Before installing Solstice Pods on the enterprise network, certain security baselines should be configured to harden the security of your deployment. This document outlines the Baseline Security Standard (BSS) that Mersive recommends for environments that are security-sensitive. Pods that are not configured properly can be vulnerable to user and network security breaches, including unauthorized user access, screen capture and recording, unauthorized changes to configuration settings, and denial-of-service attacks.
The Pod is a network-attached device that provides straightforward and secure wireless access to existing display infrastructure by leveraging a host IT network. By configuring your Solstice Pod(s) according to these guidelines, users will be able to quickly connect and share content to the displays in Pod-enabled rooms while still maintaining network security standards.
This policy applies to any organization that operates in a security-conscious environment. Small deployments, collaboration hotspots, and open-to-public use of the Pod are perfectly valid, and usually do not require strict adherence to the security baselines outlined in this document, but these steps should be considered for larger, centrally-managed Pod deployments.
Given that the Pod is a network-attached device, IT administration and Network Security should be involved in designing an appropriate deployment. Each deployment can differ based on network configuration specifics and policies. However, the BSS provides an outline for secure deployment that can then be adjusted to meet specific needs.
Table of Contents
Some content in this section was adopted from NIST 800-53, ‘Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations’ and NIST 800-123, ‘Guide to General Server Security’. The section outlines the installation and configuration steps that should be taken prior to enabling a Pod deployment.
This section assumes familiarity with configuration and management of the Pod. We recommend the use of the Solstice Dashboard for both initial configuration and future monitoring of the Pod.
Initial configurations for each of your Pods should take place on a standalone network prior to being deployed on your enterprise network. This will ensure that your Pods are configured to match the security baseline recommendations before being attached to your network. The Solstice Dashboard will need to be installed on a secure Windows host PC or server and run on the same network as the Pods.
- Set up a standalone network.
- Power on the Pod.
- Plug an Ethernet cable into both the standalone configuration network and the Pod. The Pod will receive a local IP address. NOTE: The Pod ships with both DHCP/Ethernet and the unit’s WAP enabled.
- (Optional) You can also configure the Pod without a network using a keyboard and mouse connected directly to the Pod using a USB hub. However, Mersive recommends using the Solstice Dashboard to configure your Pods, as described in the steps below.
- Launch the Solstice Dashboard on the standalone network.
a. Download and install the Dashboard from the Mersive website on your Window host PC or server.
b. Connect the Windows host to the standalone network.
c. Launch the Solstice Dashboard.
- Once the Pods have been deployed on the local network, click the Discover button to import the Pods into your Dashboard. If Pods do not appear, they are on a network that does not support UDP/Broadcast traffic. If this is the case, you can either use the CSV import option or enter them manually. For more import options and instructions, see the Solstice Dashboard User Guide.
Password Protect Configurations
It is important to control access to configuration options to avoid unwarranted changes that could compromise security. This is done by only allowing authenticated users to make changes to configurations in the Solstice Dashboard.
- In the Solstice Dashboard, select all Pods in the deployment.
- Go to the Security
- Enable the Enforce password validation rules Passwords entered the admin field in the dashboard will be subjected to enterprise policy rules to ensure that they do not pose a security risk (i.e. passwords must be at least 8 characters long, contain at least one uppercase and one lowercase letter, no dictionary words, and at least one number or symbol with no three consecutive characters being the same).
- Enter an administrator password. Access to modify the Pods’ configuration options in the Dashboard will now require an administrator password.
- Disable the Allow Local Configuration option to ensure users cannot access configuration settings by connecting a keyboard and mouse to the unit in the room. Note: Administrators that configure a Pod in Dual-Network Mode will have the option to completely disable configuration traffic from one of the networks. This ensures that users on guest or unauthenticated networks can be prevented from configuring the Pod.
- Disable the Allow Browsers to Configure Pod At this point, only authenticated users from the Solstice Dashboard will be able to modify Pod settings.
