Cisco ISE 802.End User Authentication with Posture Workflow : Explained

Cisco ISE 802.End User Authentication with Posture Workflow : Explained

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Cisco ISE generally knows as Cisco Identity Services Engine used for solution to streamline security policy management. Cisco ISE is one of the important pillar of the Cisco SD-Access ( Software defined Access) solution for authentication, authorization, accounting, posture profiling gathering real-time contextual information.

By sharing real-time contextual data from users, devices, and the network infrastructure across the enterprise, Cisco ISE enables organizations to make proactive governance decisions by enforcing policies across their network infrastructure.

⚡⚡ 802.1x End user Authentication with Posture πŸ“œ

Cisco ISE is a network access control system that ensures secure network resource access. Cisco ISE supports 802.1X authentication, which is a standard mechanism for confirming the identification of network endpoints. 

Cisco ISE may also execute posture assessment, which is the process of determining endpoint compliance with security rules such as antivirus, patch management, disc encryption, and so on. Posture evaluation can assist in preventing unauthorized or compromised devices from accessing sensitive data or infecting other network devices.

End User Authentication with Posture Workflow is a method that enables a network to validate the identity and compliance of endpoints attempting to access network resources. The workflow consists of the following steps:

Fig 1.1- 802.1X End User Authentication with Posture
Fig 1.1- 802.1X End User Authentication with Posture

Step 1: Using the 802.1X protocol, the endpoint sends a connection request to a network access device (NAD), such as a switch or a wireless controller.

Step 2: The request is routed by the network access device (NAD) to Cisco ISE, which functions as a RADIUS server and authenticates the endpoint using an identity source such as Active Directory or internal users.

Step 3: If the authentication is successful, Cisco ISE checks if the endpoint has a posture agent installed, such as AnyConnect ISE Posture Agent or NAC Agent. If not, Cisco ISE uses client provisioning to deploy the posture agent to the endpoint.

Step 4: Cisco ISE then displays an acceptable usage policy (AUP) to the endpoint, which the user must agree before the posture assessment can continue.

Step 5: Cisco ISE assesses endpoint compliance with posture conditions such as antivirus, patch management, disc encryption, and so on. These requirements are specified in posture policies, which also include authorization and remediation procedures for compliant, noncompliant, and unknown endpoints.

Step 6: At the end, based on the authentication and posture findings, Cisco ISE applies the authorization policy to the endpoint. The authorization policy grants the endpoint the necessary network access rights and services, such as VLAN, ACL, dACL, SGT, CoA, and so on.

Cisco ISE also provides posture remediation options to the endpoint, such as installing updates, enabling features, or launching applications, to help the endpoint achieve compliance.