Example of Communication, Router and Switch Security Policy

1. Purpose

This document describes a required minimal security configuration for all routers and switches connecting to a production network or used in a production capacity at or on behalf of XXX. It also describes requirements for communication equipment security configurations of XXX.

2. Scope

All employees, contractors, consultants, temporary and other workers at XXX and its subsidiaries must adhere to this policy. All Communication equipment, routers and switches connected to XXX production networks are affected.

3. Communications Equipment Policy

  1. The security features necessary to minimize risks to communication equipment must be configured in the equipment before it is placed into service. There are two possible roles for the staff that manages the communication equipment: monitoring and administrator. The monitoring role has read only privileges. The administrator role is able to change configuration parameters. All issued commands by users will be recorded, as well as any other security events that may pose a threat to the equipment.
  2. Local users are not allowed on communication equipment. Everyone must authenticate through the central repository of users using a protocol that reduces the risk of identity theft.
  3. All information transmitted from the device must be encrypted by a strong encryption algorithm to minimize the risks of eavesdropping on the communications and man-in-the-middle attacks.
  4. The events recorded by the communication equipment must be kept in storage media that is subject to a regular backup process. The process of maintaining these backups must ensure that the information is not amended.
  5. The password of the communication equipment’s administrator user must not be known by anyone on the staff that manages the equipment. If, for any reason, it is necessary to make use of the highest administrative privileges within the device, then the staff must file a request to the internal security division for the password attaching the justification for its use and completing the required forms. The password must then be reset by the highest administrator to maintain security.

4. Router and Switch Policy

Every router must meet the following configuration standards:

  1. No local user accounts are configured on the router. Routers and switches must use TACACS+ for all user authentication.
  2. The enable password on the router or switch must be kept in a secure encrypted form. The router or switch must have the enable password set to the current production router/switch password from the device’s support organization.
  3. The following services or features must be disabled:
    • IP directed broadcasts
    • Incoming packets at the router/switch sourced with invalid addresses such as RFC1918 addresses
    • TCP small services
    • UDP small services
    • All source routing and switching
    • All web services running on router
    • XXX discovery protocol on Internet connected interfaces
    • Telnet, FTP, and HTTP services
    • Auto-configuration
  4. The following services should be disabled unless a business justification is provided:
    • XXX discovery protocol and other discovery protocols
    • Dynamic trunking
    • Scripting environments, such as the TCL shell
  5. The following services must be configured:
    • Password-encryption
    • NTP configured to a corporate standard source
  6. All routing updates shall be done using secure routing updates.
  7. Use corporate standardized SNMP community strings. Default strings, such as public or private must be removed. SNMP must be configured to use the most secure version of the protocol allowed for by the combination of the device and management systems.
  8. Access control lists must be used to limit the source and type of traffic that can terminate on the device itself.
  9. Access control lists for transiting the device are to be added as business needs arise.
  10. The router must be included in the corporate enterprise management system with a designated point of contact.
  11. Each router must have the following statement presented for all forms of login whether remote or local:

“UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO THIS NETWORK DEVICE IS PROHIBITED. You must have explicit permission to access or configure this device. All activities performed on this device may be logged, and violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, and may be reported to law enforcement. There is no right to privacy on this device. Use of this system shall constitute consent to monitoring.”

  1. Telnet may never be used across any network to manage a router, unless there is a secure tunnel protecting the entire communication path. SSH version 2 is the preferred management protocol.
  2. Dynamic routing protocols must use authentication in routing updates sent to neighbors. Password hashing for the authentication string must be enabled when supported.
  3. The corporate router configuration standard will define the category of sensitive routing and switching devices, and require additional services or configuration on sensitive devices including:
    a. IP access list accounting
    b. Device logging
    c. Incoming packets at the router sourced with invalid addresses, such as RFC1918 addresses, or those that could be used to spoof network traffic shall be dropped
    d. Router console and modem access must be restricted by additional security controls

5. Policy Compliance

5.1 Compliance Measurement

The IT team will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, periodic walk-through, video monitoring, business tool reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.

5.2 Exceptions

Any exception to the policy must be approved by the IT team in advance.

5.3 Non-Compliance

An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

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