March 1, 2002
Routers are the First Line of Defense for Your Network, Says Author of O'Reilly's Hardening Cisco Routers
Sebastopol, CA--No matter how sophisticated an alarm system you have
installed in your home, common sense (and security experts) will tell
you that it's not going to do you much good if you fail to lock your
doors. Likewise with your network, the finest IDS (intrusion detection
system) won't deter intruders if your routers are unsecured.
"Organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firewalls,
virtual private networks, intrusion detection, and other security
measures, and yet they run routers with out-of-the-box configurations,"
says Thomas Akin, author of
Routers (O'Reilly, US
$24.95). "From personal experience, at least eight or nine out of every
ten networks has routers that are vulnerable to attacks."
Network security is most often thought of as something that protects
machines on a network, Akin explains, but router security involves
protecting the network itself by hardening or securing the routers.
Specifically, it prevents attackers from using routers to gain
information about a network that can be used in an attack, disabling
the routers (and therefore the network), reconfiguring routers, and
even using the routers to launch further internal or external attacks.
Router attacks have not drawn a lot of attention from the media,
however, because routers are often used to provide attackers with
valuable information about the network and servers rather than being
the object of attack themselves. Moreover, router compromises are less
likely to be detected than other forms of attack.
"Cisco routers run an estimated seventy to eighty percent of the
Internet. Attacks on them by hackers are becoming increasingly more
frequent," Akins warns. "Once an attacker has control of your router,
he has control of your network. So router security is going to become
an extremely important issue over the next few years."
Hardening Cisco Routers focuses exclusively on how to secure routers
against attack, providing a succinct, practical guide to understanding
and applying router security. At the end of each chapter, Akin includes
a checklist that summarizes the hardening techniques discussed in the
chapter. The checklist helps administrators double-check the
configurations they've made and serves as a quick reference for future
security procedures. The book also covers topics that incorporate the
most current thinking about security: denial of service attack
mitigation, router auditing, and FBI recommendations on incident
"Information security is vital to every person and business that owns a
computer, yet the majority of system and network administrators are not
taught security as part of their jobs," says Akin. "Security is a key
part of every administrator's job, and I hope that my book will serve
as a hands-on guide to help network administrators understand and
implement security on their networks' routers.
"I put a tremendous amount of effort into making the book as practical
and useful as possible," Akin adds. "After buying the book, readers
will be able to follow a step-by-step checklist to increase the
security of their routers."
Hardening Cisco Routers was written for network administrators who
need guidance on securing their Cisco routers. Security auditors can
also use the checklists as baselines when verifying the security of an
organization's routers. Readers will find that once they have mastered
the information in this book, they will have a secure foundation on
which to build their networks and network security.
By Thomas Akin
ISBN 0-596-00166-5, 173 pages, $24.95 (US), $37.95 (CAN)
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
Return to: O'Reilly Press Room
Recent Press Releases
Press Release Archive »
Media Relations - North America & Conferences
Media Relations - Germany
Media Relations - Japan
Media Relations - United Kingdom