Session Management in ServiceNow

This guide offers insights into securing your ServiceNow environment through effective session management, emphasizing secure session ID transmission, session hijacking prevention, and the importance of regular review of active sessions.
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Session management is a critical element of maintaining a secure ServiceNow environment. Sessions represent the interactions between a user and ServiceNow during a specific period, and proper management of these sessions helps protect against unauthorized access and other security threats. This guide provides an overview of best practices for effective session management in ServiceNow.

1. Understanding Sessions

A session in ServiceNow begins when a user logs into the system and ends when the user logs out or after a period of inactivity. Each session is assigned a unique session ID, which is used to track the user's interactions with the system.

2. Configuring Session Timeout

ServiceNow allows administrators to set a session timeout, which automatically logs out users after a specified period of inactivity. This can help protect against unauthorized access if a user leaves their device unattended. You can configure this in the System Properties, under the property "glide.ui.session_timeout."

3. Session Rotation

ServiceNow uses session rotation by default, which means it assigns a new session ID to the user at the time of login and after the user's privileges are elevated. This helps protect against session fixation attacks.

4. Termination of Sessions

When a user logs out of ServiceNow, their session should be terminated to prevent another user from taking over their session. ServiceNow automatically invalidates the session ID at logout, which helps ensure the security of session termination.

5. Secure Transmission of Session IDs

To protect against interception of session IDs, always use HTTPS for connections to ServiceNow. This ensures that all communication, including session IDs, is encrypted.

6. Session Hijacking Prevention

ServiceNow includes several built-in features to help prevent session hijacking. For example, it checks the IP address associated with a session and can block a session if the IP address changes.

7. Session Management for APIs

If you're using APIs to interact with ServiceNow, it's also important to manage these sessions securely. This includes using secure API keys and managing these keys effectively.

8. Regular Review of Active Sessions

ServiceNow provides a list of all active sessions in the system, which can be useful for monitoring and troubleshooting. Regularly review active sessions to identify any unusual activity.

Conclusion

Proper session management is an essential part of securing your ServiceNow instance. By understanding how sessions work in ServiceNow and following the practices outlined in this guide, you can help protect against a range of security threats.

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