Cisco TrustSec enables organizations to secure their networks and services through identity-based access control to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The solution also offers data integrity and confidentiality services, policy-based governance, and centralized monitoring, troubleshooting, and reporting services. Cisco TrustSec can be combined with personalized, professional service offerings to simplify solution deployment and management, and is a foundational security component to Cisco Borderless Networks.
The Cisco TrustSec security architecture helps build secure networks by establishing domains of trusted network devices. Each device in the domain is authenticated by its peers. Communication on the links between the devices in the domain is secured with a combination of encryption, message integrity check, and data path replay protection mechanisms. Cisco TrustSec uses a device and user credentials acquired during authentication for classifying the packets by security groups (SGs), as they enter the network. This packet classification is maintained by tagging packets on ingress to the Cisco TrustSec network so that they can be correctly identified to apply security and other policy criteria along the data path. The tag, called the security group tag (SGT), allows the network to enforce the access control policy by enabling the end-point device to act upon the SGT to filter traffic.
One of the components of Cisco TrustSec architecture is the security group-based access control. In the security group-based access control component, access policies in the Cisco TrustSec domain are topology-independent, based on the roles (as indicated by the security group number) of source and destination devices rather than on network addresses. Individual packets are tagged with the security group number of the source.
The Cisco TrustSec solution is implemented across the following three distinct phases:
classification at ingress by a centralized policy database (Cisco ISE) and
assigning unique SGT to clients based on client identity attributes such as the
role and so on.
Propagation of IP-to-SGT binding to neighboring devices using the SGT Exchange Protocol (SXP) or inline tagging methods or both.
Security Group Access Control List (SGACL) policy enforcement. Cisco AP is the enforcement point for central or local switching (central authentication).
SGT Exchange Protocol
Cisco devices use the SGT Exchange Protocol (SXP) to propagate SGTs across network devices that do not have hardware support for Cisco TrustSec. The SXP is the software solution to eliminate the need for Cisco TrustSec hardware upgrade on all Cisco switches. Cisco WLC supports the SXP as part of Cisco TrustSec architecture. The SXP sends SGT information to the Cisco TrustSec-enabled switches so that appropriate role-based access control lists (RBAC lists) can be activated depending on the role information present in the SGT. To implement the SXP on a network, only the egress distribution switch has to be Cisco TrustSec-enabled, and all the other switches can be non-Cisco TrustSec-capable switches.
The SXP runs between the access layer and the distribution switch or between two distribution switches. The SXP uses TCP as the transport layer. Cisco TrustSec authentication is performed for the host (client) joining the network on the access layer switch, which is similar to an access switch with Cisco TrustSec-enabled hardware. The access layer switch is not Cisco TrustSec hardware enabled. Therefore, data traffic is not encrypted or cryptographically authenticated when it passes through the access layer switch. The SXP is used to pass the IP address of the authenticated device, which is a wireless client, and the corresponding SGT up to the distribution switch. If the distribution switch is Cisco TrustSec hardware enabled, the switch inserts the SGT into the packet on behalf of the access layer switch. If the distribution switch is not Cisco TrustSec hardware enabled, the SXP on the distribution switch passes the IP-SGT mapping to all the distribution switches that have Cisco TrustSec hardware. On the egress side, the enforcement of the RBAC lists occurs at the egress L3 interface on the distribution switch.
The following are some guidelines for Cisco TrustSec SXP:
The SXP is supported only on the following security policies:
The SXP is supported for both IPv4 and IPv6 clients.
By default, the Cisco WLC
always works in the Speaker mode.
From Release 8.3, the SXP on the Cisco WLC is supported for both centrally and locally switched networks.
IP-SGT mapping can be done on the WLANs as well for clients that are not authenticated by Cisco ISE.
For more information about Cisco TrustSec, see http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/enterprise-networks/trustsec/index.html.