Which protocol authenticates connected devices before allowing them to access the LAN?
Explanation: 802.1X authentication involves three parties: a supplicant, an authenticator, and an authentication server. The supplicant is a client device (such as a laptop) that wishes to attach to the LAN/WLAN. The term ‘supplicant’ is also used interchangeably to refer to the software running on the client that provides credentials to the authenticator. The authenticator is a network device, such as an Ethernet switch or wireless access point; and the authentication server is typically a host running software supporting the RADIUS and EAP protocols.
The authenticator acts like a security guard to a protected network. The supplicant (i.e., client device) is not allowed access through the authenticator to the protected side of the network until the supplicant’s identity hasbeen validated and authorized. An analogy to this is providing a valid visa at the airport’s arrival immigration before being allowed to enter the country. With 802.1X port-based authentication, the supplicant provides credentials, such as user name/password or digital certificate, to the authenticator, and the authenticator forwards the credentials to the authentication server for verification. If the authentication server determines the credentials are valid, the supplicant (client device) is allowed to access resources located on the protected side of the network.
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