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Cisco Switch Port Security ---How to Configure Switch Security?

February 27 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall

Conventional network security often focuses more on routers and blocking traffic from the outside. Switches are internal to the organization and designed to allow ease of connectivity, therefore only limited or no security measures are applied.


The following basic security features can be used to secure your switches/Cisco switches and network:

* Physically secure the device

Use secure passwords

* Enable SSH access

* Enable port security

* Disable http access

* Disable unused ports

* Disable Telnet


Let’s look at how to implement and configure some of the above mentioned switch security features.



1. How to Configure the privileged EXEC password.  

Use the enable secret command to set the password. For this activity, set the password to orbit.

SW1#configure terminal

SW1(config)#enable secret orbit



2. How to Configure virtual terminal (Telnet) and console passwords and require users to login.

A password should be required to access the console line.  Even the basic user EXEC mode can provide significant information to a malicious user. In addition, the VTY lines must have a password before users can access the switch remotely.

Use the following commands to secure the console and telnet:

SW1(config)#line console 0

SW1(config-line)#password cisco


SW1(config-line)#line vty 0 15

SW1(config-line)#password cisco





3. How to Configure password encryption.

At this stage, the privileged EXEC password is already encrypted. To encrypt the line passwords that you just configured, enter the service password-encryption command in global configuration mode.

SW1(config)#service password-encryption



4. How to Configure and test the MOTD banner.

Configure the message-of-the-day (MOTD) using Authorized Access Only as the text. Follow these guidelines:

i. The banner text is case sensitive. Make sure you do not add any spaces before or after the banner text.


ii. Use a delimiting character before and after the banner text to indicate where the text begins and ends. The delimiting character used in the example below is %, but you can use any character that is not used in the banner text.


iii. After you have configured the MOTD, log out of the switch to verify that the banner displays when you log back in.


SW1(config)#banner motd %Authorized Access Only%




5. How to Configure Port Security

Enter interface configuration mode for FastEthernet 0/11 and enable port security.

Before any other port security commands can be configured on the interface, port security must be enabled.

SW1(config-if)#interface fa0/11

SW1(config-if)#switchport port-security

* Notice that you do not have to exit back to global configuration mode before entering interface configuration mode for fa0/11.


6. How to configure the maximum number of MAC addresses.

To configure the port to learn only one MAC address, set the maximum to 1:

SW1(config-if)#switchport port-security maximum 1


7. How to configure the port to add the MAC address to the running configuration.

The MAC address learned on the port can be added to (“stuck” to) the running configuration for that port.

SW1(config-if)#switchport port-security mac-address sticky 


8. How to Configure the port to automatically shut down if port security is violated.

If you do not configure the following command, SW1 only logs the violation in the port security statistics but does not shut down the port.

SW1(config-if)#switchport port-security violation shutdown

Use the show-mac-address- table command to confirm that SW1 has learned the MAC address for the intended devices, in this case PC1.

SW1#show mac-address-table

Mac Address Table


Vlan Mac Address Type Ports

---- ----------- -------- -----

20 0060.5c4b.cd22 STATIC Fa0/11


You can use the show port-security interface fa0/11 command to also verify a security violation with the command.

SW1#show port-security interface fa0/11


Port Security : Enabled

Port Status : Secure-shutdown

Violation Mode : Shutdown

Aging Time : 0 mins

Aging Type : Absolute

SecureStatic Address Aging : Disabled

Maximum MAC Addresses : 1

Total MAC Addresses : 1

Configured MAC Addresses : 1

Sticky MAC Addresses : 0

Last Source Address:Vlan : 00E0.F7B0.086E:20

Security Violation Count : 1


9. How to Secure Unused Ports

Disabling unused switch ports a simple method many network administrators use to help secure their network from unauthorized access. Disabling an unused port stops traffic from flowing through the port(s)

Step 1: Disable interface Fa0/10 on SW1.

Enter interface configuration mode for FastEthernet 0/17 and shut down the port.

SW1(config)#interface fa0/10



Step 2: Disable interfaces Fa0/1 to Fa0/24 on SW1

SW1(config)#interface range fa0/1-24



More Cisco switches' tutorials: http://blog.router-switch.com/category/reviews/cisco-switches/

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