Communication Flow and Troubleshooting

Communication Flow

The connector first attempts to communicate to the domain controller over LDAPS. If unsuccessful, it falls back to communicating over LDAP using Kerberos or NTLM, in that order.

The connector retrieves the AD users, groups, and computer details only. The necessary attributes are stored from each object, including the sAMAccountName, dn, userPrincipalName, memberOf, objectGUID, primaryGroupId (for users, groups and computers), and primaryGroupToken (for groups). Passwords or password hashes are not retrieved. This data is then uploaded to Umbrella for use in policy configuration and reporting. This data is also required for per-user or per-computer filtering. Note that the objectGUID is sent in hashed form.

The connector sends the AD data every 5 to 7 minutes if there are changes, using an HTTPS connection on port 443 TCP. However, it can take an hour or longer for changes to reflect on the Umbrella dashboard.

The connector stores this data locally as well in .ldif files contained within C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AD Connector\ADSync. To find out exactly what is being synchronized to Umbrella, you can look at these files. At install time, you have the option to turn off the local storage of .ldif files.


The following firewall/ACL requirements ensure that the Cisco AD Connectors can communicate with the Umbrella cloud services and domain controllers:

Port and Protocol





AD Connector (for syncing)

  • Initial registration with the Umbrella API and the Umbrella dashboard.
  • Automatic updates
  • Health status reporting in Umbrella dashboard.
Check for certificate revocations through the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) and certificate revocation lists (CRLs).
AD ConnectorDomain controller/domainLDAP syncing

Note: The Digicert domains resolve to various IP addresses based on a CDN and are subject to change.

If you experience any issues communicating to Umbrella, we recommend that you check for any Layer-7 application proxies which might be blocking or dropping data. A common case is the inspect feature on Cisco devices that act on protocols such as DNS/HTTP/HTTPS:

You can restart the connector by restarting the Cisco AD Connector service on the connector system. Restarting the connector triggers a full synchronization of AD objects (and not just the changes from the previous sync) to Umbrella.

If your connector is not in the Okay state and you need to raise a support ticket with Umbrella, see Providing Support with AD Connector Logs.

Change the Connector Account Password < Communication Flow and Troubleshooting > Provision Identities Through Manual Import