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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Proper authentication model

  • From: Iljitsch van Beijnum
  • Date: Tue Jan 11 16:08:44 2005

On 11-jan-05, at 18:48, Daniel Golding wrote:

Its terribly important that your routers' management traffic be encrypted
all the way to the device.
Why "terribly important"? If this stuff runs over your own network then others aren't going to be able to sniff it without physically getting at your stuff. And if they can do that crypto won't buy you anything.

That said, being able to connect to your stuff with crypto is better than without crypto, of course.

Bastion hosts are a good thing and can be a great place to put in checks for
multi-factor authentication (another must-have),
Just make sure that when half your routers are dead you can still connect to the remaining half. A single bastion host isn't good enough.

While you are at it, look at your SNMP setup. You want your SNMP management
to have the same characteristics as your vty management - strong
authentication and encryption. Cleartext community strings don't cut it, as
an example.
Not for write access, anyway. For read access you can get away with being slightly less paranoid.

Also, you need a secure Out of Band management network.
True out of band management networks are very hard to build and very hard to use, and you run the risk that you can't get at your stuff because the management network is down.

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