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Securing BGP

BGPThe Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the protocol used throughout the Internet to exchange routing information between networks. It is the language spoken by routers on the Internet to determine how packets can be sent from one router to another to reach their final destination. BGP has worked extremely well and continues to the be protocol that makes the Internet work.

The challenge with BGP is that the protocol does not directly include security mechanisms and is based largely on trust between network operators that they will secure their systems correctly and not send incorrect data.  Mistakes happen, though, and problems could arise if malicious attackers were to try to affect the routing tables used by BGP.

Here, we hope to provide the information that network operators need to understand to secure their routers and ensure that they are doing their part for the security and resiliency of the overall Internet routing infrastructure. We are not focused on a specific approach but rather outlining the different approaches and tools that are available to help secure your routing systems. A great document to understand our overall focus with this section is RFC 7454, “BGP Operations and Security“.

BGP Basics

You may also want to read through the various reports available about securing BGP and explore the work happening in the IETF within the Secure Inter-Domain Routing (SIDR) working group.

Watch our blog for stories related to securing BGP and, again, please let us know how we can help you!


Have suggestions for other questions you’d like to see us answer here? Please let us know!


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