User Guide for Cisco Secure Access Control System 5.4
Common Scenarios Using ACS
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Table of Contents

Common Scenarios Using ACS

Overview of Device Administration

Session Administration

Command Authorization

TACACS+ Custom Services and Attributes

Password-Based Network Access

Overview of Password-Based Network Access

Password-Based Network Access Configuration Flow

Certificate-Based Network Access

Overview of Certificate-Based Network Access

Using Certificates in ACS

Certificate-Based Network Access

Authorizing the ACS Web Interface from Your Browser Using a Certificate

Validating an LDAP Secure Authentication Connection

Agentless Network Access

Overview of Agentless Network Access

Host Lookup

Authentication with Call Check

Process Service-Type Call Check

PAP/EAP-MD5 Authentication

Agentless Network Access Flow

Adding a Host to an Internal Identity Store

Configuring an LDAP External Identity Store for Host Lookup

Configuring an Identity Group for Host Lookup Network Access Requests

Creating an Access Service for Host Lookup

Configuring an Identity Policy for Host Lookup Requests

Configuring an Authorization Policy for Host Lookup Requests

VPN Remote Network Access

Supported Authentication Protocols

Supported Identity Stores

Supported VPN Network Access Servers

Supported VPN Clients

Configuring VPN Remote Access Service

ACS and Cisco Security Group Access

Adding Devices for Security Group Access

Creating Security Groups

Creating SGACLs

Configuring an NDAC Policy

Configuring EAP-FAST Settings for Security Group Access

Creating an Access Service for Security Group Access

Creating an Endpoint Admission Control Policy

Creating an Egress Policy

Creating a Default Policy

RADIUS and TACACS+ Proxy Requests

Supported Protocols

Supported RADIUS Attributes

TACACS+ Body Encryption

Connection to TACACS+ Server

Configuring Proxy Service

Common Scenarios Using ACS

Network control refers to the process of controlling access to a network. Traditionally a username and password was used to authenticate a user to a network. Now a days with the rapid technological advancements, the traditional method of managing network access with a username and a password is no longer sufficient.

The ways in which the users can access the network and what they can access have changed considerably. Hence, you must define complex and dynamic policies to control access to your network.

For example, earlier, a user was granted access to a network and authorized to perform certain actions based on the group that the user belonged to. Now, in addition to the group that the user belongs to, you must also consider other factors, such as whether:

  • The user is trying to gain access within or outside of work hours.
  • The user is attempting to gain access remotely.
  • The user has full or restricted access to the services and resources.

Apart from users, you also have devices that attempt to connect to your network.

When users and devices try to connect to your network through network access servers, such as wireless access points, 802.1x switches, and VPN servers, ACS authenticates and authorizes the request before a connection is established.

Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of the user or device that attempts to connect to a network. ACS receives identity proof from the user or device in the form of credentials. There are two different authentication methods:

  • Password-based authentication—A simpler and easier way of authenticating users. The user enters a username and password. The server checks for the username and password in its internal or external databases and if found, grants access to the user. The level of access (authorization) is defined by the rules and conditions that you have created.
  • Certificate-based authentication—ACS supports certificate-based authentication with the use of the Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Level Security (EAP-TLS) and Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Level Security (PEAP-TLS), which uses certificates for server authentication by the client and for client authentication by the server.

Certificate-based authentication methods provide stronger security and are recommended when compared to password-based authentication methods.

Authorization determines the level of access that is granted to the user or device. The rule-based policy model in ACS 5.x allows you to define complex conditions in rules. ACS uses a set of rules (policy) to evaluate an access request and to return a decision.

ACS organizes a sequence of independent policies into an access service, which is used to process an access request. You can create multiple access services to process different kinds of access requests; for example, for device administration or network access.

Cisco Secure Access Control System (ACS) allows you to centrally manage access to your network services and resources (including devices, such as IP phones, printers, and so on). ACS 5.4 is a policy-based access control system that allows you to create complex policy conditions and helps you to comply with the various Governmental regulations.

When you deploy ACS in your network, you must choose an appropriate authentication method that determines access to your network.

This chapter provides guidelines for some of the common scenarios. This chapter contains:

Overview of Device Administration

Device administration allows ACS to control and audit the administration operations performed on network devices, by using these methods:

  • Session administration—A session authorization request to a network device elicits an ACS response. The response includes a token that is interpreted by the network device which limits the commands that may be executed for the duration of a session. See Session Administration.
  • Command authorization—When an administrator issues operational commands on a network device, ACS is queried to determine whether the administrator is authorized to issue the command. See Command Authorization.

Device administration results can be shell profiles or command sets.

Shell profiles allow a selection of attributes to be returned in the response to the authorization request for a session, with privilege level as the most commonly used attribute. Shell profiles contain common attributes that are used for shell access sessions and user-defined attributes that are used for other types of sessions.

ACS 5.4 allows you to create custom TACACS+ authorization services and attributes. You can define:

  • Any A-V pairs for these attributes.
  • The attributes as either optional or mandatory.
  • Multiple A-V pairs with the same name (multipart attributes).

