Gartner Research

Revisiting 802.1X-Based LAN Access Controls

Published: 22 September 2011

ID: G00214532

Analyst(s): Phil Schacter


Organizations are expanding their use of 802.1X beyond their wireless network infrastructure to put in place device and user identity-based controls and to have a better answer to the question, "Who is using the (wired) network?"

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • What Is the Customer Problem?
  • Technology Trends
    • Creating a Common User Experience
    • Evolution in the IEEE 802.1X Standard
    • Going Beyond the Standards
    • Dynamic Device Profiling
    • Role of Context in Access Decisions
    • Device Health Control Enforcement
  • Market Trends
    • The Market for Policy Infrastructure Products
    • Maturing Market Demand
    • Focusing on New Challenges
    • Competitive Differentiation
    • Next Steps
  • Customer Perspectives
    • What Are Customers Doing to Implement 802.1X Controls on Their LANs and WLANs?
    • What Is the Customer Experience With Larger Scale Deployment Projects?
    • Key Take-Aways From Customer Projects
    • Customer Bottom Line
  • Strengths
    • Strong Industry Support for the Standard
    • Effective Operational Tools
    • Vendor and Channel Support for Deployment Projects
  • Weaknesses
    • Network Availability Impacts
    • Network Infrastructure Dependencies
    • Managing the Inventory of Exceptions
  • Consider Using a Security Zone That Segregates User Endpoints
  • Establish the Infrastructure to Enforce Controls Based on Identity and Context
  • Build Identity and Security Requirements Into Related IT Plans
  • Consider Physical Security and Location-Based Risks
  • Avoid Vendor Lock-In by Constraining Projects to Supported Industry Standards
  • Leverage Dynamic Profiling Tools
  • Take a Phased Approach to the 802.1X Deployment Project


The Details

  • Network Infrastructure Vendor Solutions
    • Alcatel-Lucent 8950 AAA Solution
    • Avaya's Identity Engines' Ignition Server
    • Aruba Networks' Amigopod and ArubaOS Policy Enforcement Firewall
    • Cisco's Secure ACS and Identity Services Engine (ISE)
    • Enterasys Networks' Authentication and Authorization Solution
    • HP's User Access Management (UAM) and Identity Driven Manager (IDM)
    • Juniper Network's Unified Access Control (UAC) Appliance and Steel-Belted RADIUS (SBR)
  • Additional Vendor Offerings
    • Avenda Systems' eTIPS Policy System
    • FreeRADIUS Project
    • Great Bay Software's Beacon Endpoint Profiler
    • IBM's AIX RADIUS Server
    • Interlink Networks' RAD-Series AAA RADIUS Server
    • Microsoft's Network Policy Server (NPS) and Internet Authentication Service (IAS)

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