What does Your Console Server do to Ensure Internal Network Security?

In many data center applications, a single console server might be shared by many different personnel and departments. For example, your lower level IT support staff might need access to command functions on routers and switches, while your engineers might need access to command functions on a file server. One challenge that constantly arises in multi-user environments of this type, is the task of allowing users to access certain devices, while preventing them from accessing other devices that might belong to a different department. Likewise, you might want to allow some users to invoke status display commands, while preventing them from changing console server configuration.

An intelligent console server, such as WTI’s TSM series console server products, allows you to easily assign different access and privilege rights to each individual user account. This means, that you can define an account for an IT administrator to allow access to all ports and command functions, or define a basic user account that might only allow access to one specific port and only a very basic selection of command functions.

In addition, the TSM’s user directory can also be used to restrict each user to a specific means of access to the console server; one user might be allowed to connect via web, SSH or telnet, while another user might be limited to contact via SSH.

This ability to custom tailor access rights for each registered user provides a great deal of flexibility to the IT Administrator by ensuring that only those who are qualified to access a given piece of equipment or specific command function are allowed to do so.

In addition to allowing easy control of user access rights, WTI console server products also include a convenient audit trail function that allows administrators to track activity for each user and create a record of which user invoked which command, and which user accessed each individual network element.

Port access rights and command privileges are important factors to consider when setting up network permissions for your users and administrators; half of network security is making sure that your network is safe from attacks within the network in addition from attacks that come from outside. This process of taking proper steps to ensure that each user is limited to the network functions that are appropriate for the user’s individual job function is an important step in ensuring that your network is free from security holes.

When you consider the nature of a console server, and it’s ability to provide access to the vital elements that comprise your network, it quickly becomes apparent that a console server must allow definition of individual access rights for each user and also track user activity in order to ensure that your network is safe from both external and internal security threats.

For over 30 years, Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) has been an innovator in the field of remote management for IT facilities. Our comprehensive product line includes a wide range of Serial Console Server products, Switched PDU products and Remote Reboot Switch products to provide secure, remote management of servers, routers and other devices.

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