Internet Society introduces MANRS initiative to improve the resilience and security of the routing infrastructure

The Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative, supported by the Internet Society, announced an Equipment Vendor Program to help reduce the most common threats to the Internet’s routing system.

Founding participants in this new MANRS Program include global leaders in network equipment Arista, Cisco, Huawei, Juniper, and Nokia, with others expected to join soon.

The security of the Internet depends on routing security. Systemic issues that arise from how traffic is routed make the Internet vulnerable to abuse, attacks, and errors. Through technical and collaborative action, MANRS helps networks take crucial steps to decrease route hijacking, route leaks, and IP address spoofing.

Network equipment vendors provide business-grade products and services to communication service providers such as fixed or mobile operators, Internet exchange points (IXPs), and enterprise customers. Improving security controls for their products, such as routers and switches, and making them easy to configure enables their customers worldwide to route Internet traffic securely by default.

The MANRS Equipment Vendor Program provides best practices for all network equipment vendors. Participants agree to specific actions to improve the resilience and security of the routing infrastructure. By joining, they agree to the baseline of routing security defined by a set of two actions and a commitment:

  • Equipment vendors agree to provide security features network operators can use to implement MANRS recommendations such as preventing incorrect routing information and IP address spoofing.
  • Participants agree to promote MANRS through training and technical content.
  • They also agree to actively participate in the MANRS community to advise members, develop solutions, and contribute to routing security resources.

“Having five of the leading network equipment vendors in the world working together with the MANRS community to launch the new Equipment Vendor Program demonstrates the importance of routing security in making the Internet safe for business and consumers alike,” said Andrei Robachevsky, Senior Director, Technology Programs for the Internet Society. “These founding participants are leading by example to improve routing security and hopefully will motivate the entire Internet infrastructure community to make the Internet more secure for everyone.”

Collaboration and shared responsibility are key to the success of MANRS. The new Equipment Vendor Program is the latest in a series of programs established by MANRS including, the MANRS IXP Program in 2018 and the CDN & Cloud Program in 2020. To date, over 600 network operators, IXPs, and content delivery network (CDN) and cloud providers have signed on. By joining, these companies are showing their commitment to securing the fabric of the Internet.

“For Arista, security is a key attribute of our overall solution, starting at the routing perimeter for worldwide Internet resiliency. As a global industry leader in cloud networking, we want to take part in the efforts to secure the Internet as well,” said Ashwin Kohli, Senior Vice President, Customer Engineering for Arista Networks. “MANRS is providing great guidelines to achieve that goal and Arista Networks is proud to be a founding participant of the MANRS vendor program.”

“At Cisco, security is ingrained in everything we do. We believe earning customer trust is about being transparent and accountable as we strive to connect more people and businesses to the Internet securely,” said Kevin Wollenweber, Vice President of Networking, Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “With the state of hybrid work and so many applications running on service provider router platforms, we continuously update our network OS across platforms to help our customers mitigate advanced and persistent threats. As a founding member of the equipment vendor program, we look forward to collaborating with the broader community to drive network security innovation.”

Hank Chen, President of Metro Router domain of Data Communication Product Line, Huawei says: “Routing security is crucial to Internet security, and that includes network devices (e.g., routers and IXP switches), the foundation of the Internet. Over the years, Huawei has dedicated itself to building secure and reliable network devices and has extensive capabilities and experience in the field. Huawei is honored to join MANRS as an active contributor to Internet security.”

“With a greater reliance on the Internet now more than ever, it’s crucial that the Internet is stable and offers secure and trusted methods to connect users. It is the responsibility of the global community to work together to ensure that the ecosystem forming the Internet works well and is protected against threat actors. Juniper Networks is a proud supporter of the MANRS program and will continue to strive for a better internet in today’s connected world,” says Melchior Aelmans, Consulting Engineer, Juniper Networks.

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