In my network, I have the clients directly connected to the server; but in the new PCI policies, they required to use jump servers.

  • What is the advantage of using jump servers for security reasons?
  • How can I use two-factor authentication with jump servers?
  • Why do jump server need virtual machines?
  • 6
    this looks like homework, specifically about some specific application. To give you some idea, a "jump server" (aka SSH bastion, though it might no be what you are referring to) is good because you don't expose your local infrastructure to internet, just the server. How to use two-factor? Look for how to enable two-factor in SSH. Why does it need a VM? It doesn't. – yzT Jul 22 '16 at 11:09
  • As I understood from Jump server is used between Client-server and Jump server used as a security layer, which is not let admin or client directly connected to the server. Am I right or not ? – Hamawand Jul 22 '16 at 11:40

What is the advantage of using jump servers for security reasons?

Jump servers, or more accurately, bastion hosts, provide a segregation layer between the target network and the user. Consider a network with database servers, application servers, an HSM or NAE for PCI, and monitoring systems. Without a bastion host, this needs to be exposed for maintenance and monitoring of these systems. The bastion host provides an auditable layer for users to access these systems. It also provides a separation of duties. Devops will need to access the servers, but Marketing typically won't need access.

Look at this basic network diagram without a bastion host:

Without Bastion Host

Any user on the network can access, and potentially attack, any server in that network. But by employing a bastion host, controls can be put in to place:

With Bastion Host

How can I use two-factor authentication with jump servers?

Check out libpam and configuration with TOTP.

Why do jump server need virtual machines?

They don't.

  • What is the advantage of using jump servers for security reasons?

    My understanding of this is that in general, it allows you to minimize attack surface thus making an attack harder. This is because you can move towards white listing ips (you can white list the jump boxes). This would essentially be like requiring authentication to have any communication with the servers.

  • How can I use two-factor authentication with jump servers?

    That depends on how you are connecting to the server, let's assume ssh in which case there are a few tools for this. One good one is google authenticator, there is a Linux package for it I think called "libpam-google-authenticator"

  • Why do jump server need virtual machines?

    I believe that the reason for this is that it allows you to keep track of users better and just generally contain them so that one cannot do malicious things to everyone's jump box.

As for the 2FA, I recommend using pam-radius, because you can then tie the process into your existing identity infrastructure and split authorization and authentication. For example, if you use AD, you can set up the MS radius plugin NPS and it will do authorisations in AD and if that passes authentication to a 3rd party 2FA server.

See all our pam-radius tutorials here (I work for this company): https://www.wikidsystems.com/support/how-to/keyword/pam-radius/.

In addition to not creating a separate identity silo, there are other concerns about using Google Authenticator: https://www.wikidsystems.com/blog/5-issues-enterprises-should-consider-before-using-google-authenticator-for-ssh/.

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