PDF ASEE Using Security Onion for Hands-on Cybersecurity Labs Ronald Gonzales and Alan B Watkins

When using a forward node, Elastic Stack components are not installed. Syslog-ng forwards all logs to Logstash on the master server via an autossh tunnel, where they are stored in Elasticsearch on the master server, or forwarded to storage node’s Elasticsearch instance . From there, the data can be queried through the use of cross-cluster search. If you’re going to deploy Security Onion, you should first decide on what type of deployment you want. This section will discuss what those different deployment types look like from an architecture perspective.

  • When a receiver node joins the grid, Filebeat on all nodes adds this new address as a load balanced Logstash output.
  • This is bloody stupid, especially as VPCs are global, and means that a device with two interfaces must reside in two VPCs even if the second one provides nothing beyond the existence of the interface.
  • However, instead of Filebeat sending logs directly to Elasticsearch, it sends them to Logstash, which sends them to Redis for queuing.
  • You need to take care when calculating the volume of traffic on your network because this is used to determine the number of CPU cores, how much RAM, hard drive capacity, and network cards brand, model, and quantity you’ll need.
  • Unlike rule-based systems that look for needles in the haystack of data, Zeek says, “Here’s all your data and this is what I’ve seen.

Hardening OpenSSH might mean that you can’t access the sensor via SSH after the reboot (cloud instances, especially, as the cloud-provider’s SSH default settings and certs may no longer be accepted by the sensor). Either check and adjust sshd settings on the sensor, allow username/password authentication or, better, add your own public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys for the account you log on with. Create fw rules that permit ssh to the sensor’s management interface in the Monitoring VPC/network (and http/https if the sensor is actually an eval or stand-alone Security Onion instance). It appears that the ‘sniffing’ interface of a NW sensor must reside in a dedicated subnet within the same VPC as the traffic that needs to be monitored. There are ways to peer VPC etc to end up with an equivalent architecture, but the concept seems to be that if the sniffing interface is in the same subnet as clients/servers to be monitored, the architecture doesn’t work. Reboot, run Setup again, chooseProduction Mode, chooseNew Deployment, and enable network sensor services.

High-level architecture

Last, similar to before, users can run a standalone, which combines the functions of a master server, forward node, and storage node. This type of deployment is typically used for testing, labs, POCs, or very low-throughput environments. The Receiver Node runs Logstash and Redis and allows for events to continue to be processed by search nodes in the event the manager node is offline. When a receiver node joins the grid, Filebeat on all nodes adds this new address as a load balanced Logstash output. Receiver nodes are “active-active” and you can add as many as you want and events will be balanced among them.

security onion architecture

If you’re in the low to medium traffic volume range save the money and go with a non-Intel network card. The Intel cards have enough processing power where it can handle TCP offloading which can reduce CPU load. I’m using two Netgear ProSafe GS748T’s which have a monitoring tab and a “Switch Statistics” link where you can see the packet volume for the switch.


Also, if that is the thing that you’re searching for, you’ll never discover it. We’ll use best practices to tune Security Onion components for optimal performance including metadata, signatures, packet capture retention, packet loss, and backend applications. System architecture based on a centralized service hosted by a server and several agents installed in the devices that need to be monitored.

security onion architecture

Kibana incorporates the capacity to pivot to full packet catch and dive into the points of interest of a presumed security incident. Sguil posses a graphic interface which allows the access to the security alerts, the data capture, and the session data. An import node is a single standalone box that runs just enough components to be able to import pcap files using so-import-pcap or evtx files using so-import-evtx. Guillaume Ross is an experienced information security professional, providing services to many organizations as the lead consultant and founder of Caffeine Security Inc. Having worked in multiple verticals, from Fortune 50 to startups, his specialty is providing the right security program and architecture for each specific environment and company, and leading blue teams.

Node Types

The intent is to introduce these modules across computing disciplines, and throughout the undergraduate years to ensure a greater understanding of security issues among diverse computing majors. Abstract Guaranteeing the safety of computers connected to the Internet is a challenging task. Despite the efforts of contemporary security software, the threat remains due to the incapability of existing software to predict and prevent the variance of attacks. Set up a tcp / udp load-balancer with its front-end in the clients network and its backend being the instance group set up above. Centos must be up to date and the latest SO pulled via git BEFORE starting the installation. If all else fails or things have got screwed up by previous attempts at installation, running ‘yum clean all’ resets the repos.

security onion architecture

You can move the Attacker from the Internet network zone to the Internal network zone to see the effect of for instance a phishing attack. Furthermore, the Egg type of architecture is only resistant to external attacks. If we look at other attack scenarios, only the Onion architecture will make the life of the attacker hard while the Egg type of architecture will be more or less a walk in the park. If the same situation should happen to the Onion type of architecture, compromising the Payment validator service takes 355 days.

