SSH Jump Server, SSH Bastion host, SSH Jump host for PCI DSS and other security compliance

ssh jump server

SSH Jump server or Bastion host would be a fortified central server or gateway server where all your staff would login in first via ssh before accessing any other servers behind it. The fortified server is also known as Bastion Host or SSH Jump Host or SSH Jump Box. The jump host assist in securing  PCI DSS and other security compliances.

Using an intermediate ssh jump server increases security and ease of managing your Linux  production servers. Ezeelogin is an ssh gateway software that would help you setup your secure jump server very quickly and comes with lots of security and automation features. The below diagram would give you a better idea of how the ssh jump server works

 

ssh Bastion host ssh Jump server ssh gateway
SSH Gateway – SSH Bastion Host – SSH Jump Host – SSH Jump Box – SSH Jump Server

Advantages in using  ssh Jump Server ( also called a ‘Bastion Host’ )?

  • Built in Identity and Access Management for your staff
  • Intuitive SSH interface to access Linux nodes
  • SSH access to Linux production servers for your staff without sharing the ssh private keys or password
  • Two factor authentication in ssh and for the panel. Yubikey , Google Authenticator, Duo Security 2FA integrated.
  • Record ssh session of your system administrator or devops engineers for performing forensic audits so that you know who does what on which server and when.
  • Privileged Access management so that you know who gets root access and who gets non privileged access.
  • SSH Key management so that you can rotate the keys easily on multiple servers.
  • Root Password management so that you can reset the root password on servers in a click.
  • Parallel Shell integrated so you can execute command on many server simultaneously.
  • Root password management for your Linux server in production
  • Access Control panel like Cpanel/WHM and more in a click
  • PCI DSS 3.2, SOX, SOC2, FFIEC, NERC CIP, ISO 27001 & HIPPA Compliance requirements can be met quickly
ssh jump server
ssh jump server interface

 

 

Automated root password management on Linux servers

Automatic root password management
Automatic root password management

 

Boss wants you to enable password based authentication on hundred  Linux server, he wants you to  set 30 plus character strong password on each server, share the root passwords with  developers ,  change the root passwords again once the developers logs out of the servers at the end of the day, also your boss want you to reset the root password on all the Linux server on a daily basis  as he is paranoid  when it comes to security.

Well without eating your boss alive and instead to get a promotion, here is the magic wand, use the Ezeelogin root password management feature and you will  be able to meet all his requirement and if not even better. Being a Linux system administrator you know for fact that Key based authentication are exponentially stronger even if your passwords are 100 characters long but for some unearthly reasons you need to have password based authentication enabled on your hundred Linux servers.

 

jump server password view
jump server password view

Here are the key issues that Ezeelogin root password management features addresses.

  • Automatically set and reset and strong root passwords up to 32 characters long in a click on hundreds or thousands of Linux servers
  • Schedule periodic reset of root password across all your linux servers in a click
  • Reset root passwords on all your Linux server in a click.

 

 

 

 

Meet PCI DSS 3.2 , HIPAA, SOX, SOC2, FFIEC, NERC CIP, ISO 27001 Compliance in your Linux Infrastructure.

jump server pci dss
jump server pci dss

 

If you are a system administrator  and have bunch of Linux server that you need to manage and has to be PCI DSS3.2 ,SOX, SOC2, FFIEC, NERC CIP, ISO 27001,HIPAA  compliant, then look no further, Ezeelogin SSH Gateway will help you be compliant in minutes.

Here are the requirements that Ezeelogin jumphost will help you meet.

