A jump host, jumpbox or secure administrative host is a (special-purpose) computer on a network typically used to manage devices in a separate security zone. The most common example is managing a host in a DMZ from trusted networks or computers.
A jump host is a hardened and monitored device that spans two dissimilar security zones and provides a controlled way of access between them. User access should be tightly controlled and monitored.
A jump host is a potential risk in a network's design. There are several ways of improving the security of the jump host, including:
- Using higher security authentication, such as multi-factor authentication.
- Keeping the operating system and software on the jump server up to date.
- Using ACLs to restrict access to only the people that require it.
- Do not allow outbound access to the rest of the internet from the jump server.
- Restrict which programs can be run on the jump server.
- Enable strong logging.
- Supervise user input and store terminal input as audit trails.