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Security Checklist

This document provides a list of security measures that you should implement to protect your MongoDB installation. The list is not meant to be exhaustive.

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  • Create a user administrator first, then create additional users. Create a unique MongoDB user for each person/application that accesses the system.

  • Follow the principle of least privilege. Create roles that define the exact access rights required by a set of users. Then create users and assign them only the roles they need to perform their operations. A user can be a person or a client application.

    Note

    A user can have privileges across different databases. If a user requires privileges on multiple databases, create a single user with roles that grant applicable database privileges instead of creating the user multiple times in different databases.

  • Configure MongoDB to use TLS/SSL for all incoming and outgoing connections. Use TLS/SSL to encrypt communication between mongod and mongos components of a MongoDB deployment as well as between all applications and MongoDB.

    MongoDB uses the native TLS/SSL OS libraries:

    Platform
    TLS/SSL Library
    Windows
    Secure Channel (Schannel)
    Linux/BSD
    OpenSSL
    macOS
    Secure Transport
  • You can encrypt data in the storage layer with the WiredTiger storage engine's native Encryption at Rest.

  • If you are not using WiredTiger's encryption at rest, MongoDB data should be encrypted on each host using file-system, device, or physical encryption (for example dm-crypt). You should also protect MongoDB data using file-system permissions. MongoDB data includes data files, configuration files, auditing logs, and key files.

  • You can use Client-Side Field Level Encryption to encrypt fields in documents application-side prior to transmitting data over the wire to the server.

  • Collect logs to a central log store. These logs contain database authentication attempts including source IP addresses.

  • Ensure that MongoDB runs in a trusted network environment and configure firewall or security groups to control inbound and outbound traffic for your MongoDB instances.

  • Disable direct SSH root access.

  • Allow only trusted clients to access the network interfaces and ports on which MongoDB instances are available.

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  • Track access and changes to database configurations and data. MongoDB Enterprise includes a system auditing facility that can record system events (including user operations and connection events) on a MongoDB instance. These audit records permit forensic analysis and allow administrators to exercise proper controls. You can set up filters to record only specific events, such as authentication events.

  • Run MongoDB processes with a dedicated operating system user account. Ensure that the account has permissions to access data but no unnecessary permissions.

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  • MongoDB supports the execution of JavaScript code for certain server-side operations: mapReduce, $where, $accumulator, and $function. If you do not use these operations, disable server-side scripting by using the --noscripting option.

  • Keep input validation enabled. MongoDB enables input validation by default through the net.wireObjectCheck setting. This ensures that all documents stored by the mongod instance are valid BSON.

  • The Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) contains security guidelines for deployments within the United States Department of Defense. MongoDB Inc. provides its STIG, upon request.

  • For applications requiring HIPAA or PCI-DSS compliance, please refer to the MongoDB Security Reference Architecture to learn more about how you can use MongoDB's key security capabilities to build compliant application infrastructure.

If you use an antivirus (AV) scanner or an endpoint detection and response (EDR) scanner, configure your scanner to exclude the database storage path and the database log path from the scan.

The data files in the database storage path are compressed. Additionally, if you use the encrypted storage engine, the data files are also encrypted. The I/O and CPU costs to scan these files may significantly decrease performance without providing any security benefits.

If you don't exclude the directories in your database storage path and database log path, the scanner could quarantine or delete important files. Missing or quarantined files can corrupt your database and crash your MongoDB instance.

  • Periodically check for MongoDB Product CVE and upgrade your products .

  • Consult the MongoDB end of life dates and upgrade your MongoDB installation as needed. In general, try to stay on the latest version.

  • Ensure that your information security management system policies and procedures extend to your MongoDB installation, including performing the following:

    • Periodically apply patches to your machine.

    • Review policy/procedure changes, especially changes to your network rules to prevent inadvertent MongoDB exposure to the Internet.

    • Review MongoDB database users and periodically rotate them.

If you suspect that you have identified a security bug in any MongoDB products, please report the issue through the MongoDB Bug Submission Form.

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