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Compliant Product - Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3560 Wired Access Switches running IOS 15.2

Certificate Date:  2018.11.29

Validation Report Number:  CCEVS-VR-VID10905-2018

Product Type:    Network Device

Conformance Claim:  Protection Profile Compliant

PP Identifier:    collaborative Protection Profile for Network Devices Version 2.0 + Errata 20180314

CC Testing Lab:  Gossamer Security Solutions

CC Certificate [PDF] Security Target [PDF] Validation Report [PDF]

Assurance Activity [PDF]

Administrative Guide [PDF]

Product Description

The TOE is the Cisco Catalyst Switches 2960CX, 2960X, 2960XR and 3560CX running IOS 15.2 (herein after referred to as Cat2K/3K WAS). The TOE is a purpose-built, switching and routing platform with OSI Layer2 and Layer3 traffic filtering capabilities. The TOE is a switching and routing platform used to construct IP networks by interconnecting multiple smaller networks or network segments. As a Layer2 switch, it performs analysis of incoming frames, makes forwarding decisions based on information contained in the frames, and forwards the frames toward the destination. As a Layer3 switch/router, it supports routing of traffic based on tables identifying available routes, conditions, distance, and costs to determine the best route for a given packet.  Cisco IOS software is a Cisco-developed highly configurable proprietary operating system that provides for efficient and effective switching and routing. Although IOS performs many networking functions, this evaluation only addresses the functions that provide for the security of the TOE itself as described below.

Evaluated Configuration

The TOE is the Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3560 Wired Access Switches running IOS 15.2.  The TOE is comprised of both software and hardware.  The hardware is comprised of the following 2960CX, 2960X, 2960XR and 3560CX models:

  • 2960CX-8TC-L and 2960CX-8PC-L
  • WS-C2960X-24TD-L, WS-C2960X-24TS-L, WS-C2960XR-24TS-I and WS-C2960XR-24PS-L
  • 3560CX-8TC-S, 3560CX-12TC-S, 3560CX-8PC-S, 3560CX-12PC-S and 3560CX-12PD-S

 The software is comprised of the Universal Cisco Internet Operating System (IOS) software image Release IOS 15.2.

Security Evaluation Summary

The evaluation was carried out in accordance to the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS) requirements and guidance.  The criteria against which the TOE was judged are described in the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation, Version 3.1, Revision 4, September 2012. The evaluation methodology used by the evaluation team to conduct the evaluation is the Common Methodology for Information Technology Security Evaluation, Evaluation Methodology, Version 3.1, Revision 4, July 2012.    The product, when delivered and configured as identified in the Cisco Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3560 Series Wired Access Switches running IOS 15.2 Common Criteria Operational User Guidance and Preparative Procedures, Version 1.0, 11/16/2018 document, satisfies all of the security functional requirements stated in the Cisco Catalyst 2960 and 3560 Series Wired Access Switches running IOS 15.2 Common Criteria Security Target, Version 1.0, 11/16/2018.  The project underwent CCEVS Validator review.  The evaluation was completed in December 2018.  Results of the evaluation can be found in the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme Validation Report prepared by CCEVS.

Environmental Strengths

Environmental Strengths:

The logical boundaries of the TOE are realized in the security functions that it implements. Each of these security functions is summarized below.

Security audit:

The Cisco Catalyst 2K/3K WAS provides extensive auditing capabilities. The TOE generates a comprehensive set of audit logs that identify specific TOE operations. For each event, the TOE records the date and time of each event, the type of event, the subject identity, and the outcome of the event. Auditable events include:


  • failure on invoking cryptographic functionality such as establishment, termination and failure of cryptographic session establishments and connections;
  • modifications to the group of users that are part of the authorized administrator roles;
  • all use of the user identification mechanism;
  • any use of the authentication mechanism;
  • Administrator lockout due to excessive authentication failures;
  • any change in the configuration of the TOE;
  • changes to time;
  • initiation of TOE update;
  • indication of completion of TSF self-test;
  • maximum sessions being exceeded;
  • termination of a remote session;
  • attempts to unlock a termination session; and
  • initiation and termination of a trusted channel.   

The TOE is configured to transmit its audit messages to an external syslog server. Communication with the syslog server is protected using IPsec and the TOE can determine when communication with the syslog server fails.  If that should occur, the TOE can be configured to block new permit actions. 

The audit logs can be viewed on the TOE using the appropriate IOS commands.  The records include the date/time the event occurred, the event/type of event, the user associated with the event, and additional information of the event and its success and/or failure.  The TOE does not have an interface to modify audit records, though there is an interface available for the authorized administrator to clear audit data stored locally on the TOE.

