Table of contents

Wifi security policy

Introduction

This policy gives an overview of wireless networking (wifi) security principles and responsibilities within the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

To help identify formal policy statements, each is prefixed with an identifier of the form: POL.WIFI.xxx, where xxx is a unique ID number.

Audience

This policy is aimed at:

  • Technical users

    These are in-house MoJ Digital and Technology staff who are responsible for implementing controls throughout technical design, development, system integration, and operation. This includes DevOps, Software Developers, Technical Architects, and Service Owners. It also includes Incident Managers from the Event, Problem, Incident, CSI, and Knowledge (EPICK) Team.

  • Service Providers

    Any other MoJ business group, agency, contractor, IT supplier, and partner who in any way designs, develops or supplies services, including processing, transmitting,and storing data for, or on behalf of, the MoJ.

  • General users

    All other staff working for the MoJ.

“All MoJ users” refers to General users, Technical users, and Service Providers, as defined previously.

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to define a set of security requirements for MoJ wifi networks, based on industry good practices and our local requirements.

POL.WIFI.001: Any exceptions to the policy shall be managed through the MoJ’s security risk management process.

Applicability

This policy applies to all MoJ owned or managed wifi networks provided for any purpose. It also applies to the use of third-party wifi networks by MoJ devices which handle Official information, for example staff end user computing devices.

MoJ wifi networks

POL.WIFI.002: Each MoJ wifi network shall have a defined policy which is reviewed at least annually, that describes:

  • The purpose of the wifi network.

  • The intended users of the wifi network.

  • The Service Owner of the wifi network.

  • The access controls that are applied to ensure that only those intended users can connect to the wifi network.

  • User and administrator responsibilities for maintaining the security of the wifi network.

  • Who has authority to expand or alter the wifi network.

  • Logging and monitoring requirements and responsibilities for the wifi network.

General security requirements

The following statements apply to all MoJ-provided wifi networks.

POL.WIFI.003: Wifi networks shall not be treated as extensions of trusted LANs or WANs.

POL.WIFI.004: Wifi networks shall be treated as untrusted bearers for the purposes of application security.

POL.WIFI.005: All products used in an MoJ wifi network shall support WPA2-Enterprise.

POL.WIFI.006: CCMP shall be used to protect the confidentiality and integrity of information transmitted over the wifi network.

POL.WIFI.007: Other wifi security modes (such as WEP) shall not be enabled.

POL.WIFI.008: All products used in MoJ wifi networks shall support certificate-based authentication.

POL.WIFI.009: On MoJ wireless networks, isolation between wifi clients should be enabled. Where there is no requirement for devices to communicate directly, isolation shall be enabled.

POL.WIFI.010: MoJ wireless networks should use a DNS resolver that chains to the Protective Domain Name Service (PDNS) service.

POL.WIFI.011: All MoJ wireless networking equipment shall be kept patched and secure, whether connecting to MoJ wifi services or GovWifi.

POL.WIFI.012: All management of MoJ Wireless networking equipment shall be undertaken in compliance with the Privileged User Access Guide and any relevant Security Operating Procedures (SyOPS).

MoJ enterprise wifi networks

Note: MoJ enterprise wifi networks are those used solely for MoJ users and devices.

POL.WIFI.013: Pre-Shared Keys (PSKs) may be used for user or device authentication.

POL.WIFI.014: PSKs shall be unique per user or device.

POL.WIFI.015: PSKs shall only be implemented with prior agreement from the cyber security team

POL.WIFI.016: PSKs shall be changed at least once a year.

POL.WIFI.017: EAP-PSK should be used.

POL.WIFI.018: In higher-threat situations such as in a prison location where any unauthorised use of the Wireless network would constitute a security incident, mutually-authenticated authentication based on certificates shall be used.

POL.WIFI.019: EAP-TLS or EAP-TTLS should be used.

POL.WIFI.020: Where user or device groups have differing functions, PKI trust domains should be defined and used to maintain functional separation.

MoJ special-purpose wifi networks

POL.WIFI.021: If MoJ devices, including IoT or legacy devices, cannot meet the general security policy requirements, or if there are non-security reasons for segregating traffic onto different SSIDs, then dedicated MoJ wifi networks may be created.

