Monday, February 8, 2010

Authentication on WLCs, Layer 2 Solutions:

Excerpt below taken from Authentication on Wireless LAN Controllers Configuration Examples

Authentication on WLCs

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network (UWN) security solution bundles potentially complicated Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3 802.11 Access Point (AP) security components into a simple policy manager that customizes system-wide security policies on a per-wireless LAN (WLAN) basis. The Cisco UWN security solution provides simple, unified, and systematic security management tools.
These security mechanisms can be implemented on WLCs.

Layer 1 Solutions

Restrict client access based on the number of consecutive failed attempts.

Layer 2 Solutions

None Authentication —When this option is selected from the Layer 2 Security menu, No Layer 2 authentication is performed on the WLAN. This is the same as the open authentication of the 802.11 standard.

Static WEP —With Static Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), all APs and client radio NICs on a particular WLAN must use the same encryption key. Each sending station encrypts the body of each frame with a WEP key before transmission, and the receiving station decrypts it using an identical key upon reception. 

802.1x —Configures the WLAN to use the 802.1x based authentication. The use of IEEE 802.1X offers an effective framework in order to authenticate and control user traffic to a protected network, as well as dynamically vary encryption keys. 802.1X ties a protocol called Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) to both the wired and WLAN media and supports multiple authentication methods.

Static WEP + 802.1x —This Layer 2 security setting enables both 802.1x and Static WEP. Clients can either use Static WEP or 802.1x authentication in order to connect to the network. 

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) —WPA or WPA1 and WPA2 are standard-based security solutions from the Wi-Fi Alliance that provide data protection and access control for WLAN systems. WPA1 is compatible with the IEEE 802.11i standard but was implemented before the standard's ratification. WPA2 is the Wi-Fi Alliance's implementation of the ratified IEEE 802.11i standard. 

By default, WPA1 uses Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and message integrity check (MIC) for data protection. WPA2 uses the stronger Advanced Encryption Standard encryption algorithm using Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (AES-CCMP). Both WPA1 and WPA2 use 802.1X for authenticated key management by default. However, these options are also available: PSK, CCKM, and CCKM+802.1x. If you select CCKM, Cisco only allows clients which support CCKM. If you select CCKM+802.1x, Cisco allows non-CCKM clients also.

CKIP —Cisco Key Integrity Protocol (CKIP) is a Cisco-proprietary security protocol for encrypting 802.11 media. CKIP improves 802.11 security in infrastructure mode using key permutation, MIC, and message sequence number. Software release 4.0 supports CKIP with static key. For this feature to operate correctly, you must enable Aironet information elements (IEs) for the WLAN. The CKIP settings specified in a WLAN are mandatory for any client that attempts to associate. If the WLAN is configured for both CKIP key permutation and MMH MIC, the client must support both. If the WLAN is configured for only one of these features, the client must support only this CKIP feature. WLCs only support static CKIP (like static WEP). WLCs do not support CKIP with 802.1x (dynamic CKIP).

Layer 3 Solutions

None—When this option is selected from the Layer 3 security menu, No Layer 3 authentication is performed on the WLAN.
Note: The configuration example for No Layer 3 authentication and No Layer 2 authentication is explained in the None Authentication section.

Web Policy (Web Authentication and Web Passthrough) —Web authentication is typically used by customers who want to deploy a guest-access network. In a guest-access network, there is initial username and password authentication, but security is not required for the subsequent traffic. Typical deployments can include "hot spot" locations, such as T-Mobile or Starbucks.

Web authentication for the Cisco WLC is done locally. You create an interface and then associate a WLAN/service set identifier (SSID) with that interface.
Web authentication provides simple authentication without a supplicant or client. Keep in mind that web authentication does not provide data encryption. Web authentication is typically used as simple guest access for either a "hot spot" or campus atmosphere where the only concern is the connectivity.

Web passthrough is a solution through which wireless users are redirected to an acceptable usage policy page without having to authenticate when they connect to the Internet. This redirection is taken care of by the WLC itself. The only requirement is to configure the WLC for web passthrough, which is basically web authentication without having to enter any credentials.

VPN Passthrough —VPN Passthrough is a feature which allows a client to establish a tunnel only with a specific VPN server. Therefore, if you need to securely access the configured VPN server as well as another VPN server or the Internet, this is not possible with VPN Passthrough enabled on the controller.
In the next sections, configuration examples are provided for each of the authentication mechanisms.

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