  1. SSH User Expiry – This would let you to set an expiry time for an ssh user. It could be a developer or a sysadmin who has to deploy new code and you need to remove the access granted after a period of time. You can now easily set an expiry time after which the user would no longer have access after a preset time.
  2. IAM- Identity and Access Management – This would let you decide which developer / system administrator has access to which Linux production nodes. You can also decide ssh user which  the developer or devops engineer would login into your  Linux Node. You can decide whether the developer should login as non privileged user for example as user ‘dev’ or as ‘root’.
  3. 2FA – Two Factor Authentication in ssh – Easily integrate Yubikey, DUO Security or Google two factor Authentication when your staff accesses your Linux nodes.
  4. SSH Session Recording – Know what your staff does on your Linux nodes. Records ssh session so that you know who does what, when and where.
  5. SSH Key Management – This is usually a headache when you many server and many staff and many keys granting access to the servers. The keys need to be added for a user to grant access or revoked to deny access. The problem has been inherently handled in the ssh jump gateway as all keys are now encrypted and users would have just one key to access the ssh jump gateway which is removed with the users account deletion.
  6. RSA / DSA Key Based Authentication – Support both RSA and DSA key based authentication while we would recommend RSA keys as DSA is considered to be weak and is being deprecated.
  7. Disabling direct root access on target linux server – Direct root access needs to be disabled but then it comes with additional hassle of remembering password and  other overheads.  This is now handled in ingenious way in Ezeelogin
  8. Automated Password resets – Reset the root passwords on your Linux nodes periodically as the password are to be reset. We would recommend disabling direct root access to any Linux nodes.
  9. Centralised  login for Users in  LDAP or Active Directory – Now Authenticate your staff in SSH from your LDAP/ AD.
  10.  Maximum number of failed attempts before the accounts is locked– Repeated failures from your staff trying to access the ssh gateway could be brute force attack. The staff’s account is automatically locked to prevent further bruteforce.
  11. Minimum password length for root password – Easily set root user password  or remote ssh user password up to length of 30 character at a click.
  12. Password reuse  for an SSH Gateway User is limited such that previous 3 password is not allowed to be set again.

Record SSH Session

record ssh sessions
Record SSH Session

Record ssh sessions on Linux server, Amazon EC2  instances for Security Compliance

It is mandatory to record ssh sessions to be PCI DSS Complaint when system administrator, system engineers or devops engineers login via ssh into your Linux machines or cloud instances, . It is also a must to maintain a log of all ssh activities on your Linux servers. This is tedious task for any Linux system administrator as deploying a improvised solution has often turned to be useless in the hour of need.

Why you should record ssh session of your staff /employees on a bastion host ?

Imagine that you have 100 Linux servers or cloud instances. You have 100  users  having access to these server via SSH with some system admins having privileged access or root access. If a user deletes a critical files or a database record which leads to a serious downtime and million of dollar lost in revenue,  following are some of the questions that you would have to answer as the security officer of your Linux infrastructure

  • Which user did it ? How will you find out who is responsible when you have so many of your employees accessing your servers?
  • How did it happen? When did it happen?
  • What is the extent of damage?
  • How will you prevent this in the future?
  • Is it possible to track  ssh server activities of employees?
  • Is it possible to do a forensic investigation when somebody does something bad like opening a backdoor?
  • How to monitor a staff in ssh in real time?
  • Has any Linux  server been breached?
  • How  to ensure that your employees password typed in on STDIN are not recorded as required by security compliances ?
    Enabling the SSH Session recording feature in the Ezeelogin SSH jump server would help you achieve this very quickly and easily so you have a complete record of what was done on your server at any point of time by which jump server user. This is very useful for forensic audits or for maintaining an audit trail for pci compliance.
    The solution records every ssh activity.  It includes the user input and the output with timestamps.  There is provision to search through the recorded ssh logs as well.

Bastion host – How to secure and harden the ssh server on it?

  1. Enable a firewall and by default block all  IP access to the SSH Port and enable only your staff ips or dynamic ip ranges that you trust.
  2. Disable direct root login. Its always better to login as a non privileged user first and the switch to the root user. This is the norm if you are looking for PCI DSS Compliance.Edit /etc/sshd/sshd_config
    PermitRootLogin noEzeelogin SSH Gateway has a feature called ‘AUTO SU or SUDO’ which would automatically does the switching part  so you would not waste your time retrieving password of the ‘admin’ user and then entering the root password.
  3. Disable password based authentication and enable only Key based authentication in the  sshd configuration file. I would rate this as the most important of all.

    PasswordAuthentication no

  4. Enable Key based authentication. RSA is know to be more secure than DSA keys.

    RSAAuthentication yes

    PubkeyAuthentication yes

     

  5. Change the sshd default listening port from 22 to something like 22656 since its hard to guess and attackers would have to scan.Use custom SSH Port and Listening IPs.
    Port 22656
    ListenAddress 192.168.5.6.123
  6. Configure a VPN and having your server behind a VPN is good idea. This would really improve the security and harden the server.