ACS also supports task-specific predefined shell attributes. Using the TACACS+ shell profile, you can specify custom attributes to be returned in the shell authorization response. See TACACS+ Custom Services and Attributes.

Command sets define the set of commands, and command arguments, that are permitted or denied. The received command, for which authorization is requested, is compared against commands in the available command sets that are contained in the authorization results.

If a command is matched to a command set, the corresponding permit or deny setting for the command is retrieved. If multiple results are found in the rules that are matched, they are consolidated and a single permit or deny result for the command is returned, as described in these conditions:

  • If an explicit deny-always setting exists in any command set, the command is denied.
  • If no explicit deny-always setting exists in a command set, and any command set returns a permit result, the command is permitted.
  • If either of the previous two conditions are not met, the command is denied.

You configure the permit and deny settings in the device administration rule table. You configure policy elements within a device administration rule table as conditions that are or not met. The rule table maps specific request conditions to device administration results through a matching process. The result of rule table processing is a shell profile or a command set, dependent on the type of request.

Session administration requests have a shell profile result, which contains values of attributes that are used in session provisioning. Command authorization requests have a command authorization result, which contains a list of command sets that are used to validate commands and arguments.

This model allows you to configure the administrator levels to have specific device administration capabilities. For example, you can assign a user the Network Device Administrator role which provides full access to device administration functions, while a Read Only Admin cannot perform administrative functions.

Session Administration

The following steps describe the flow for an administrator to establish a session (the ability to communicate) with a network device:

1. An administrator accesses a network device.

2. The network device sends a RADIUS or TACACS+ access request to ACS.

3. ACS uses an identity store (external LDAP, Active Directory, RSA, RADIUS Identity Server, or internal ACS identity store) to validate the administrator’s credentials.

4. The RADIUS or TACACS+ response (accept or reject) is sent to the network device. The accept response also contains the administrator’s maximum privilege level, which determines the level of administrator access for the duration of the session.

To configure a session administration policy (device administration rule table) to permit communication:


Step 1 Configure the TACACS+ protocol global settings and user authentication option. See Configuring TACACS+ Settings.

Step 2 Configure network resources. See Network Devices and AAA Clients.

Step 3 Configure the users and identity stores. See Managing Internal Identity Stores or Managing External Identity Stores.

Step 4 Configure shell profiles according to your needs. See Creating, Duplicating, and Editing a Shell Profile for Device Administration.

Step 5 Configure an access service policy. See Access Service Policy Creation.

Step 6 Configure a service selection policy. See Service Selection Policy Creation.

Step 7 Configure an authorization policy (rule table). See Configuring a Session Authorization Policy for Network Access.


 

Command Authorization

This topic describes the flow for an administrator to issue a command to a network device.


NoteThe device administration command flow is available for the TACACS+ protocol only.


1. An administrator issues a command to a network device.

2. The network device sends an access request to ACS.

3. ACS optionally uses an identity store (external Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP], Active Directory, RADIUS Identity Server, or internal ACS identity store) to retrieve user attributes which are included in policy processing.

4. The response indicates whether the administrator is authorized to issue the command.

To configure a command authorization policy (device administration rule table) to allow an administrator to issue commands to a network device:


Step 1 Configure the TACACS+ protocol global settings and user authentication option. See Configuring TACACS+ Settings.

Step 2 Configure network resources. See Network Devices and AAA Clients.

Step 3 Configure the users and identity stores. See Managing Internal Identity Stores or Managing External Identity Stores.

Step 4 Configure command sets according to your needs. See Creating, Duplicating, and Editing Command Sets for Device Administration.

Step 5 Configure an access service policy. See Access Service Policy Creation.

Step 6 Configure a service selection policy. See Service Selection Policy Creation.

Step 7 Configure an authorization policy (rule table). See Configuring Shell/Command Authorization Policies for Device Administration.


 

Related Topics

TACACS+ Custom Services and Attributes

This topic describes the configuration flow to define TACACS+ custom attributes and services.


Step 1 Create a custom TACACS+ condition to move to TACACS+ service on request. To do this:

a. Go to Policy Elements > Session Conditions > Custom and click Create .

b. Create a custom TACACS+ condition. See Creating, Duplicating, and Editing a Custom Session Condition.

Step 2 Create an access service for Device Administration with the TACACS+ shell profile as the result. See Configuring Shell/Command Authorization Policies for Device Administration.

Step 3 Create custom TACACS+ attributes. See Creating, Duplicating, and Editing a Shell Profile for Device Administration.


 

Password-Based Network Access

This section contains the following topics:

For more information about password-based protocols, see Appendix B, “Authentication in ACS 5.4.”

Overview of Password-Based Network Access

The use of a simple, unencrypted username and password is not considered a strong authentication mechanism but can be sufficient for low authorization or privilege levels such as Internet access.

