Security Configuration Guide, Cisco DCNM for SAN, Release 6.x
Overview
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Security Overview

Table Of Contents

Security Overview

FIPS

Users and Common Roles

RADIUS and TACACS+

LDAP

IP ACLs

PKI

IPsec

FC-SP and DHCHAP

Port Security

Fabric Binding

TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption


Security Overview


The Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS software supports advanced security features that provide security within a Storage Area Network (SAN). These features protect your network against deliberate or unintentional disruptions from internal or external threats.

This chapter includes the following sections:

FIPS

Users and Common Roles

RADIUS and TACACS+

LDAP

IP ACLs

PKI

IPsec

FC-SP and DHCHAP

Port Security

Fabric Binding

TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption

FIPS

The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 140-2, Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules, details the U.S. government requirements for cryptographic modules. FIPS 140-2 specifies that a cryptographic module should be a set of hardware, software, firmware, or some combination that implements cryptographic functions or processes, including cryptographic algorithms and, optionally, key generation, and is contained within a defined cryptographic boundary. FIPS specifies certain crypto algorithms as secure, and it also identifies which algorithms should be used if a cryptographic module is to be called FIPS compliant.

For more information on configuring FIPS, see Chapter 2 "Configuring FIPS."

Users and Common Roles

Role-based authorization limits access to switch operations by assigning users to roles. All management access within the Cisco MDS 9000 Family is based upon roles. Users are restricted to performing the management operations that are explicitly permitted, by the roles to which they belong.

For information on configuring users and common roles, see Chapter 3 "Configuring Users and Common Role."

RADIUS and TACACS+

The authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) feature verifies the identity of, grants access to, and tracks the actions of users managing a switch. All Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches use RADIUS and TACACS+ protocols to provide solutions using remote AAA servers. This security feature provides a centralized user account management capability for AAA servers.

AAA uses security protocols to administer its security functions. If your router or access server is acting as a network access server, then the communication between your network access server and the RADIUS or TACACS+ security server is through AAA.

The chapters in this guide describe the following features:

Switch management—A management security system that provides security to all management access methods, including the command-line interface (CLI) or Simple Network Management Protocol(SNMP).

Switch AAA functionalities—A function by which you can configure AAA switch functionalities on any switch in the Cisco MDS 9000 Family, using the command-line interface (CLI) or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

RADIUS—A distributed client and server system implemented through AAA that secures networks against unauthorized access. In the Cisco implementation, RADIUS clients run on Cisco routers and send authentication requests to a central RADIUS server that contains all user authentication and network service access information.

TACACS+—A security application implemented through AAA that provides a centralized validation of users who are attempting to gain access to a router or network access server. TACACS+ services are maintained in a database on a TACACS+ daemon that typically runs on a UNIX or Windows NT workstation. TACACS+ provides for separate and modular authentication, authorization, and accounting facilities.

LDAP

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) provides centralized validation of users attempting to gain access to a Cisco NX-OS device. LDAP services are maintained in a database on an LDAP daemon typically running on a UNIX or Windows NT workstation. You must have access to and must configure an LDAP server before the configured LDAP features on your Cisco NX-OS device are available.

LDAP provides for separate authentication and authorization facilities. LDAP allows for a single access control server (the LDAP daemon) to provide each service authentication and authorization independently. Each service can be connected to its own database to take advantage of other services available on that server or on the network, depending on the capabilities of the daemon.

The LDAP client and server protocol uses TCP (TCP port 389) for transport requirements. Cisco NX-OS devices provide centralized authentication using the LDAP protocol.

For information on configuring RADIUS and TACACS+, see Chapter 4 "Configuring Security Features on an External AAA Server."

IP ACLs

IP access control lists (ACLs) provide basic network security on the out-of-band management Ethernet interface and the in-band IP management Interface. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches use IP ACLs to restrict traffic from unknown and untrusted sources and restrict network use based on user identity or device type.

For information on configuring IP ACLs, see Chapter 5 "Configuring IPv4 and IPv6 Access Control Lists".

PKI

The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) allows an MDS 9000 switch to obtain and use digital certificates for secure communication in the network. PKI support provides manageability and scalability for applications, such as IPsec, IKE, and SSH, that support digital certificates.

For information on configuring PKI, see Chapter 6 "Configuring Certificate Authorities and Digital Certificates."

IPsec

IP Security (IPsec) protocol is a framework of open standards by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that provides data confidentiality, data integrity, and data origin authentication between participating peers. IPsec provides security services at the IP layer, including protecting one or more data flows between a pair of hosts, a pair of security gateways, or a security gateway and a host.

For information on configuring IPsec, see Chapter 7 "Configuring IPsec Network Security."

FC-SP and DHCHAP

Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) capabilities provide switch to switch and hosts to switch authentication to overcome security challenges for enterprise-wide fabrics. Diffie-Hellman Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (DHCHAP) is an FC-SP protocol that provides authentication between Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches and other devices. DHCHAP consists of the CHAP protocol combined with the Diffie-Hellman exchange.

With FC-SP, switches, storage devices, and hosts are able to prove their identity through a reliable and manageable authentication mechanism. With FC-SP, Fibre Channel traffic can be secured on a frame-by-frame basis to prevent snooping and hijacking, even over untrusted links. A consistent set of policies and management actions are propagated through the fabric to provide a uniform level of security across the entire fabric.

For more information on configuring FS-SP and DHCHAP, see Chapter 8 "Configuring FC-SP and DHCHAP."

Port Security

The port security feature prevents unauthorized access to a switch port by binding specific world-wide names (WWNs) that have access to one or more given switch ports.

When port security is enabled on a switch port, all devices connecting to that port must be in the port security database and must be listed in the database as bound to a given port. If both of these criteria are not met, the port will not achieve an operationally active state and the devices connected to the port will be denied access to the SAN.

For information on configuring port security, see Chapter 9 "Configuring Port Security."

Fabric Binding

The fabric binding feature ensures Inter-Switch Links (ISLs) are enabled only between specified switches in the fabric binding configuration. This feature helps prevent unauthorized switches from joining the fabric or disrupting the current fabric operations. This feature uses the Exchange Fabric Membership Data (EEMD) protocol to ensure that the list of authorized switches is identical in all of the switches in a fabric.

For information on configuring fabric binding, see Chapter 10 "Configuring Fabric Binding."

TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption

Cisco TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption is an extension of the Fibre Channel-Security Protocol (FC-SP) feature and uses the existing FC-SP architecture to provide integrity and confidentiality of transactions. Encryption is added to the peer authentication capability to provide security and prevent unwanted traffic interception. Peer authentication is implemented according to the FC-SP standard using the Diffie-Hellman Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (DHCHAP) protocol.

For information on configuring TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption, see Chapter 11 "Configuring Cisco TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption."