additional domains to bypass. Enter each domain separated by a comma. Netskope doesn't support wildcard domains (e.g., *.example.com) for certificate pinned applications. You must enter specific domain names, such as example.com, drive.example.com, mail.example.com, or *. Each domain is matched against the destination hostname using suffix matching. For example, the domain name "example.com” matches the hostname “mail.example.com” but not “mail.1example.com”. * matches any hostname.

If the destination hostname of the certificate pinned app traffic matches the Custom App Domains definition, the traffic is bypassed. If you unselect Tunnel Mode, the traffic is bypassed locally; whereas, if you select Tunnel Mode and the hostname matches domains via suffix matching (* matches all), the traffic is tunneled and bypassed on the Netskope proxy.

Domains

Domain exception is used to bypass traffic to and from domains as configured in the exception. You can enter multiple domains separated by comma. Domain names are entered either as Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or wildcard names. When you trust a domain and would like to bypass all its traffic, you could add the specific domain as a  wildcard entry. Wildcard domains (e.g., *.example.com) include the root domain and all subdomains. Among many reasons, a common purpose to add domain exception is to bypass traffic from domains that are used for software updates. For example, upgrading Macbooks with macOS updates.

Note

The default exception list includes common domains (as wildcard entries) that are used for software updates. If a software / app update is interrupted ensure that the domain used for update is added to the exception list.

Wildcard Pattern

Matches

Does Not Match

*.netskope.com

www.netskope.com

netskope.com

netskope.com

netskope.com

www.netskope.com

Adding a Domain Exception
  1. To add domain exceptions, go to the Steering Configuration page and select a configuration.

  2. In the EXCEPTIONS tab, click NEW EXCEPTION drop down list and select Domains.

  3. In the New Exception pop-up window, enter one more domain separated by comma.

    img-04-cpa-domains.png
  4. Click ADD to complete the process.

DNS

The DNS exception allows you to bypass DNS traffic.

Adding a DNS Exception

To add a DNS exception:

  1. Go to Settings > Security Cloud Platform > Steering Configuration.

  2. On the Steering Configuration page, click The More icon. for the steering configuration you want to add exceptions to.

  3. Click View Exceptions.

  4. In the Exceptions tab, click New Exception and then DNS.

  5. In the New Exception window:

    • Exception Type: Choose DNS and enter the domains you want to create exceptions for.

      For each domain, you must specify the Record Type or choose All Record Types. You can click + Add to add more domains or click Import From CSV to upload a CSV file (the maximum upload is 8 MB).

      Note

      If the Record Type is PTR, you must enter IP addresses or IP ranges.

    • Action: All traffic bypasses the Netskope cloud and goes straight to its destination. You can’t modify this field.

    • Notes: Optionally, enter comments or notes for the DNS exception.

    New Exception window for DNS in Steering Configuration.
  6. Click Add.

Destination Location

Destination Location exception bypasses traffic sent to specific destinations as defined in the network location profile. When installing Netskope Client along with 3rd party apps, like a VPN application, you will need to add exceptions to bypass VPN traffic and send it directly to the respective VPN gateway. The Destination Location exception allows you to add target destinations either as Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) and/or public IP address.

Adding a Network Location Exception

Before adding destination location exceptions, you must add network location objects. A Network Location is a profile with a list of public IP addresses.

  1. Go to Policies > Network Location.

  2. On the Network Location page, click New Network Location and select Single Object or Multiple Objects.

  3. Select Single Object, if you are adding a small set of destinations manually.

    • In the Add Network Location pop-up window, enter the destination address (IP address/range or CIDR network). Click the + icon to add additional addresses. Click Next to continue.

    • Give a name for this network location. You will need this when adding the exception in steering configuration.

  4. Select Multiple Objects, if you are adding a large set of destinations via a CSV file.

    • In the Upload Network Locations pop-up window, select the CSV file (max size 8 MB) with the list of destination addresses. The CSV file must have entries in the following format:

      [Net Location Name], [IP Address 1], [IP Address 2], , ,

      For example: Location1, 11.2.3.4, 12.3.5.125/16

  5. Click Upload.

Adding a Destination Location Exception

To add a destination location exception:

  1. Go to Settings > Security Cloud Platform > Steering Configurat.

  2. On the Steering Configuration page, click The More icon. for the steering configuration you want to add exceptions to.

  3. Click View Exceptions.

  4. In the Exceptions tab, click New Exception and then Destination Locations.

  5. In the New Exception window:

    • Exception Type: Choose Destination Locations and enter the destinations you want to create exceptions for.

    • Bypass: Bypass all the traffic for the destination location.

    • Bypass, except for DNS traffic: Netskope Client bypasses non-DNS traffic and only tunnels DNS traffic to the Cloud Firewall.

      Note

      You can only see this option if you have the Cloud Firewall license.

    • Treat like local IP address: Select if you want Netskope Client to consider this traffic local so it never sends the traffic within the tunnel, like a private IP address in RFC 1918.

    • Notes: (Optional) Enter comments or notes for the Destination Location exception.

    New Exception window for Destination Locations in Steering Configuration.
  6. Click Add.

Source Location

Source location exception bypasses traffic from a specific set of address (treated as source of traffic) as defined in the network location profile.

Source Countries

The Source Countries exception allows you to bypass traffic from specific geo-locations.

Adding a Source Country Exception

To add a source country exception:

  1. Go to Settings > Security Cloud Platform > Steering Configuration.

  2. On the Steering Configuration page, click The More icon. for the steering configuration you want to add exceptions to.

  3. Click View Exceptions.

  4. In the Exceptions tab, click New Exception and then Source Countries.

  5. In the New Exception window, for Source Countries, select the source countries you want to bypass.

    img-06-countries.png
  6. Click Add.