Authenticating users

Port-Based Access Control (802.1X) provides switch-level security that allows LAN access only to users who enter the authorized RADIUS username and password on 802.1X-capable clients (supplicants). This simplifies security management by allowing you to control access from a master database in a single server (although you can use up to three RADIUS servers to provide backups in case access to the primary server fails). It also means a user can enter the same username and password pair for authentication, regardless of which switch is the access point into the LAN. Note that you can also configure 802.1X for authentication through the switch’s local username and password instead of a RADIUS server, but doing so increases the administrative burden, decentralizes username/password administration, and reduces security by limiting authentication to one Operator/Manager password set for all users.