Firepower Connection Test

The Cisco Firepower is typically pre-configured with the maximum number of connections it can handle – a limit that is pre-set based on the size of the network the firewall is designed to support. If the number of connections flowing through the firewall suddenly grows close to this limit, it could signal a problem condition that may require the immediate attention of the administrator! Such problems may be anything from an excessive spam to a mail server or a malicious virus attack on any application inside the network! To help administrators quickly capture such anomalous conditions and promptly investigate their reasons, the eG agent periodically runs this test. This test reports the average number of connections configuration of the firewall, if the average increasing very fast the administrators will be the first to know. This way, administrators can be proactively alerted to probable virus attacks/spams and initiate measures to protect their network from harm.

Target of the test : A Cisco Firepower device

Agent deploying the test : An external agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the Cisco Firepower device that is to be monitored.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The IP address of the target server that is being monitored.

Data Over TCP

By default, in an IT environment, all data transmission occurs over UDP. Some environments however, may be specifically configured to offload a fraction of the data traffic – for instance, certain types of data traffic or traffic pertaining to specific components – to other protocols like TCP, so as to prevent UDP overloads. In such environments, you can instruct the eG agent to conduct the SNMP data traffic related to the monitored target over TCP (and not UDP). For this, set this flag to Yes. By default, this flag is set to No.

Timeout

Specify the duration (in seconds) within which the SNMP query executed by this test should time out in this text box. The default is 10 seconds.

SNMPPort

The port at which the monitored target exposes its SNMP MIB; the default is 161.

SNMPVersion

By default, the eG agent supports SNMP version 1. Accordingly, the default selection in the SNMPversion list is v1. However, if a different SNMP framework is in use in your environment, say SNMP v2 or v3, then select the corresponding option from this list.

Context

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPVERSION. An SNMP context is a collection of management information accessible by an SNMP entity. An item of management information may exist in more than one context and an SNMP entity potentially has access to many contexts. A context is identified by the SNMPEngineID value of the entity hosting the management information (also called a contextEngineID) and a context name that identifies the specific context (also called a contextName). If the Username provided is associated with a context name, then the eG agent will be able to poll the MIB and collect metrics only if it is configured with the context name as well. In such cases therefore, specify the context name of the Username in the Context text box.  By default, this parameter is set to none.

Username

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) is an extensible SNMP Framework which supplements the SNMPv2 Framework, by additionally supporting message security, access control, and remote SNMP configuration capabilities. To extract performance statistics from the MIB using the highly secure SNMP v3 protocol, the eG agent has to be configured with the required access privileges – in other words, the eG agent should connect to the MIB using the credentials of a user with access permissions to be MIB. Therefore, specify the name of such a user against this parameter. 

Authpass

Specify the password that corresponds to the above-mentioned Username. This parameter once again appears only if the SNMPversion selected is v3.

Confirm Password

Confirm the AuthPass by retyping it here.

AuthType

This parameter too appears only if v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. From the AuthType list box, choose the authentication algorithm using which SNMP v3 converts the specified username and password into a 32-bit format to ensure security of SNMP transactions. You can choose between the following options:

  • MD5 - Message Digest Algorithm
  • SHA - Secure Hash Algorithm
  • SHA224 - Secure Hash Algorithm 224 bit
  • SHA256 - Secure Hash Algorithm 256 bit
  • SHA384 - Secure Hash Algorithm 384 bit
  • SHA512 - Secure Hash Algorithm 512 bit

EncryptFlag

This flag appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. By default, the eG agent does not encrypt SNMP requests. Accordingly, the this flag is set to No by default. To ensure that SNMP requests sent by the eG agent are encrypted, select the Yes option. 

EncryptType

If the EncryptFlag is set to Yes, then you will have to mention the encryption type by selecting an option from the EncryptType list. SNMP v3 supports the following encryption types:

  • DES - Data Encryption Standard
  • 3DES - Triple Data Encryption Standard
  • AES - Advanced Encryption Standard
  • AES128 - Advanced Encryption Standard 128 bit
  • AES192 - Advanced Encryption Standard 192 bit
  • AES256 - Advanced Encryption Standard 256 bit

EncryptPassword

Specify the encryption password here.

Confirm Password

Confirm the encryption password by retyping it here.

EngineID

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPVersion. Sometimes, the test may not report metrics when AES192 or AES256 is chosen as the Encryption type. To ensure that the test report metrics consistently, administrators need to set this flag to Yes. By default, this parameter is set to No.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Average connections

Indicates the average number of connections passed through the to the Cisco Firepower per second.

Connections/sec

If the average number of connections per second is increasing over a number of measurements it could be a spam attack and needs to be investigated.