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Is it time to got shopping for 802.1X?

May 10, 20042 mins
AuthenticationCellular NetworksNetworking

There are some 802.1X products that might be ready for your enterprise deployment.

There are some 802.1X products that might be ready for your enterprise deployment. To help ascertain which products they might be, Network World Lab Alliance and iLabs team member Rodney Thayer proposes the following questions be asked of the vendors you’re considering at this juncture.

1. What is the per-seat cost of deploying supplicant software? Will I need to reload the operating system to get the supplicant to work?

2. How does the 802.1X implementation support roaming users?

3. Are the new features in the client and the access points implemented securely beyond the 802.1X specifications? For example, do they properly process certificates?

4. Are the new features in the access points implemented in a resilient fashion? Can you specify at least two RADIUS servers when you configure 802.1X?

5. Are there secure mechanisms available to manage these access security devices? For example, can you use “https” to access the Web interface on the wireless access point?

6. Are the access points and RADIUS servers generating logs? Can you configure these to send their logs to an external log server or SEM? If someone were to attempt to gain access with 802.1X in place, would there be a record? If someone fails to log on over 802.1X, does that logon failure generate an event?

Back to feature: “Vendors hit the 802.1X mark for access, but security holes remain”

Rodney Thayer is a private network security consultant in Mountain View, California. His practice includes exploit analysis, architecting secure networks, and cryptography. His background is in the development and deployment of network security devices, having participated in the development of various implementations of IPsec, SSL (TLS), and digital certificate systems. He has also worked in the area of security network management. He can be reached at

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