POL.WIFI.022: These dedicated networks may have reduced authentication controls, for example a shared PSK or a reduced ability to rotate PSKs due to form-factor limitations.

POL.WIFI.023: In such circumstances, special care shall be taken to ensure that the general network architecture and other security controls constrain network connectivity for clients. The constraints limit network connectivity to the minimum required for them to function properly.

POL.WIFI.024: Other mechanisms such as MAC filtering should be used to reduce the chance of misuse.

MoJ guest wifi networks

Due to complexities and management effort involved in running wifi solutions, the MoJ preference is to utilise the cross-Government GovWifi service: https://www.wifi.service.gov.uk/.

This also has the benefit of being available across HMG Departments and Agencies. GovWifi has a level of pre-registration, monitoring and filtering in place to protect the users. However, GovWifi does not provide enterprise level security functions. GovWifi users are required to maintain their own security controls. For MoJ users of GovWifi connections, this means using the MoJ-provided VPN services when accessing protected MoJ services.

POL.WIFI.025: Any considerations for not using GovWifi in an MoJ guest wifi network shall be discussed and agreed beforehand with the cyber security team.

POL.WIFI.026: Where GovWifi cannot be used, or where an existing guest wifi service exists,the following shall be in place:

  • Regular rotation of the passphrase, with agreement from the Security team. Normally, this requires a fresh and unique passphrase each day.

  • Filtering and Monitoring for known ‘bad-sites’ and threats shall be in place at the network level.

  • Guests wishing to utilise the service shall first register for access, and can then be provided with the passphrase for that day.

Logging and monitoring

POL.WIFI.027: Security monitoring for MoJ wireless networks shall be implemented, in accordance with the MoJ security monitoring policy.

POL.WIFI.028: Security logging shall be enabled to record activity such as client access events, authentication successes and failures, client association history, and relevant information about devices and users attempting to connect to the wireless network.

POL.WIFI.029: In higher threat environments, security logging should also include identification of rogue access points, and logging of all attempted associations with the wifi network.

POL.WIFI.030: For MoJ guest wifi networks, but not including GovWifi, audit logs of sites accessed shall be retained for at least 6 months, including authentication details. This data is held to allow forensic analysis of data in the case of a security incident. No personal information except that required to conduct the analysis is logged or retained.

Using third-party wifi

POL.WIFI.031: MoJ staff shall ensure they have permission from the network owner before using wifi that is not operated by the MoJ.

POL.WIFI.032: Staff should take reasonable precautions to check that their home wifi network is secure.

POL.WIFI.033: Staff may use work-provided mobile phones to ‘tether’ their MoJ-provided devices for connectivity.

POL.WIFI.034: Tethered connections shall be password protected using unique and complex passwords.

POL.WIFI.035: Tethering passwords for MoJ devices shall not be shared with non-MoJ users.

POL.WIFI.036: Public wifi networks or guest wifi provided at third-party sites shall only be used by devices which have suitable encryption for MoJ Official information. Here, ‘suitable’ means either an ‘always-on full-take’ VPN, or that provides appropriate application-level encryption for all services. This is currently (October 2021) limited to Dom1 and PTTP/MoJO laptops and mobile devices.

POL.WIFI.037: Staff travelling overseas shall follow the guidance on Accessing MoJ IT systems from overseas and taking equipment overseas regarding the use of wifi or other networks.

Enforcement

This policy is enforced by lower level policies, standards, procedures, and guidance.

Non-conformance with this policy could result in disciplinary action taken in accordance with the MoJ’s disciplinary procedures. This could result in penalties up to and including dismissal. If an employee commits a criminal offence, they might also be prosecuted. In such cases, the department always cooperates with the relevant authorities, and provides appropriate evidence.

Incidents

Note: If you work for an agency or ALB, refer to your local incident reporting guidance.

Security Team

Contact details

For any further questions or advice relating to security, contact: security@justice.gov.uk.

Feedback

If you have any questions or comments about this guidance, such as suggestions for improvements, please contact: itpolicycontent@digital.justice.gov.uk.