This includes configuration for heavy nodes and storage nodes , but not forward nodes, as they do not run Elastic Stack components. An analyst connects to the server from a client workstation to execute queries and retrieve data. This means that a standard distributed deployment is now comprised of the master server, one or more forward nodes (previously called a sensor — runs sensor components), and one or more storage nodes . This architecture is ideal; while it may cost more upfront, this architecture provides for greater scalability and performance down the line, as one can simply “snap in” new storage nodes to handle more traffic or log sources. Network security monitoring is a skill that is at the core of the broad set of skills security professionals can master to prevent, detect, and respond to attacks which are so common today. In this course, Network Security Monitoring with Security Onion, you will learn about network security monitoring as well as how to use Security Onion to perform network security monitoring.

Intrusion Detection Honeypot (IDH) Node¶

You do NOT need to run Setup in the Analyst VM since this VM won’t be running any services, only applications such asSguil,Wireshark,NetworkMiner, and a web browser. This documentation is also available in PDF format atreadthedocs/projects/securityonion/downloads/pdf/ latest/. If you are viewing an offline version of this documentation but have Internet access, you might want to switch to the online version atsecurityonion/docs to see the latest version. If each one of those alternatives makes the choice loss of paralysis, the site flaunts that the “simple to-utilise wizard setup permits you to assemble a multitude of dispersed sensors for your undertaking in minutes! From architecture and hardware planning to step-by-step remote deployment, our team will be there to help you with your Security Onion infrastructure at any scale. As an early adopter of Security Onion, Josh has deployed and used Security Onion in a number of different environments.

security onion architecture

This section also covers the various processes that Security Onion uses to analyze and log network traffic. In this module, we will look at different analyst tools that can be used for dissecting packets and analyzing network data. We will also delve into the Analyst VM, which includes tools such as NetworkMiner, Wireshark etc. Since the introduction of traffic mirroring in common cloud environments , it has been possible to build cloud-sensors to capture network traffic in cloud environments.

Half of the storage capacity is used for ELSA, and the other half is used for packet captures. If you use a 1 TB drive for my network, you’ll be able to store about four days worth of logs and packet captures. You need to figure out what the number of days for retention is by capacity, then double it. In this section, we will discuss the different logs generated by our network monitoring setup.

Deployment Types

The materials within this course focus on the Knowledge Skills and Abilities identified within the Specialty Areas listed below. Click to view Specialty Area details within the interactive National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. We monitor all AWS Marketplace reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary. To browse Academia.edu and the wider internet faster and more securely, please take a few seconds toupgrade your browser.

We will see how to install Security Onion and also explore each of the tools described in this lesson. Below are several diagrams to represent the current architecture and deployment scenarios for Security Onion and the Elastic Stack. Security Onion includes an Intrusion Detection Honeypot Node option. This allows you to build a node that onion architecture mimics common services such as HTTP, FTP, and SSH. Any interaction with these fake services will automatically result in an alert. If the Manager Node was originally setup with FleetDM, your grid will automatically switch over to using the FleetDM Standalone Node instead as a grid can only have one FleetDM instance active at a time.

Similar to Security Onion: Watching for Leeks (

If you have full packet capture and ELSA enabled you’ll need a lot of storage that is local. It’s not a good idea to use a SAN, NAS, FibreChannel, or iSCSI because it’s a single point of failure and has the potential to be a bottleneck. 128GB to 256GB or more for deployments with the traffic volume of 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Below are several diagrams to represent the current architecture and deployment scenarios for Security Onion on the Elastic Stack. Set up a policy to mirror traffic from the clients network, or specific servers within the clients network, to the load-balancer front-end. GCP insists on routing the default gateway via the first interface .

Heavy nodes are NOT recommended for most users due to performance reasons, and should only be used for testing purposes or in low-throughput environments. However, instead of Filebeat sending logs directly to Elasticsearch, it sends them to Logstash, which sends them to Redis for queuing. A second Logstash pipeline pulls the logs out of Redis and sends them to Elasticsearch, where they are parsed and indexed. Abstract—In response to societal change and national educational objectives, a holistic, modular approach to Cybersecurity education is presented in this paper. This approach is characterized by a set of reusable, self-contained modules that can be embedded in existing classes in several computing disciplines.

This is bloody stupid, especially as VPCs are global, and means that a device with two interfaces must reside in two VPCs even if the second one provides nothing beyond the existence of the interface. Many high-level concepts are applicable to other cloud providers, but it cannot be assumed that the steps set out in this document will work in AWS or Azure. Analysts around the world are using Security Onion today for many differentuse casesandarchitectures. The Security Onion Setup wizard allows you to easily configure the best installation scenario to suit your needs. CapMe, originally developed by Paul Halliday, allows you to view PCAP transcripts and download full PCAP files.


Consists of a single server running master server components, sensor, and Elastic stack components. Security Onion can add search nodes using cross cluster search where each search node is independent or using traditional Elastic clustering where all search nodes join to form a single cluster. We have certified partners around the globe and are proud to be an AWS Select Partner. If you’re deploying the master server and sensor configuration most of your hardware expense is going to go into the sensors. If you’re evaluating SO, all you’ll need is 3GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores. The primary purpose of the evaluation is to familiarize yourself with the setup steps, options, and values if you’re new to SO, so once you’re ready for a production installation, it’ll be a breeze.

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