Information About Central Web Authentication
Central web authentication offers the possibility to have a central device that acts as a web portal (in this example, the ISE). The major difference compared to the usual local web authentication is that it is shifted to Layer 2 along with MAC filtering or dot1x authentication. The concept also differs in that the radius server (ISE in this example) returns special attributes that indicate to the switch that a web redirection must occur. This solution eliminates any delay to start the web authentication.
The following are the different types of web authentication methods:
Local Web Authentication (LWA): Configured as Layer 3 security on the controller, the web authentication page and the pre-authentication ACL are locally configured on the controller. The controller intercepts htttp(s) traffic and redirects the client to the internal web page for authentication. The credentials entered by the client on the login page is authenticated by the controller locally or through a RADIUS or LDAP server.
External Web Authentication (EWA): Configured as Layer 3 security on the controller, the controller intercepts htttp(s) traffic and redirects the client to the login page hosted on the external web server. The credentials entered by the client on the login page is authenticated by the controller locally or through a RADIUS or LDAP server. The pre-authentication ACL is configured statically on the controller.
Central Web Authentication (CWA): Configured mostly as Layer 2 security on the controller, the redirection URL and the pre-authentication ACL reside on ISE and are pushed during layer 2 authentication to the controller. The controller redirects all web traffic from the client to the ISE login page. ISE validates the credentials entered by the client through HTTPS and authenticates the user.
Globally, if the MAC address of the client station is not known by the radius server (but other criteria can also be used), the server returns the redirection attributes, and the controller authorizes the station (using the MAC filtering) but places an access list to redirect the web traffic to the portal.
Once the user logs into the guest portal, it is possible to re-authenticate the client so that a new Layer 2 MAC filtering occurs using the Change of Authorization (CoA). This way, the ISE remembers that it was a webauth user and pushes the necessary authorization attributes to the controller for accessing the network.
Prerequisites for Central Web Authentication
Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)