CCNA Security | 2.2.e authentication and authorization using ACS and ISE

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2.2.e Describe authentication and authorization using ACS and ISE ACS


Cisco Secure ACS is a robust AAA server offering both TACACS+ and RADIUS services in one system. With ACS, an organization can centralize both user network access policies and network device administrative access policies in one server. Most network devices rely on the TACACS+ and RADIUS protocols to communicate with AAA servers.

Some network devices have the ability to interact directly with Active Directory (AD) or LDAP for authentication purposes. Although Cisco Secure ACS can be integrated to use the AD service, Microsoft Windows Server can also be configured as an AAA server.


Cisco ISE is a next-generation identity management system that combines ACS with Network Admission Control (NAC) but also includes features such as:

  • Profiling: Determines the type of device from which the user is accessing the network
  • Posture assessment: Determines the “health” of the device accessing the network.
  • Centralized web authentication: Simplifies the provisioning of guest access
  • AAA: Offers identity-based network access, logging, compliance, and reporting.

Cisco ISE is the main policy component for Cisco TrustSec and is a Cisco technology that protects assets such as data, applications, and mobile devices from unauthorized access.

Cisco ISE not only can quickly isolate and contain threats and limit the impact of data breaches, but can also simplify and accelerate safe bring your own device (BYOD) deployments.

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