Encryption reduces the risk of password capture on the network. Client and server access-control protocols, such as RADIUS encrypt passwords to prevent them from being captured within a network. However, RADIUS operates only between the AAA client and ACS. Before this point in the authentication process, unauthorized persons can obtain clear-text passwords, in these scenarios:

  • The communication between an end-user client dialing up over a phone line
  • An ISDN line terminating at a network-access server
  • Over a Telnet session between an end-user client and the hosting device

ACS supports various authentication methods for authentication against the various identity stores that ACS supports. For more information about authentication protocol identity store compatibility, see Authentication Protocol and Identity Store Compatibility.

Passwords can be processed by using these password-authentication protocols based on the version and type of security-control protocol used (for example, RADIUS), and the configuration of the AAA client and end-user client.

You can use different levels of security with ACS concurrently, for different requirements. Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) provides a basic security level. PAP provides a very basic level of security, but is simple and convenient for the client. MSCHAPv2 allows a higher level of security for encrypting passwords when communicating from an end-user client to the AAA client.


NoteDuring password-based access (or certificate-based access), the user is not only authenticated but alsoauthorized according to the ACS configuration. And if NAS sends accounting requests, the user is also accounted.


ACS supports the following password-based authentication methods:

  • Plain RADIUS password authentication methods

RADIUS-PAP

RADIUS-CHAP

RADIUS-MSCHAPv1

RADIUS-MSCHAPv2

  • RADIUS EAP-based password authentication methods

PEAP-MSCHAPv2

PEAP-GTC

EAP-FAST-MSCHAPv2

EAP-FAST-GTC

EAP-MD5

LEAP

You must choose the authentication method based on the following factors:

  • The network access server—Wireless access points, 802.1X authenticating switches, VPN servers, and so on.
  • The client computer and software—EAP supplicant, VPN client, and so on.
  • The identity store that is used to authenticate the user—Internal or External (AD, LDAP, RSA token server, or RADIUS identity server).

Related Topics

Password-Based Network Access Configuration Flow

This topic describes the end-to-end flow for password-based network access and lists the tasks that you must perform. The information about how to configure the tasks is located in the relevant task chapters.

To configure password-based network access:


Step 1 Configure network devices and AAA clients.

a. In the Network Devices and AAA Clients, configure the Authentication Setting as RADIUS.

b. Enter the Shared Secret.

See Network Devices and AAA Clients, for more information.

Step 2 Configure the users and identity stores. For more information, see Chapter8, “Managing Users and Identity Stores”

Step 3 Define policy conditions and authorization profiles. For more information, see Chapter9, “Managing Policy Elements”

Step 4 Define an access service. For more information, see Creating, Duplicating, and Editing Access Services.

a. Set the Access Service Type to Network Access.

b. Select one of the ACS-supported protocols in the Allowed Protocols Page and follow the steps in the Action column in Table 4-1 .

Step 5 Add the access service to your service selection policy. For more information, see Creating, Duplicating, and Editing Service Selection Rules.

Step 6 Return to the service that you created and in the Authorization Policy Page, define authorization rules. For more information, see Configuring Access Service Policies.


 

 

Table 4-1 Network Access Authentication Protocols

Protocol
Action

Process Host Lookup (MAB)

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Process Host Lookup .

RADIUS PAP

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow PAP/ASCII .

RADIUS CHAP

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow CHAP .

RADIUS MSCHAPv1

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow MS-CHAPv1 .

RADIUS MSCHAPv2

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow MS-CHAPv2 .

EAP-MD5

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow EAP-MD5 .

LEAP

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow LEAP .

PEAP

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose PEAP . For the PEAP inner method, choose EAP-MSCHAPv2 or EAP-GTC or both.

EAP-FAST

1. In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow EAP-FAST to enable the EAP-FAST settings.

2. For the EAP-FAST inner method, choose EAP-MSCHAPv2 or EAP-GTC or both.

3. Select Allow Anonymous In-Band PAC Provisioning or Allow Authenticated In-Band PAC Provisioning or both.

For Windows machine authentication against Microsoft AD and for the change password feature:

1. Click the Use PACS radio button. For details about PACs, see About PACs.

2. Check Allow Authenticated In-Band PAC Provisioning .

3. Check Allow Machine Authentication .

4. Enter the Machine PAC Time to Live.

5. Check Enable Stateless Session Resume.

6. Enter the Authorization PAC Time to Live.

7. Check Preferred EAP Protocol to set the preferred protocol from the list.

For RADIUS, non-EAP authentication methods (RADIUS/PAP, RADIUS/CHAP, RADIUS/MS-CHAPv1, RADIUS/MSCHAPv2), and simple EAP methods (EAP-MD5 and LEAP), you need to configure only the protocol in the Allowed Protocols page as defined in Table 4-1 .

Some of the complex EAP protocols require additional configuration:

  • For EAP-TLS, you must also configure:

The EAP-TLS settings under System Administration > Configuration > EAP-TLS Settings .

A local server certificate under System Administration > Configuration > Local Server Certificates > Local Certificates .

A CA certificate under Users and Identity Stores > Certificate Authorities .

  • For PEAP, you must also configure:

The inner method in the Allowed Protocols page and specify whether password change is allowed.

The PEAP settings under System Administration > Configuration > PEAP Settings .

