Today, the National Security Agency (NSA) released its new “Network Infrastructure Security Guidance” technical report. The document captures best practices based on experience in supporting customers and responding to threats that can be applied across any network environment.
This report presents best practices for overall network security and protection of individual network devices and aims to assist administrators in preventing an adversary from exploiting their network. While the guidance presented here is generic and can be applied to many types of network devices, sample commands for Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS) devices are provided which can be executed to implement the recommendations.
Detailed recommendations are presented for:
- Network architecture and design,
- Security maintenance,
- Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA),
- Administrator accounts and passwords,
- Remote logging and monitoring,
- Remote administration and network services,
- Interface ports, and
- Notification banners.
In conclusion, while the guidance provided here is generic and can be applied to many types of network devices, Cisco IOS administrators can (and should) use the provided commands to help protect their networks. Adversaries are continually developing new techniques to exploit networks, so it is important for administrators to keep up with current trends and best practices. By following the recommendations in this report, administrators can make it more difficult for adversaries to gain access or take control of their infrastructure.
If you need assistance evaluating the maturity of your security program or require validation that the above recommendations are implemented effectively, please do not hesitate to reach out to Lares today!
Andrew Hay is the COO at Lares and is a veteran cybersecurity executive, strategist, industry analyst, data scientist, threat and vulnerability researcher, and international public speaker with close to 25 years of cybersecurity experience across multiple domains. He prides himself on his ability to execute the security strategy of the company with which he works without neglecting business objectives and the needs of its customers. Andrew is the author of multiple books on advanced security topics and is frequently approached to provide expert commentary on industry developments. He has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Wired, USA Today, and CSO Magazine.