Operating System Hardening

One of the most important steps in securing an IP telephony server is installing all the applicable product or component security updates and then making sure that they are kept up to date. Cisco provides three types of updates for the Cisco IP Telephony Operating System:

  • Operating system upgrade Comprehensive upgrade to all components of the operating system that is released two to three times a year, including Microsoft Windows 2000 SPs, Internet Explorer SPs, BIOS, firmware, drivers, Microsoft hot fixes, security configuration changes, third-party software that is installed in the base operating system, and configuration changes to match the currently shipping operating system version.
  • Operating system service releases Primarily a comprehensive roll-up of security hot fixes that are released the third Tuesday of each month when needed to deliver new security hot fixes. The operating system service release occasionally contains nonsecurity hot fixes or configuration changes needed to resolve a defect in the operating system.
  • Critical hot fixes When Microsoft releases a hot fix that is critical for Cisco IP telephony products, Cisco tests the hot fix and posts it to Cisco.com within one business day of the release by Microsoft.

An IP telephony server must be used for IP telephony purposes only. The server should not be used as a common file server that stores user data or has user applications, such as Microsoft Office products, installed on it. File-share access has to be limited to the absolute minimum needed (for instance, to access log files and generate reports). Strict file access control has to be deployed, and auditing of network file access should be enabled. This practice also eliminates the need to add user accounts to the server; only administrator and auditor accounts should exist. If network file access is not needed at all, it should be disabled to enhance the security of the server.

The more services that are running on a server, the more likely it is that vulnerabilities can be exploited by an attacker. To minimize this risk, only the services that are needed should be activated. Many services that are not needed have already been disabled in the Cisco hardened version of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server operating system.

To make Cisco CallManager even more secure, Cisco provides additional security scripts and information on how to protect the Cisco IP Telephony Operating System against common threats.

Do not install any other application on the servers unless it is approved software, such as Cisco Security Agent or antivirus products. A hardened IP telephony server has to be stripped down to run only the services and applications that are needed for its operation.

IP Telephony Operating System Security Scripts

Cisco IP Telephony Operating System 2.6 and later includes scripts and information guides on additional security settings. These security guides and scripts provide additional security settings beyond those that are installed by default in the Cisco IP Telephony Operating System. The settings in the optional security script have not been included by default and are not intended for all customers to use. When planning to use the optional security script, consider these points:

  • The optional security script settings are supported only for Windows 2000 servers that are running Cisco CallManager Release 3.3(2) and later.
  • The optional security script settings might have an adverse impact on some of the other Cisco IP telephony applications that use this operating system, on the interaction between Cisco CallManager servers and some other Cisco IP telephony applications, and on some supported third-party software.
  • Because these settings are not installed by default, they receive only a limited amount of testing.
  • Only experienced Windows administrators should apply the optional security script or manual settings.


Applying the optional security script can destroy collocated applications, such as Cisco IPCC Express, Cisco IP IVR, and Cisco IP Queue Manager (IP QM)!

As shown in Figure 20-2, the optional security script and some additional information are available in the C:utilsSecurityTemplates folder.

Figure 20-2. CallManager Security Script Templates

The script file is a batch job that can be started by clicking the CCM-OS-OptionalSecurity.cmd file. Before doing so, read the CCM-OS-OptionalSecurity-Readme.htm file to identify possible issues with applications running on the operating system:

  • The CCM-OS-OptionalSecurity-Readme.htm file contains information on what the CCM-OS-OptionalSecurity script is changing in the operating system and provides additional security settings that can be configured manually.
  • Some of the optional security settings cause upgrades to fail. Therefore, if the Cisco IP Telephony Operating System optional security settings have been installed on the server and you want to upgrade the server, read the "Before CallManager Upgrade" guide. It includes a checklist of all settings to which you must revert for the upgrade to work.

In addition, Cisco has provided an additional security script in the C:utils directory, shown in Figure 20-3. This script is called the IP security filter and will block the fixed Windows 2000 and SQL ports. Read the IPSec-W2KSQL-Readme.htm file for instructions on how to use the IP security filter.

Figure 20-3. CallManager SQL Security Script Template

The security script provides the following benefits:

  • Blocking the fixed Windows 2000 and SQL ports adds an extra layer of protection from viruses, worms, and hackers. A provided script eases the creation of the IP security filter. You must customize the script with the IP addresses that the organization wants to allow through the filter. For example, the Cisco CallManager uses SQL ports allowing every IP address to connect to these port numbers. The IPSec-W2KSQL script would allow SQL connections only from the IP addresses defined in the script. These consist mostly of the other Cisco CallManager servers in the cluster and applications that need direct access to the database, for example, to the call detail record (CDR) tables.
  • Using this IP security filter increases the management overhead of the servers. If the IP infrastructure changes or additional servers are added to the Cisco IP telephony solution, the permit lists on all the servers will need to be updated.


The name of the IPSec-W2kSQL file has nothing to do with the IPsec virtual private network (VPN) umbrella standard.


File-Sharing Considerations

To secure the access to file shares, limit access to the absolute minimum number of users who need it, as shown in Figure 20-4. Check the share permissions on all shared folders, for example, the CDR and TFTPPath folders. Avoid assigning share permissions for the Everyone group. You can find detailed information on how to secure file shares in the CCM-OS-OptionalSecurity-Readme guide, located in the folder C:UtilsSecurityTemplates.

Figure 20-4. Managing CallManager Share Permissions

Part I: Cisco CallManager Fundamentals

Introduction to Cisco Unified Communications and Cisco Unified CallManager

Cisco Unified CallManager Clustering and Deployment Options

Cisco Unified CallManager Installation and Upgrades

Part II: IPT Devices and Users

Cisco IP Phones and Other User Devices

Configuring Cisco Unified CallManager to Support IP Phones

Cisco IP Telephony Users

Cisco Bulk Administration Tool

Part III: IPT Network Integration and Route Plan

Cisco Catalyst Switches

Configuring Cisco Gateways and Trunks

Cisco Unified CallManager Route Plan Basics

Cisco Unified CallManager Advanced Route Plans

Configuring Hunt Groups and Call Coverage

Implementing Telephony Call Restrictions and Control

Implementing Multiple-Site Deployments

Part IV: VoIP Features

Media Resources

Configuring User Features, Part 1

Configuring User Features, Part 2

Configuring Cisco Unified CallManager Attendant Console

Configuring Cisco IP Manager Assistant

Part V: IPT Security

Securing the Windows Operating System

Securing Cisco Unified CallManager Administration

Preventing Toll Fraud

Hardening the IP Phone

Understanding Cryptographic Fundamentals

Understanding the Public Key Infrastructure

Understanding Cisco IP Telephony Authentication and Encryption Fundamentals

Configuring Cisco IP Telephony Authentication and Encryption

Part VI: IP Video

Introducing IP Video Telephony

Configuring Cisco VT Advantage

Part VII: IPT Management

Introducing Database Tools and Cisco Unified CallManager Serviceability

Monitoring Performance

Configuring Alarms and Traces

Configuring CAR

Using Additional Management and Monitoring Tools

Part VIII: Appendix

Appendix A. Answers to Review Questions


Authorized Self-Study Guide Cisco IP Telephony (CIPT)
Cisco IP Telephony (CIPT) (Authorized Self-Study) (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 158705261X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 329

Flylib.com © 2008-2020.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net