Cryptographic support:

The TOE provides cryptography in support of other Cisco Cat2K/3K WAS security functionality.  The IOS software calls the IOS Common Cryptographic Module (IC2M) Rel5 (Firmware Version: Rel 5) certificate 2388 and has been validated for conformance to the requirements of FIPS 140-2 Level 1.

The TOE provides cryptography in support of remote administrative management via SSHv2 and IPsec to secure the transmission of audit records to the remote syslog server. In addition, IPsec is used to secure the session between the TOE and the authentication servers. The cryptographic services provided by the TOE are described in the table below.

TOE Provided Cryptography

Cryptographic Method

Use within the TOE


Used to encrypt IPsec session traffic.

Used to encrypt SSH session traffic.


Used for keyed hash, integrity services in SSH session establishment.


Used as the Key exchange method for SSH

Internet Key Exchange

Used to establish initial IPsec session.


Used to provide key exchange method

Secure Shell Establishment

Used to establish initial SSH session.

RSA Signature Services

Used in IPsec session establishment.

Used in SSH session establishment.

X.509 certificate signing.

SP 800-90A DRBG

Used for random number generation, key generation and seeds to asymmetric key generation

Used in IPsec session establishment.

Used in SSH session establishment.


Used to provide IPsec traffic integrity verification

Used to provide SSH traffic integrity verification

Identification and authentication:

The TOE performs two types of authentication: device-level authentication of the remote device and user authentication for the Authorized Administrator of the TOE.  Device-level authentication allows the TOE to establish a secure channel with a trusted peer.  The secure channel is established only after each device authenticates the other.  Device-level authentication is performed via IKE/IPsec mutual authentication.  The IKE phase authentication for the IPsec communication channel between the TOE and authentication server and between the TOE and syslog server is considered part of the Identification and Authentication security functionality of the TOE.  

The TOE provides authentication services for administrative users to connect to the TOEs secure CLI administrator interface.  The TOE requires Authorized Administrators to authenticate prior to being granted access to any of the management functionality.  The TOE can be configured to require a minimum password length of 15 characters as well as mandatory password complexity rules.  The TOE provides administrator authentication against a local user database.  Password-based authentication can be performed on the serial console or SSHv2 secured connection.    The TOE supports use of a RADIUS AAA server (part of the IT Environment) for authentication of administrative users attempting to connect to the TOE’s CLI.

The TOE also provides an automatic lockout when a user attempts to authenticate and enters invalid information.  When the threshold for a defined number of authentication attempts fail has exceeded the configured allowable attempts, the user is locked out until an authorized administrator can enable the user account. 

The TOE uses X.509v3 certificates as defined by RFC 5280 to support authentication for IPsec.

Security management:

The TOE provides secure administrative services for management of general TOE configuration and the security functionality provided by the TOE.  All TOE administration occurs either through a secure SSHv2 secured connection with the TOE acting as SSH server or via a local console connection.  The TOE provides the ability to securely manage:

  • Administration of the TOE locally and remotely;
  • Configuration of warning and consent access banners;
  • Configuration of session inactivity thresholds;
  • Updates of the TOE software;
  • Configuration of authentication failures;
  • Configuration of the audit functions of the TOE;
  • Configuration of the TOE provided services; and
  • Configuration of the cryptographic functionality of the TOE.

The TOE supports two separate administrator roles: non-privileged administrator and privileged administrator.  Only the privileged administrator can perform the above security relevant management functions.  The privileged administrator is the Authorized Administrator of the TOE who has the ability to enable, disable, determine and modify the behavior of all of the security functions of the TOE as described in this document.

Protection of the TSF:

The TOE protects against interference and tampering by untrusted subjects by implementing identification, authentication, and access controls to limit configuration to Authorized Administrators.  The TOE prevents reading of cryptographic keys and passwords.  Additionally, Cisco IOS is not a general-purpose operating system and access to Cisco IOS memory space is restricted to only Cisco IOS functions.

The TOE internally maintains the date and time.  This date and time is used as the timestamp that is applied to audit records generated by the TOE.  Administrators can update the TOE’s clock manually.  Finally, the TOE performs testing to verify correct operation of the switch itself and that of the cryptographic module.

The TOE is able to verify any software updates prior to the software updates being installed on the TOE to avoid the installation of unauthorized software.

TOE access:

The TOE can terminate inactive sessions after an Authorized Administrator configurable time-period.  Once a session has been terminated the TOE requires the user to re-authenticate to establish a new session. 

The TOE can also display an Authorized Administrator specified banner on the CLI management interface prior to allowing any administrative access to the TOE.

Trusted path/channels:

The TOE allows trusted channels to be established to itself from remote administrators that is SSHv2 secured connection, and initiates outbound IPsec tunnels to transmit audit messages to remote syslog servers.  In addition, IPsec is used to secure the session between the TOE and the authentication servers. 

Vendor Information

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Alicia Squires
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