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NIST SP 800-77 Guide to IPSec VPN's
on Thursday 19 January 2006 print the content item {PDF=create pdf file of the content item^plugin:content.34}
in NIST.gov Publications > Special Publications - SP 800 series

This guide provides specific recommendations related to configuring cryptography for IPsec. In addition this guide presents a phased approach to IPsec planning and implementation that can help in achieving successful IPsec deployments.

Download NIST Special Publication 800-77

Please use the NIST.org Forum to ask questions or discuss this document. Members can use the comment link below for short comments about this publication.

Description of SP 800-77:
  1. Identify Needs: Identify the need to protect network communications and determine how that need can best be met.
  2. Design the Solution: Make design decisions in four areas: architectural considerations, authentication methods, cryptography policy, and packet filters. The placement of an IPsec gateway has potential security, functionality, and performance implications. An authentication solution should be selected based primarily on maintenance, scalability, and security. Packet filters should apply appropriate protections to traffic and not protect other types of traffic for performance or functionality reasons.
  3. Implement and Test a Prototype: Test a prototype of the designed solution in a lab or test environment to identify any potential issues. Testing should evaluate several factors, including connectivity, protection, authentication, application compatibility, management, logging, performance, the security of the implementation, and component interoperability.
  4. Deploy the Solution: Gradually deploy IPsec throughout the enterprise. Existing network infrastructure, applications, and users should be moved incrementally over time to the new IPsec solution. This provides administrators an opportunity to evaluate the impact of the IPsec solution and resolve issues prior to enterprise-wide deployment.
  5. Manage the Solution: Maintain the IPsec components and resolve operational issues; repeat the planning and implementation process when significant changes need to be incorporated into the solution.


As part of implementing IPsec, organizations should also implement additional technical, operational, and management controls that support and complement IPsec implementations. Examples include establishing control over all entry and exit points for the protected networks, ensuring the security of all IPsec endpoints, and incorporating IPsec considerations into organizational policies.

The SP 800-77 document was created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is public domain (not subject to copyright).


(Some of the description above is from NIST.gov, edited)



NIST Special Publication # 800-77


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