Local server certificates under System Administration > Configuration > Local Server Certificates > Local Certificates .

  • For EAP-FAST, you must also configure:

The inner method in the Allowed Protocols page and specify whether password change is allowed.

Whether or not to use PACs and if you choose to use PACs, you must also specify how to allow in-band PAC provisioning.

The EAP-FAST settings under System Administration > Configuration > EAP-FAST > Settings .

A local server certificate under System Administration > Configuration > Local Server Certificates > Local Certificates (Only if you enable authenticated PAC provisioning).

Related Topics

Certificate-Based Network Access

This section contains the following topics:

For more information about certificate-based protocols, see Appendix B, “Authentication in ACS 5.4.”

Overview of Certificate-Based Network Access

Before using EAP-TLS, you must install a computer certificate on ACS. The installed computer certificate must be issued from a CA that can follow a certificate chain to a root CA that the access client trusts.

Additionally, in order for ACS to validate the user or computer certificate of the access client, you must install the certificate of the root CA that issued the user or computer certificate to the access clients.

ACS supports certificate-based network access through the EAP-TLS protocol, which uses certificates for server authentication by the client and for client authentication by the server.

Other protocols, such as PEAP or the authenticated-provisioning mode of EAP-FAST also make use of certificates for server authentication by the client, but they cannot be considered certificate-based network access because the server does not use the certificates for client authentication.

ACS Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificate-based authentication is based on X509 certificate identification. The entity which identifies itself with a certificate holds a private-key that correlates to the public key stored in the certificate.

A certificate can be self-signed or signed by another CA. A hierarchy of certificates can be made to form trust relations of each entity to its CA. The trusted root CA is the entity that signs the certificate of all other CAs and eventually signs each certificate in its hierarchy.

ACS identifies itself with its own certificate. ACS supports a certificate trust list (CTL) for authorizing connection certificates. ACS also supports complex hierarchies that authorize an identity certificate when all of the chain certificates are presented to it.

ACS supports several RSA key sizes used in the certificate that are 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 bits. Other key sizes may be used. ACS 5.4 supports RSA. ACS does not support the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA). However, in some use cases, ACS will not prevent DSA cipher suites from being used for certificate-based authentication.

All certificates that are used for network access authentication must meet the requirements for X.509 certificates and work for connections that use SSL/TLS. After this minimum requirement is met, the client and server certificates have additional requirements.

You can configure two types of certificates in ACS:

  • Trust certificate—Also known as CA certificate. Used to form CTL trust hierarchy for verification of remote certificates.
  • Local certificate—Also known as local server certificate. The client uses the local certificate with various protocols to authenticate the ACS server. This certificate is maintained in association with its private key, which is used to prove possession of the certificate.

NoteDuring certificate-based access (or password-based access), the user is not only authenticated but alsoauthorized according to the ACS configuration. And if NAS sends accounting requests, the user is also accounted.


Related Topics

Certificate-Based Network Access

For TLS- related EAP and PEAP protocols, you must set up a server certificate from the local certificate store and a trust list certificate to authenticate the client. You can choose the trust certificate from any of the certificates in the local certificate store.

To use EAP-TLS or PEAP (EAP-TLS), you must obtain and install trust certificates. The information about how to perform the tasks is located in the relevant task chapters.

Before you Begin:

Set up the server by configuring:

To configure certificate-based network access for EAP-TLS or PEAP (EAP-TLS):


Step 1 Configure the trust certificate list. See Configuring CA Certificates, for more information.

Step 2 Configure the LDAP external identity store. You might want to do this to verify the certificate against a certificate stored in LDAP. See Creating External LDAP Identity Stores, for details.

Step 3 Set up the Certificate Authentication Profile. See Configuring Certificate Authentication Profiles, for details.

Step 4 Configure policy elements. See Managing Policy Conditions, for more information.

You can create custom conditions to use the certificate’s attributes as a policy condition. See Creating, Duplicating, and Editing a Custom Session Condition, for details.

Step 5 Create an access service. See Configuring Access Services, for more information.

Step 6 In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose EAP-TLS or PEAP (EAP-TLS) as inner method .

Step 7 Configure identity and authorization policies for the access service. See Configuring Access Service Policies, for details.


Note When you create rules for the identity policy, the result may be the Certificate Authentication Profile or an Identity Sequence. See Viewing Identity Policies, for more information.


Step 8 Configure the Authorization Policies. See /5-4/user/guide/acsuserguide/access_policies.html#24810">Configuring the Service Selection Policy .


 

Table 4-2 Network Access Authentication Protocols

Protocol
Action

EAP-TLS

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose Allow EAP-TLS to enable the EAP-TLS settings.

  • Enable Stateless Session resume—Check this check box to enable the Stateless Session Resume feature per Access service. This feature enables you to configure the following options:

Proactive Session Ticket update—Enter the value as a percentage to indicate how much of the Time to Live must elapse before the session ticket is updated. For example, the session ticket update occurs after 10 percent of the Time to Live has expired, if you enter the value 10.

Session ticket Time to Live—Enter the equivalent maximum value in days, weeks, months, and years, using a positive integer.

