SSH Security Policy

Support team

The following policies guide secure shell access to our servers:

  • All root passwords have 15 character randomly generated passwords shared in encrypted form with a limited number of support team members. May First/People Link root administrators store these passwords in encrypted files on encrypted disks.
  • Key-based root ssh access is enabled on all servers. ssh is configured to prevent password-based root access.
  • All MFPL root administrators secure their private key with a password and only save them non-shared computers with encrypted disks.
  • Root access is not available via sudo. Root is only available via ssh as root or by ssh'ing into the serial console server and logging in with the username and password. Rationale: sudo is useful because it allows users to work as a non-privileged user and execute select commands as root. That cuts down on mistakes that can have disastrous consequences. However, it also makes each server only as secure as the least-secure non-privileged account on that server. sudo is useful for allowing fine-grained, constrained elevated permissions for users who otherwise might not be able to take certain actions on their own (e.g. creating databases, restarting certain daemons, etc)
  • All ssh keys used for root access are minimally 2048 bits in length
  • May First/People Link conducts an annual audit to check in with all users with root access and ensure that they these policies are being followed and review that all users with root access know they have root access, still want root access, and it makes sense for the organization for them to have root access.
  • Password files and ssh keys are only backed up to servers with encrypted disks
Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on Oct 23, 2011, 1:53:19 PM