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Server Security Guidelines

Server Security Guidelines

Server Security Guidelines

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of these guidelines is to establish standards for the base configuration of internal server equipment that is owned and/or operated by McNeese State University. Effective implementation of this policy will minimize unauthorized access to McNeese State University proprietary information and technology.

  2. Scope

    These guidelines apply to server equipment owned and/or operated by McNeese State University, and to servers registered under any McNeese State University-owned internal network domain.


    These guidelines are specifically for equipment on the internal McNeese State University network. For secure configuration of equipment external to McNeese State University on the DMZ, refer to the Internet DMZ Equipment Guidelines.

  3. Guidelines

    1. Ownership and Responsibilities

      All internal servers deployed at McNeese State University must be owned by an operational group that is responsible for system administration. Approved server configuration guides must be established and maintained by each operational group, based on business needs and approved by the CITO. Operational groups should monitor configuration compliance and implement an exception policy tailored to their environment. Each operational group must establish a process for changing the configuration guides, which includes review and approval by the CITO.

      1. Servers must be registered with the Office of Information Technology. At a minimum, the following information is required to positively identify the point of contact:
        1. Server contact(s) and location, and a backup contact
        2. Hardware and Operating System/Version
        3. Main functions and applications, if applicable
      2. Information registered with the Office of Information Technology must be kept up-to-date.
      3. Configuration changes for production servers must follow the appropriate change management procedures.
    2. General Configuration Guidelines
      1. Operating System configuration should be in accordance with approved Information Technology guidelines.
      2. Services and applications that will not be used must be disabled where practical.
      3. Access to services should be logged and/or protected through access-control methods.
      4. The most recent security patches must be installed on the system as soon as practical, the only exception being when immediate application would interfere with business requirements.
      5. Trust relationships between systems are a security risk, and their use should be avoided. Do not use a trust relationship when some other method of communication will do.
      6. Always use standard security principles of least required access to perform a function.
      7. Do not use root when a non-privileged account will do.
      8. If a methodology for secure channel connection is available (i.e., technically feasible), privileged access must be performed over secure channels, (e.g., encrypted network connections using SSH or IPSec).
      9. Servers should be physically located in an access-controlled environment.
      10. Servers are specifically prohibited from operating from uncontrolled areas.
    3. Monitoring
      1. All security-related events on critical or sensitive systems must be logged and audit trails saved as follows:
        1. All security related logs will be kept online for a minimum of 1 week.
        2. Daily incremental tape backups will be retained for at least 1 month.
        3. Weekly full tape backups of logs will be retained for at least 1 month.
        4. Monthly full backups will be retained for a minimum of 1 year.
      2. Security-related events will be reported to the office of Information Technology. Corrective measures will be prescribed as needed. Security-related events include, but are not limited to:
        • Port-scan attacks
        • Evidence of unauthorized access to privileged accounts
        • Anomalous occurrences that are not related to specific applications on the host.
    4. Compliance
      1. Audits will be performed on a regular basis by authorized persons within McNeese State University.
      2. Audits will be managed by the internal audit group or Information Security, in accordance with the Audit Policy. Information Security will filter findings not related to a specific operational group and then present the findings to the appropriate support staff for remediation or justification.
      3. Every effort will be made to prevent audits from causing operational failures or disruptions.
    5. Definitions
      DMZ
      De-militariezed Zone. A network segment external to the corporate production network.
      Server
      For purposes of this policy, a Server is defined as an internal McNeese State University Server. Desktop machines and Lab equipment are not relevant to these guidelines.
    6. Revision History
      Fri Dec 20, 2013