PEAP

In the Allowed Protocols Page, choose PEAP . For the PEAP inner method, choose EAP-TLS or PEAP Cryptobinding TLV.

Related Topics

Authorizing the ACS Web Interface from Your Browser Using a Certificate

You use the HTTPS certificate-based authentication to connect to ACS with your browser. The Local Server Certificate in ACS is used to authorize the ACS web interface from your browser. ACS does not support browser authentication (mutual authentication is not supported).

A default Local Server Certificate is installed on ACS so that you can connect to ACS with your browser. The default certificate is a self-signed certificate and cannot be modified during installation.

Related Topics

Validating an LDAP Secure Authentication Connection

You can define a secure authentication connection for the LDAP external identity store, by using a CA certificate to validate the connection.

To validate an LDAP secure authentication connection using a certificate:


Step 1 Configure an LDAP external identity store. See Creating External LDAP Identity Stores.

Step 2 In the LDAP Server Connection page, check Use Secure Authentication .

Step 3 Select Root CA from the drop-down menu and continue with the LDAP configuration for ACS.


 

Related Topics

Agentless Network Access

This section contains the following topics:

For more information about protocols used for network access, see Authentication in ACS 5.4.

Overview of Agentless Network Access

Agentless network access refers to the mechanisms used to perform port-based authentication and authorization in cases where the host device does not have the appropriate agent software.

For example, a host device, where there is no 802.1x supplicant or a host device, where the supplicant is disabled.

802.1x must be enabled on the host device and on the switch to which the device connects. If a host/device without an 802.1x supplicant attempts to connect to a port that is enabled for 802.1x, it will be subjected to the default security policy.

The default security policy says that 802.1x authentication must succeed before access to the network is granted. Therefore, by default, non-802.1x-capable devices cannot get access to an 802.1x-protected network.

Although many devices increasingly support 802.1x, there will always be devices that require network connectivity, but do not, or cannot, support 802.1x. Examples of such devices include network printers, badge readers, and legacy servers. You must make some provision for these devices.

Cisco provides two features to accommodate non-802.1x devices. For example, MAC Authentication Bypass (Host Lookup) and the Guest VLAN access by using web authentication.

ACS 5.4 supports the Host Lookup fallback mechanism when there is no 802.1x supplicant. After 802.1x times out on a port, the port can move to an open state if Host Lookup is configured and succeeds.

Related Topics

Host Lookup

ACS uses Host Lookup as the validation method when an identity cannot be authenticated according to credentials (for example, password or certificate), and ACS needs to validate the identity by doing a lookup in the identity stores.

An example for using host lookup is when a network device is configured to request MAC Authentication Bypass (MAB). This can happen after 802.1x times out on a port or if the port is explicitly configured to perform authentication bypass. When MAB is implemented, the host connects to the network access device.

The device detects the absence of the appropriate software agent on the host and determines that it must identify the host according to its MAC address. The device sends a RADIUS request with service-type=10 and the MAC address of the host to ACS in the calling-station-id attribute.

Some devices might be configured to implement the MAB request by sending PAP or EAP-MD5 authentication with the MAC address of the host in the user name, user password, and CallingStationID attributes, but without the service-type=10 attribute.

While most use cases for host lookup are to obtain a MAC address, there are other scenarios where a device requests to validate a different parameter, and the calling-station-id attribute contains this value instead of the MAC address. For example, IP address in layer 3 use cases).

Table 4-3 describes the RADIUS parameters required for host lookup use cases.

 

Table 4-3 RADIUS Attributes for Host Lookup Use Cases

Attribute
Use Cases
PAP
802.1x
EAP-MD5

RADIUS::ServiceType

Call check (with PAP or EAP-MD5)

RADIUS::UserName

MAC address

Any value (usually the MAC address)

MAC address

RADIUS::UserPassword

MAC address

Any value (usually the MAC address)

MAC address

RADIUS::CallingStationID

MAC address

MAC address

MAC address

ACS supports host lookup for the following identity stores:

  • Internal hosts
  • External LDAP
  • Internal users
  • Active Directory

You can access the Active Directory via the LDAP API.

You can use the Internal Users identity store for Host Lookup in cases where the relevant host is already listed in the Internal Users identity store, and you prefer not to move the data to the Internal Hosts identity store.

ACS uses the MAC format (XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX) and no other conversions are possible. To search the Internal Users identity store using the User-Name attribute (for example, xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx) you should leave the Process Host Lookup option unchecked. ACS will handle the request as a PAP request.

When MAC address authentication over PAP or EAP-MD5 is not detected according to the Host Lookup configuration, authentication and authorization occur like regular user authentication over PAP or EAP-MD5. You can use any identity store that supports these authentication protocols. ACS uses the MAC address format as presented in the RADIUS User-Name attribute.

Related Topics

Authentication with Call Check

When ACS identifies a network access request with the call check attribute as Host Lookup (RADIUS::ServiceType = 10), ACS authenticates (validates) and authorizes the host by looking up the value in the Calling-Station-ID attribute (for example, the MAC address) in the configured identity store according to the authentication policy.

