The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at NIST recognizes the need to ensure safe and secure internet traffic exchange, and recently completed part one of this project series: Protecting the Integrity of Internet Routing: Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Route Origin Validation. This project used commercially available technologies to develop a cybersecurity reference design that can be implemented to increase security and functionality in internet routing.
The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the adopted default routing protocol of the Internet. BGP facilitates the exchange of routing information—determining feasible paths for data to flow from a source to a destination. Autonomous Systems and Internet Service Providers exchange route information using BGP to achieve interconnectivity. When the exchange of route information is inaccurate (either done maliciously or accidentally), traffic will either take inefficient paths through the internet, arrive at malicious sites that masquerade legitimate destinations, or never arrive to its intended destination.
This project demonstrates how the implementation of BGP Route Origin Validation, using Resource Public Key Infrastructure, can address and resolve the erroneous exchange of network routes. This project has resulted in a NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide—a publicly available description of the solution and practical steps needed to implement a cybersecurity reference design that addresses this challenge.
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