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Jump server

(also jump host, jump box)

Jump server definition

Jump server refers to a secure computer that spans two or more networks, allowing users to connect to it from one network, and then “jump“ to another network. It’s also known as a jump host or a jump box.

Jump servers are used to manage and control access between networks, often serving as a gateway from a less trusted network (like a public network into a more trusted network (like an internal company network).

In cybersecurity, a jump server is similar to a VPN where a secure connection is established between the user and the server, but the jump server also provides additional layers of security like auditing features.

See also: authentication server, c&c server, dedicated server, gateway server, home server

Jump server use cases:

  • Security management. It acts as a single point where authentication and access can be controlled, reducing the potential attack surface.
  • Administrative access. In a business environment, system administrators or engineers can use it to access servers that are located within a secured network or behind a firewall.
  • Audit trails. Since all connections pass through the jump server, it can be set up to log activities. This creates an audit trail of who accessed which systems and when, which can be very useful for tracking and auditing purposes.