When ACS receives a RADIUS message, it performs basic parsing and validation, and then checks if the Call Check attribute, RADIUS ServiceType(6), is equal to the value 10. If the RADIUS ServiceType is equal to 10, ACS sets the system dictionary attribute UseCase to a value of Host Lookup.

In the ACS packet processing flow, the detection of Host Lookup according to Call Check service-type is done before the service selection policy. It is possible to use the condition UseCase equals Host Lookup in the service selection policy.

Initially, when RADIUS requests are processed, the RADIUS User-Name attribute is copied to the System UserName attribute. When the RADIUS Service-Type equals 10, the RADIUS Calling-Station-ID attribute is copied to the System User-Name attribute, and it overrides the RADIUS User-Name attribute value.

ACS supports four MAC address formats:

  • Six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by hyphens—01-23-45-67-89-AB
  • Six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by colons—01:23:45:67:89:AB
  • Three groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by dots—0123.4567.89AB
  • Twelve consecutive hexadecimal digits without any separators—0123456789AB

If the Calling-Station-ID attribute is one of the four supported MAC address formats above, ACS copies it to the User-Name attribute with the format of XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX. If the MAC address is in a format other than one of the four above, ACS copies the string as is.

Process Service-Type Call Check

You may not want to copy the CallingStationID attribute value to the System UserName attribute value. When the Process Host Lookup option is checked, ACS uses the System UserName attribute that was copied from the RADIUS User-Name attribute.

When the Process Host Lookup option is not checked, ACS ignores the HostLookup field and uses the original value of the System UserName attribute for authentication and authorization. The request processing continues according to the message protocol. For example, according to the RADIUS User-Name and User-Password attributes for PAP.

For setting the Process Host Lookup option, see Creating an Access Service for Host Lookup.

PAP/EAP-MD5 Authentication

When a device is configured to use PAP or EAP-MD5 for MAC address authentication, you can configure ACS to detect the request as a Host Lookup request, within the network access service. The device sends the request with the host's MAC address in the User-Name, User-Password, and Calling-Station-ID attributes.

If you do not configure ACS to detect Host Lookup, the access request is handled as a regular PAP, or EAP-MD5 authentication request.

If you check the Process HostLookup field and select PAP or EAP-MD5, ACS places the HostLookup value in the ACS::UseCase attribute. The User-Password attribute is ignored for the detection algorithm.

ACS follows the authentication process as if the request is using the call check attribute, and processes it as a Host Lookup (Service-Type=10) request. The RADIUS dictionary attribute ACS::UseCase is set to the value of HostLookup.

The Detect Host Lookup option for PAP and EAP-MD5 MAC authentication is done after the service selection policy. If a service selection rule is configured to match ACS::UseCase = Host Lookup, the request falls into the Host Lookup category.

If ACS is not configured to detect PAP or EAP-MD5 authentications as MAC authentication flows, ACS will not consider the Detect Host Lookup option. These requests are handled like a regular user request for authentication, and looks for the username and password in the selected identity store.

Related Topics

Agentless Network Access Flow

This topic describes the end-to-end flow for agentless network access and lists the tasks that you must perform. The information about how to configure the tasks is located in the relevant task chapters.

Perform these tasks in the order listed to configure agentless network access in ACS:


Step 1 Configure network devices and AAA clients.

This is the general task to configure network devices and AAA clients in ACS and is not specific to agentless network access. Select Network Resources > Network Devices and AAA Clients and click Create . See Network Devices and AAA Clients.

Step 2 Configure an identity store for internal hosts.

or

For more information, see Chapter8, “Managing Users and Identity Stores”

Step 3 Configure the identity group. See Configuring an Identity Group for Host Lookup Network Access Requests.

For more information, see Chapter8, “Managing Users and Identity Stores”

Step 4 Define policy elements and authorization profiles for Host Lookup requests.

For more information, see Chapter9, “Managing Policy Elements”

Step 5 Create an empty service by defining an access service for Host Lookup. For more information, see Creating an Access Service for Host Lookup.

Step 6 Return to the service that you created:

a. Define an identity policy. For more information, see Configuring an Identity Policy for Host Lookup Requests.

ACS has the option to look for host MAC addresses in multiple identity stores.

For example, MAC addresses can be in the Internal Hosts identity store, in one of the configured LDAP identity stores, or in the Internal Users identity store.

The MAC address lookup may be in one of the configured identity stores, and the MAC attributes may be fetched from a different identity store that you configured in the identity sequence.

You can configure ACS to continue processing a Host Lookup request even if the MAC address was not found in the identity store. An administrator can define an authorization policy based on the event, regardless of whether or not the MAC address was found.

The ACS::UseCase attribute is available for selection in the Authentication Policy, but is not mandatory for Host Lookup support.

b. Return to the service that you created.

c. Define an authorization policy. For more information, see Configuring an Authorization Policy for Host Lookup Requests.

Step 7 Define the service selection.

Step 8 Add the access service to your service selection policy. For more information, see Creating, Duplicating, and Editing Service Selection Rules.


