Sophos Firewall: Configure Route-based VPN (RBVPN) between Sophos Firewall and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Disclaimer: Please contact Sophos Professional Services if you require assistance with your specific environment.


Route-based VPNs (RBVPN) are IPsec connections that encrypt and encapsulate all traffic going to the XFRM interface. You can create route-based VPN connections for IPv4 and IPv6 protocols between two Sophos Firewall devices, between Sophos Firewall and a third-party firewall, or with a cloud VPN gateway such as GCP.

GCP Classic VPN supports multiple CIDR blocks for traffic selectors with IKEv2, but it uses a single Child SA for all CIDR blocks. However, Sophos Firewall configured with policy-based VPN does not support multiple CIDR blocks in a single Child SA with IKEv2. Therefore, it is recommended to use route-based VPNs instead of policy-based VPNs to support such a scenario.

This article describes how to configure a Route-based IPsec VPN connection between Sophos Firewall and GCP.

Product and Environment

Sophos Firewall

Network diagram

Configuring Route-based VPN (RBVPN) between Sophos Firewall and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

GCP configuration

  1. Go to Hybrid connectivity > VPN and click Create VPN connection.

  2. Select Classic VPN and click Continue.

  3. Enter the following details for VPN gateway section:

    • Name: Unique name for the VPN gateway matching the naming conventions of GCP.
    • Network: Select the VPC network associated with the VM instances or resources deployed in GCP.
    • Region: Select the region for the VPN gateway.
    • IP address: Create a new public IP address and select it for this VPN gateway. If you already have any unused or unallocated public IP address, then it can also be selected here.

  4. Enter the following details for the tunnel section:

    • Name: Unique name for the tunnel matching the naming conventions of GCP.
    • Remote peer IP address: This is the public IP address of the remote side (on-premises firewall) VPN device.
    • IKE version: Select IKEv2 here.
    • IKE pre-shared key: Enter the pre-shared key manually or you can even create random pre-shared key using the Generate and copy button.
    • Routing options: Select Route-based option.
    • Remote network IP ranges: Enter the network IP address of the remote side (on-premises) with CIDR block that needs to be reachable via VPN tunnel.

  5. Verify that the VPN gateway and VPN tunnel is created successfully.

  6. Click the VPN tunnel to view the details and click View beside the Routes field.

  7. This will redirect you to the Routes section and you can apply the filter Next hop type: VPN tunnel to view the routes that are automatically created for the remote side (on-premises) network.

Sophos Firewall configuration

  1. Go to SYSTEM > Profiles > IPsec profiles  and click the   (Duplicate this policy) icon for the IKEv2 profile.

    Rename this cloned IKEv2 profile as GCP_IKEv2. Under Phase 1, deselect other DH groups and only keep 14 (DH2048) DH group selected and save the changes.

  2. Go to Site-to-site VPN > IPsec and click Add under the IPsec connections section to create a new IPsec VPN tunnel.

  3. Enter the following details for each parameter:

    • Name: Enter the name of the VPN tunnel.
    • Connection type: Select Tunnel interface to configure this as a route-based VPN tunnel.
    • IP version: Select Dual so that it will consider local and remote network subnets as Any.
    • Gateway type: Initiate the connection.
    • Activate on save: This option can be enabled, but it is not mandatory.
    • Profile: Select GCP_IKEv2 profile.
    • Authentication type: Select Preshared key and enter the same preshared key that was used in the GCP VPN tunnel configuration.

    • Listening interface: Select the WAN interface of Sophos Firewall.
    • Gateway address: Enter the public IP address of the GCP VPN gateway.
    • Local ID type: IP address
    • Local ID: Enter the public IP address associated with the Sophos Firewall’s on-premises network.

    Click Save.

    This will connect the IPsec VPN tunnel and show green status.

  4. Go to CONFIGURE > Network > Interfaces and it will show you the xfrm interface automatically created for this VPN tunnel.

    Click the xfrm interface and configure a dummy private IPv4 address that does not overlap with your existing on-premises or GCP-side VPC network.

    Click Save.

  5. Go to CONFIGURE > Routing > Static routes and click Add under the IPv4 unicast route.

    Enter the Destination IP as the network IP address of the GCP-side VPC network with the correct CIDR block selected.

    Select the xfrm interface from the list of interfaces and click Save.

  6. Go to PROTECT > Rules and policies > Firewall rules and click Add firewall rule > New firewall rule.

    Enter an appropriate name to the firewall rule, configure Action as Accept, and turn on the Log firewall traffic option.

    Configure Source zones as LAN and/or WiFi.

    Configure and select the IP host network objects created for the on-premises local networks as the Source networks and devices.

    Configure Destination zones as VPN.

    Configure and select the IP host network object for the GCP side VPC network as the Destination networks.

    Optionally, you may turn on authentication and security/scanning features such as AV, IPS, and synchronized security.

    Click Save.

    You can create a similar rule for the inbound traffic with the source and destination zones and networks interchanged compared to the previous rule so that the traffic initiated from the GCP side can successfully communicate with Sophos Firewall local resources.

Related information

For any additional queries, please contact

Edited TAGs
[edited by: emmosophos at 7:42 PM (GMT -7) on 28 Jul 2022]