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Authenticating Users. Objectives Explain why authentication is a critical aspect of network security Explain why firewalls authenticate and how they identify.

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Presentation on theme: "Authenticating Users. Objectives Explain why authentication is a critical aspect of network security Explain why firewalls authenticate and how they identify."— Presentation transcript:

1 Authenticating Users

2 Objectives Explain why authentication is a critical aspect of network security Explain why firewalls authenticate and how they identify users Describe user, client, and session authentication List the advantages and disadvantages of popular centralized authentication systems Discuss the potential weaknesses of password security systems Discuss the use of password security tools Describe common authentication protocols used by firewalls

3 The Authentication Process in General The act of identifying users and providing network services to them based on their identity Two forms –Local authentication –Centralized authentication service (often uses two-factor authentication)

4 How Firewalls Implement the Authentication Process 1.Client makes request to access a resource 2.Firewall intercepts the request and prompts the user for name and password 3.User submits information to firewall 4.User is authenticated 5.Request is checked against firewall’s rule base 6.If request matches existing allow rule, user is granted access 7.User accesses desired resources

5 How Firewalls Implement the Authentication Process (continued)

6 Firewall Authentication Methods User authentication Client authentication Session authentication

7 User Authentication Basic authentication; user supplies username and password to access networked resources Users who need to legitimately access your internal servers must be added to your access control lists (ACLs)

8 User Authentication (continued)

9 Client Authentication Same as user authentication but with additional time limit or usage limit restrictions When configuring, set up one of two types of authentication systems –Standard sign-on system –Specific sign-on system

10 Client Authentication (continued)

11 Session Authentication Required any time the client establishes a session with a server of other networked resource

12 Comparison of Authentication Methods

13 Centralized Authentication Centralized server maintains all authorizations for users regardless of where user is located and how user connects to network Most common methods –Kerberos –TACACS+ (Terminal Access Controller Access Control System) –RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service)

14 Process of Centralized Authentication

15 Kerberos Provides authentication and encryption through standard clients and servers Uses a Key Distribution Center (KDC) to issue tickets to those who want access to resources Used internally on Windows 2000/XP Advantages –Passwords are not stored on the system –Widely used in UNIX environment; enables authentication across operating systems

16 Kerberos Authentication

17 TACACS+ Latest and strongest version of a set of authentication protocols for dial-up access (Cisco Systems) Provides AAA services –Authentication –Authorization –Auditing Uses MD5 algorithm to encrypt data

18 RADIUS Centralized dial-in authentication service that uses UDP Transmits authentication packets unencrypted across the network Provides lower level of security than TACACS+ but more widely supported

19 TACACS+ and RADIUS Compared Strength of security Filtering characteristics Proxy characteristics NAT characteristics

20 Strength of Security

21 Filtering Characteristics

22 Proxy Characteristics RADIUS –Doesn’t work with generic proxy systems, but a RADIUS server can function as a proxy server TACACS+ –Works with generic proxy systems

23 NAT Characteristics RADIUS –Doesn’t work with NAT TACACS+ –Should work through NAT systems

24 Password Security Issues Passwords that can be cracked (accessed by an unauthorized user) Password vulnerabilities Lax security habits

25 Passwords That Can Be Cracked Ways to crack passwords –Find a way to authenticate without knowing the password –Uncover password from system that holds it –Guess the password To avoid the issue –Protect passwords effectively –Observe security habits

26 Password Vulnerabilities Built-in vulnerabilities –Often easy to guess –Often stored visibly –Social engineering To avoid the issues –Choose complicated passwords –Memorize passwords –Never give passwords out to anyone

27 Lax Security Habits To maintain some level of integrity, draw up a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

28 Password Security Tools One-time password software Shadow password system

29 One-Time Password Software Password is generated using a secret key Password is used only once, when the user authenticates Different passwords are used for each authentication session Types –Challenge-response passwords –Password list passwords

30 Shadow Password System A feature of Linux that stores passwords in another file that has restricted access Passwords are stored only after being encrypted by a randomly generated value and an encoding formula

31 Other Authentication Systems Single-password systems One-time password systems Certificate-based authentication 802.1x Wi-Fi authentication

32 Single-Password Systems Operating system password Internal firewall password

33 One-Time Password Systems Single Key (S/Key) SecurID Axent Pathways Defender

34 Single Key (S/Key) Uses multiple-word rather than single word passwords –User specifies single-word password and the number of times it is to be encrypted –Password is processed by a hash function n times; resulting encrypted passwords are stored on the server Never stores original password on the server

35 SecurID Uses two-factor authentication –Physical object –Piece of knowledge Most frequently used one-time password solution with FireWall-1

36 SecurID Tokens

37 Axent Pathways Defender Uses two-factor authentication and a challenge-response system

38 Certificate-Based Authentication FireWall-1 supports the use of digital certificates to authenticate users Organization sets up a public key infrastructure (PKI) that generates keys to users –User receives a code (public key) that is generated using the server’s private key and uses the public key to send encrypted information to the server –Server receives the public key and can decrypt the information using its private key

39 802.1x Wi-Fi Authentication Supports wireless Ethernet connections Not supported by FireWall x protocol provides for authentication of users on wireless networks Wi-Fi uses Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)

40 Wireless Authentication

41 Chapter Summary Overview of authentication and its importance to network security How and why firewalls perform authentication services Types of authentication performed by firewalls –User –Client –Session

42 Chapter Summary (continued) Generally, users supply: –Something they have (such as a smart card) or –Something they know (such as a password) or –Both Latest authentication systems measure or evaluate a physical attribute, such as a fingerprint or voiceprint

43 Chapter Summary (continued) In a centralized authentication system: –Firewall works with an authentication server –Authentication server handles Username and password maintenance/generation Login requests Auditing Examples of centralized authentication systems: –Kerberos –TACACS+ –RADIUS

44 Chapter Summary (continued) Passwords –Important part of virtually every authentication system –Take one of two general forms: Single-word –User password compared against database of passwords; access granted if match is made –Vulnerable to ability of hackers to determine passwords, to user error, and to bad security habits One-time passwords –Generated dynamically each time user attempts to log on to network –Secret key used to generate single- or multiple-word password


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