Router WAN Management over HTTPS

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Oct 27, 2023
In light of Steve's reminder this last Tuesday during podcast 945, I'm curious how the gang feels about my solution to permitting WAN management in a secure manner. I work on the networking team for a larger enterprise, about 50 sites. Each site has a connection to the internet and a commercial class firewall. We have a mesh of site-to-site VPNs and use OSPF to dynamically route traffic on the enterprise LAN. We do have a client VPN solution which terminates to a datacenter and depending on the user can route through the enterprise network as needed.

WAN management is something we use frequently for these firewalls, but agreed early on that leaving this open to the entire public internet was not good. So we signed up with a No-IP account and gave our networking team each a dynamic FQDN. For example, We then created address-objects and firewall policy disabling WAN management but allowing these dynamic FQDNs. We also hard coded a few WAN IPs for main sites in the event that DNS went sideways. Each network admin has the no-ip software running on their corporate computer so they are able to access WAN management from anywhere they may be working from. Assuming the firewall has had adequate time to perform a fresh lookup of their assigned FQDN.

This seems to work for us and still maintains security. We get real-time alerts anytime there is a bad username and password attempt. Bad idea?

Adam Tyler
I'm a big believer in opening local ports only to specific remote IPs. I do that myself. I have pfSense firewalls which have Dynamic DNS client services running. Thus, those domains are kept synchronized with their ISP-assigned IPs. Granted those IPs don't change often... but when they do the firewall rules automatically re-synchronize to continue to permit access.
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