Set Access Controls
Solstice’s access control settings address runtime security issues related to how users are authenticated and are granted or denied access to share and control content on the Solstice display.
- Select all Pods in the Dashboard and go to the Security
- Select Screen Key Enabled to ensure only users who have line-of-sight to the display and are on a valid network can connect to the display. NOTE: Screen Key is required when Multi-Room is enabled. If the Start/Sync Multi-Room Session enabled checkbox is selected, the Screen Key checkbox will automatically be selected.
- Enable the Encrypt Client/Server Communications on the same configuration tab. This ensures that all Solstice traffic on the network is encrypted. Additionally, once encryption is enabled, third-party devices leveraging the Solstice OpenControl API will need to authenticate with Pods using the administrator password before they can interface/interact with your Solstice endpoints.
Configure Network Settings
The Solstice Pod supports secure access to two independent, onboard network interfaces. Each is configured independently and uses its own routing table, supporting secure simultaneous access to the Pod from two segmented networks (for example, from a corporate and a guest network). When this dual-network configuration is chosen, the Firewall feature should be enabled.
- In the Dashboard, select all the Pods in your list of Solstice instances.
- Go to the Network
- Configure the Ethernet settings (recommended) and/or wireless settings to establish connectivity to your enterprise network. Consult the Network Deployment Guide for more detail on how to select and set up the configuration that supports your network topology.
- In the Display Discovery section, disable Broadcast display name on the network.
- If you implemented a dual-network configuration in step 3 (i.e. configured both ethernet and wireless network settings) and you wish to isolate network traffic to the two independent network interfaces, select the Block all traffic between wired and wireless networks option under Firewall Settings.
Pod Installation Guidelines
Because the Pod does not store user credential information, unencrypted passwords, or users’ data that has been shared to the display, the physical Pods do not have to be located in secure locations. However, other considerations related to theft and environmental conditions should be considered.
- Select an appropriate physical mounting solution for the Pod that cannot be detached. Consider the use of mounting locks and/or hidden VESA mounting systems behind the display. Specific mounting orientation is not an important factor as the Pod is operational in any orientation.
- Ensure that appropriate environmental controls have been taken into account. The device should operate within an ambient temperature range of 0° C (32° F) to 35° C (95° F). This may require ventilation or active airflow. Solstice Pods should never be stacked on top of each other.
- The Pod should not be mounted in direct contact with a surface that exceeds 30° C (86° F).
Ongoing Baseline Security Practices
Once your Pods have been deployed, it is important to monitor your deployment for continued security.
Sign up for Security Alerts
Ensure the appropriate security and administration personnel have registered their email addresses with Mersive. Security alerts, if needed, will be emailed to those users. Visit our ‘Downloads’ page and click the Notification sign up button under ‘Stay up to date’ to sign up and begin receiving alerts.
Software Updates for your Deployment
Periodic and scheduled monitoring of the available updates is recommended. Visit the Licensing tab and select Check for Updates. Read the update release notes to make sure that an update isn’t related to a security vulnerability. These issues will be marked with a boldface Security marker in the release notes. If a security update is found, apply the update using the Solstice update mechanism. For more information on the different Solstice update mechanisms, see Options for Updating Solstice Pods to the Latest Software Version.
Monitor your Deployment
If you have Enterprise Edition Pods with current Solstice Subscription on version 3.4 or later, you can monitor the health of your deployment using Kepler. To begin using Kepler, simply create a Kepler account and onboard your Pods using the Solstice Dashboard. For more information on getting started with Kepler, see How to Set Up Your Kepler Account.
Standard monitoring of the Security Configuration Baseline is recommended. This can be accomplished through the OpenControl API protocol. We recommend that security audits are performed periodically via the OpenControl protocol, enabling the auditor to connect to a Pod, capture its settings, and compare them to the Configuration Baseline.