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Basic Device and Security Configuration Essay

When designing a network there are basic network and security configurations that one needs to consider. Choosing a hostname for each device is very important, this allows the user to know what device they are working on. Configuring interfaces with a proper IP, subnet, and descriptions are part of the basic configuration of a network device. One needs to consider the security setting for the network devices. There are some basic configurations that one can choose to use in their configuration. Passwords and a username should be used for consoling and remote access to any network device. Enable passwords and encrypting those password are best practice’s for any engineer.

Configuration of a username and password for virtual lines, will help in keeping unwanted persons out of your network device along with, a banner upon logging into a device. Banners are messages that will display a warning to any unauthorized person looking to access the device. Shutting down unused ports in a switch, will keep unwanted clients of the network and people from just plugging a laptop into the port for access. Remote access is something to think about when configuring a device. SSH (Secure Shell) and telnet are two network protocol used to remote access to a device. SSH is a more secure application that uses higher encryptions of data then telnet does. To generate the SSH key the use of crypto key generate rsa is used with a 1024 bit key, creates the most secure key. Remote access is a concern to any engineer and should be taken with the highest priority.

Commands Used in Basic Device Configurations

CLI commands that are used in a switch and in a router are the same. Most CLI commands are configured in the global configuration mode. It’s always good practice to start with the command erase startup-config, which resulted in the saved NVRAM configuration to be erased. Setting the appropriate hostname for the device is the command hostname {name}. By naming ones device, this will let the user know what device they are working in. Passwords helped secure the device for the enable mode, consoling into the device, and remote access. To set a password to access the enable mode, one need to use the command enable secret {password}.

The configuration of a password for consoling into a device, one needs to be in the line con 0 mode and use the command password, the same command is used for remote access but in the line vty 0-15 mode. When using the enable secrete command, the passwords are displayed in clear text. For more security, service password-encryption is used encrypt the password when a show run command is used to display the running configuration. Enabling SSH version 2 is a better choice than version 1. SSH version 2 has stronger cryptographic integrity check and supports password changing. If one configurators their device to support SSH, then there are several commands that need to be configured. A username {name} password {password} command needs to be assigned.

The ip domain name domain {mycompany.com} command is used, followed by crypto key generated rsa command. When the engineer types that command the IOS will prompt one for the number of bits. 512 is the default, however, one can choose a larger number and 1024 bits is recommended. The RSA encryption key is used for authentication and encryption of the SSH data. The transport input telnet ssh command allows telnet and ssh on the virtual lines by being configured in the line vty 0 -15 mode. The interface range {interface}-{interface} command is used to make changes in the interface range. One can use this command to shut down all unused ports in a switch. Lastly, the copy run start command was used to copy the recent running configuration to the startup configuration.

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