A Console Terminal Server Can Let You Know When Network Security May be Challenged

Keeping track of security threats at remote network equipment sites can often pose a challenge. Even though most remote network equipment is protected by password security, it’s still possible for a determined hacker to defeat password protection if he has the time and energy to do so. But if you know that a hack attack is in progress at a remote network equipment site, then its easy to make a few quick configuration changes that will make it much more difficult for Mr. Hacker to gain access to critical command functions. That’s why a console terminal server with an invalid access alarm can prove to be an extremely useful tool for providing additional security to remote network equipment applications.

When a console terminal server is equipped with an invalid access alarm, the console terminal server will count unsuccessful attempts to enter a valid password; if the number of unsuccessful password attempts reaches a user-defined threshold level, the invalid access alarm will be triggered and the console terminal server will immediately notify the appropriate personnel that a hack attack may be in progress. Once network administrators are notified of a possible threat to the security of the console terminal server, preventative measures (such shutting down effected network ports,) can be taken to make it impossible for a random password generator based attack to be effective.

When an alarm is triggered, the invalid access alarm should support the ability to provide notification to multiple IT support personnel in the event that the primary contact is not available. Another important feature to look for is the ability to provide alarm notification via several popular communication protocols in order to meet the needs a wide variety of IT support personnel; a good console terminal server should be able to provide alarm notification via email, text message, SNMP trap and SYSLOG message.

Obviously, there will always be instances where a valid user will make several mistakes when attempting to enter a password, and that’s why its important that the console terminal server invalid access alarm includes the ability to set a user-defined alarm threshold. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to generate an alarm when four or five invalid password attempts are detected, but you would definitely want to know about immediately it if 20 invalid access attempts were detected.

In some cases, the console terminal server will also support the ability to automatically lock the network port when an invalid access alarm is generated. This feature can prove particularly useful because it allows the console terminal server to deal with a password attack by itself, without waiting for a network administrator to intervene. In the best case, the invalid access alarm should allow administrators to define the number of invalid access attempts that will trigger the automatic lockout and the time period for which the network port will be locked. Additionally, it can also be helpful if the invalid access alarm includes a the capability to provide secondary notification when the lockout time period elapses and the port is automatically unlocked again. This allows administrators to keep a close eye on the status of the console terminal server, in order to provide the opportunity to invoke stronger security measures if the password attack resumes again after the port is unlocked.

Invalid password attempts are often an indication of one of the oldest and most effective ways to defeat security measures at remote network devices; the random password generator. But if your console terminal server can let you know that a password attack is in progress, or if the console terminal server can automatically lock the network port, then a password attack can then be extremely easy to defeat. As the old saying goes, “knowing is half of the battle” … and that holds particularly true when someone is trying to hack their way past your network security strategy.

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