 

Related Topics

Adding a Host to an Internal Identity Store

To configure an internal identity store for Host Lookup:


Step 1 Choose Users and Identity Store > Internal Identity Stores > Hosts and click Create .

See Viewing and Performing Bulk Operations for Internal Identity Store Hosts, or more information.

Step 2 Fill in the fields as described in the Users and Identity Stores > Internal Identity Store > Hosts > Create Page.

Step 3 Click Submit .


 

Previous Step:

Network Devices and AAA Clients

Next Step:

Configuring an Identity Group for Host Lookup Network Access Requests

Configuring an LDAP External Identity Store for Host Lookup

To configure an LDAP external identity store for Host Lookup:


Step 1 Choose Users and Identity Stores > External Identity Stores > LDAP and click Create . See /5-4/user/guide/acsuserguide/access_policies.html#24810">Configuring the Service Selection Policy, for more information.

Step 6 Fill in the fields in the Service Select Policy pages.

Step 7 Click Save Changes .


 

Creating an Egress Policy

The Egress policy (sometimes called SGACL policy) determines which SGACL to apply at the Egress points of the network based on the source and destination SGT. The Egress policy is represented in a matrix, where the X and Y axis represent the destination and source SGT, respectively, and each cell contains the set of SGACLs to apply at the intersection of these two SGTs.

Any security group can take the role of a source SGT, if an endpoint (or Security Group Access device) that carries this SGT sends the packet. Any security group can take the role of a destination SGT, if the packet is targeting an endpoint (or Security Group Access device) that carries this SGT. Therefore, the Egress matrix lists all of the existing security groups on both axes, making it a Cartesian product of the SGT set with itself (SGT x SGT).

The first row (topmost) of the matrix contains the column headers, which display the destination SGT. The first column (far left) contains the row titles, with the source SG displayed. At the intersection of these axes lies the origin cell (top left) that contains the titles of the axes, namely, Destination and Source.

All other cells are internal matrix cells that contain the defined SGACL. The rows and columns are ordered alphabetically according to the SGT names. Each SGACL can contain 200 ACEs.

Initially, the matrix contains the cell for the unknown source and unknown destination SG. Unknown refers to the preconfigured SG, which is not modifiable. When you add an SG, ACS adds a new row and new column to the matrix with empty content for the newly added cell.

To add an Egress policy and populate the Egress matrix:


Step 1 Choose Access Policies > Security Group Access Control > Egress Policy .

The Egress matrix is visible. The security groups appear in the order in which you defined them.

Step 2 Click on a cell and then click Edit .

Step 3 Fill in the fields as required.

Step 4 Select the set of SGACLs to apply to the cell and move the selected set to the Selected column.

The ACLS are used at the Egress point of the SGT of the source and destination that match the coordinates of the cell. The SGACLs are applied in the order in which they appear.

Step 5 Use the Up and Down arrows to change the order. The device applies the policies in the order in which they are configured. The SGACL are applied to packets for the selected security groups.

Step 6 Click Submit .


 

Creating a Default Policy

After you configure the Egress policies for the source and destination SG in the Egress matrix, Cisco recommends that you configure the Default Egress Policy. The default policy refers to devices that have not been assigned an SGT. The default policy is added by the network devices to the specific policies defined in the cells. The initial setting for the default policy is Permit All .

The term default policy refers to the ANY security group to ANY security group policy. Security Group Access network devices concatenate the default policy to the end of the specific cell policy.

If the cell is blank, only the default policy is applied. If the cell contains a policy, the resultant policy is the combination of the cell-specific policy which precedes the default policy.

The way the specific cell policy and the default policy are combined depends on the algorithm running on the device. The result is the same as concatenating the two policies.

The packet is analyzed first to see if it matches the ACEs defined by the SGACLs of the cell. If there is no match, the packet falls through to be matched by the ACEs of the default policy.

Combining the cell-specific policy and the default policy is done not by ACS, but by the Security Group Access network device. From the ACS perspective, the cell-specific and the default policy are two separate sets of SGACLs, which are sent to devices in response to two separate policy queries.

To create a default policy:


Step 1 Choose Access Policies > Security Group Access Control > Egress Policy then choose Default Policy .

Step 2 Fill in the fields as in the Default Policy for Egress Policy page.

Step 3 Click Submit .


 

RADIUS and TACACS+ Proxy Requests

You can use ACS to act as a proxy server that receives authentication RADIUS requests and authentication and authorization TACACS+ requests from a network access server (NAS) and forwards them to a remote server. ACS then receives the replies for each forwarded request from the remote RADIUS or TACACS+ server and sends them back to the client.

ACS uses the service selection policy to differentiate between incoming authentication and accounting requests that must be handled locally and those that must be forwarded to a remote RADIUS or TACACS+ server.

