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Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) 6 March 2018

Routing Security is a Serious Problem – and MANRS Can Help. A Report from APRICOT 2018.

Andrei Robachevsky
By Andrei RobachevskySenior Technical Programme Manager

Last week, at APRICOT 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal, there were a lot of talks and discussions focused on routing security and the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS).

First, there was a Routing Security BoF, attended by about 150 people, where we talked about what it takes to implement routing security practices, how CDNs and other players can help, and why it is so difficult to make progress in this area. The BoF included an interactive poll at the end, and it showed some interesting results:

  • Participants almost unanimously see lack of routing security as a serious problem.
  • Slow progress in this area is largely seen as due to a lack of incentives
  • Participants see community initiatives (like MANRS) as the main driving forces for improvement, followed by CDNs and cloud providers. They doubt that governments or end-customers can effectively drive change.

My colleague Aftab Siddiqui is writing a separate blog post just about that BoF, so watch the blog in the next day or two.

Later, in the security track of the main APRICOT programme, Andrei Robachevsky, ISOC’s Technology Programme Manager, presented statistics on routing incidents and suggested a way forward based on the MANRS approach. In his presentation, “Routing Security in 2017 – We can do better! And how MANRS can help”, he provided a detailed overview of simple steps a network operator should take to improve routing hygiene and overall security of the routing system we all depend on so much.

His slides are available here:

An interactive poll that followed offered interesting insights into the challenges and state of securing routing:

  • More than 50% of the operators polled experienced routing incidents with varying impact, and only a lucky <20% were not terribly affected by them
  • There were remarkable differences regarding the security posture of networks. More than half of respondents have no resources to implement even such simple measures as MANRS. At the same time 1/3 of network operators already implement those measures and actively promote them in the community

It was very encouraging to see that a majority of the participants valued MANRS and wanted to join. At least when they become ready to implement the actions.

I’ll leave you with a quote Aftab shared at the beginning of the Routing BoF, from Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jane Addams: “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”

Are you ready to look into the four MANRS Actions and start moving your network in the right direction? We have an Implementation Guide and Training Modules available! Or perhaps you are ready to join MANRS? Sign up here!

[This post originally appeared on the MANRS Blog here.]

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