IP Address Filtering – A Very Useful Feature for Console Terminal Server Applications

When network administrators need to establish an out of band connection to a console port on a remote network device, they often rely on a console terminal server (http://www.wti.com/c-50-console-terminal-servers.aspx). When normal network communication is down or unavailable, a console terminal server provides a reliable, secure means to communicate with remote network elements without relying on normal network communication. Given this powerful ability to communicate with vital network elements, it’s extremely important that console terminal server units include a multi-layered approach to system security. An IP address filter provides yet another layer of security to protect console terminal server functions from access by unauthorized users.

IP Address Filtering enables a console terminal server to accept or reject inbound connections, based on the IP address of the user. An IP address filter should allow the user to select specific, individual IP addresses, ranges of IP address or groups of IP addresses and then determine whether those addresses will be automatically accepted or rejected when they attempt to access command functions on the console terminal server.

An IP address filter can be particularly useful for applications that feature automated access to console terminal server functions, where a program logs in to a remote console terminal server in order to retrieve buffered data or perform other functions. Typically, in cases like this, a program accesses the console terminal server without any human interaction. This often makes it impractical to use common security functions such as password protection because there is no opportunity for a human to enter a password and username. An IP address filter provides the perfect solution for automated access to console terminal server functions, because only specific IP addresses are allowed to connect.

When deploying a console terminal server at a remote network site, it’s absolutely imperative to make certain that access to sensitive console port command functions is adequately protected from unauthorized users. This is why console terminal servers include security features such as password protection and IP address filtering, along with authentication and verification features such as LDAP, Kerberos, TACACS+ and RADIUS. An IP address filter provides yet another layer of security for console terminal server communication. The presence of a powerful assortment of security and authentication features helps to ensure that sensitive command functions are protected, and also supplies network administrators with more options for setting up console terminal server security for a variety of different applications.

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