When ACS receives a proxy request from the NAS, it forwards the request to the first remote RADIUS or TACACS+ server in its list. ACS processes the first valid or invalid response from the remote RADIUS server and does the following:

  • If the response is valid for RADIUS, such as Access-Challenge, Access-Accept, or Access-Reject, ACS returns the response back to the NAS.
  • If ACS does not receive a response within the specified time period, then after the specified number of retries, or after a specified network timeout, it forwards the request to the next remote RADIUS server in the list.
  • If the response is invalid, ACS proxy performs failover to the next remote RADIUS server. When the last failover remote RADIUS server in the list is reached without getting reply, ACS drops the request and does not send any response to the NAS.

ACS processes the first valid or invalid response from the remote TACACS+ server and does the following:

  • If the response is valid for TACACS+, such as TAC_PLUS_AUTHEN (REPLY) or TAC_PLUS_AUTHOR(RESPONSE), ACS returns the response back to the NAS.
  • If ACS does not receive a response within the specified time period, after the specified number of retries, or after specified network timeout it forwards the request to the next remote TACACS+ server in the list.
  • If the response is invalid, ACS proxy performs failover to the next remote TACACS+ server. When the last failover remote TACACS+ server in the list is reached without getting reply, ACS drops the request and does not send any response to the NAS.

You can configure ACS to strip the prefix, suffix, and both from a username (RADIUS) or user (TACACS+). For example, from a username acme\smith@acme.com, you can configure ACS to extract only the name of the user, smith by specifying \ and @ as the prefix and suffix separators respectively.

ACS can perform local accounting, remote accounting, or both. If you choose both, ACS performs local accounting and then moves on to remote accounting. If there are any errors in local accounting, ACS ignores them and moves on to remote accounting.

During proxying, ACS:

1. Receives the following packets from the NAS and forwards them to the remote RADIUS server:

  • Access-Request

2. Receives the following packets from the remote RADIUS server and returns them to the NAS:

  • Access-Accept
  • Access-Reject
  • Access-Challenge

3. Receives the following packets from the NAS and forwards them to the remote TACACS+ server:

  • TAC_PLUS_AUTHOR
  • TAC_PLUS_AUTHEN

4. Receives the following packets from the remote TACACS+ server and returns them back to the NAS: This behavior is configurable.

  • TAC_PLUS_ACCT

An unresponsive external RADIUS server waits for about timeout * number of retries seconds before failover to move to the next server.

There could be several unresponsive servers in the list before the first responsive server is reached. In such cases, each request that is forwarded to a responsive external RADIUS server is delayed for number of previous unresponsive servers * timeout * number of retries .

This delay can sometimes be longer than the external RADIUS server timeout between two messages in EAP or RADIUS conversation. In such a situation, the external RADIUS server would drop the request.

You can configure the number of seconds for an unresponsive external TACACS+ server waits before failover to move to the next server.

ACS 5.4 supports multiple network interface connectors for RADIUS (IPv4) and TACACS+ (IPv4 and IPv6) proxies. ACS 5.4 with Virtual machine, UCS, IBM, or CAM platform contains up to four network interfaces: Ethernet 0, Ethernet 1, Ethernet 2, and Ethernet 3. For more information, see Multiple Network Interfac e Connector in the Connecting the Network Interface section of Installation and Upgrade Guide for Cisco Secure Access Control System 5.4.

Related Topics

Supported Protocols

The RADIUS proxy feature in ACS supports the following protocols:

  • Supports forwarding for all RADIUS protocols
  • All EAP protocols
  • Protocols not supported by ACS (Since ACS proxy do not interfere into the protocol conversation and just forwards requests)

NoteACS proxy can not support protocols that use encrypted RADIUS attributes.


The TACACS+ proxy feature in ACS supports the following protocols:

  • PAP
  • ASCII
  • CHAP
  • MSCHAP authentications types

Related Topics

Supported RADIUS Attributes

The following supported RADIUS attributes are encrypted:

  • User-Password
  • CHAP-Password
  • Message-Authenticator
  • MPPE-Send-Key and MPPE-Recv-Key
  • Tunnel-Password
  • LEAP Session Key Cisco AV-Pair

TACACS+ Body Encryption

When ACS receives a packet from NAS with encrypted body (flag TAC_PLUS_UNECRYPTED_FLAG is 0x0), ACS decrypts the body with common data such as shared secret and sessionID between NAS and ACS and then encrypts the body with common data between ACS and TACACS+ proxy server. If the packet body is in cleartext, ACS will resend it to TACACS+ server in cleartext.

Connection to TACACS+ Server

ACS supports single connection to another TACACS+ server (flag TAC_PLUS_SINGLE_CONNECT_FLAG is 1). If the remote TACACS+ server does not support multiplexing TACACS+ sessions over a single TCP connection ACS will open or close connection for each session.

Related Topics

Configuring Proxy Service

To configure proxy services:


Step 1 Configure a set of remote RADIUS and TACACS+ servers. For information on how to configure remote servers, see Creating, Duplicating, and Editing External Proxy Servers.

Step 2 Configure an External proxy service. For information on how to configure a External proxy service, see Configuring General Access Service Properties.

You must select the User Selected Service Type option and choose External proxy as the Access Service Policy Structure in the Access Service Properties - General page.

Step 3 After you configure the allowed protocols, click Finish to complete your External proxy service configuration.


 

Related Topics