TCPWave TACACS+: Centralized AAA for Enhanced Network Security

Mastering access with powerful authentication


Security reinvented, efficiencies redefined.

TCPWave TACACS+ (Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System) is a powerful solution for centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) in network infrastructure services. TCPWave appliances leverage TACACS+ to provide secure and streamlined access control without the need for local user accounts on each device. By proxying user credentials to a foreign AAA server, TCPWave ensures robust security and simplifies user management. This article explores the features and benefits of TCPWave TACACS+ in enhancing network security and improving operational efficiency. TCPWave's unique approach eliminates the requirement for defined local user accounts on individual appliances. Instead, SSH access to each appliance is facilitated by proxying the user's credentials to a foreign AAA server. Access is granted if the user is defined on the foreign AAA server and has the necessary permissions. This methodology significantly reduces operational overhead and eliminates the need to update TCPWave appliances when administrators leave the organization. The security of TACACS+ is further enhanced by logging each keystroke typed by users, ensuring comprehensive auditing and accountability. Additionally, multiple AAA servers can be configured within the TCPWave TACACS module, eliminating single points of failure.

Centralized User Management

  • TCPWave TACACS+ centralizes user management, streamlining user provisioning, authentication, and authorization to reduce administrative overhead.

Flexible Authorization Policies

  • TACACS+ allows network administrators to precisely control user permissions and access levels, thereby minimizing security risks and ensuring adherence to organizational policies.

Multiple Data Source Support

  • TCPWave TACACS+ streamlines authentication and boosts flexibility in user profile management through its integration with various data sources and existing user databases.

Enhanced Security through Auditing

  • TCPWave's keystroke logger fortifies security by tracking user activities for auditing, aiding in incident response, compliance maintenance, and forensic investigations.
TACACS+ Robust Security Solution

TACACS+ plays a crucial role in network security and access control by offering a suite of powerful features. Its compatibility with multiple protocols, granular command control, support for IPv4 and IPv6, unlimited scalability, and separate capabilities for Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting underscore its broad utility. The system also incorporates encrypted usernames and passwords, providing a high level of security. Coupled with a flexible external backend for user profiles, TACACS+ delivers a comprehensive, customizable solution for robust network authentication and authorization.

OTP Integration Enhances GDPR Compliance

In light of GDPR regulations that require the implementation of technical and organizational measures to protect personal data, integrating Cisco ISE with an OTP authentication system as a secondary measure proves beneficial. This dual layer of security ensures that only authorized individuals equipped with both their standard credentials and the OTP gain access to sensitive data. Consequently, this not only mitigates the risk of data breaches but also enhances an organization's compliance with GDPR.

OTP Authentication for SEC Compliance

The focus of SEC compliance is on protecting sensitive financial information and upholding data integrity. Integrating Cisco ISE with OTP authentication aligns well with these compliance requirements by creating a robust authentication framework. The fusion of primary credentials such as username and password, and the OTP introduces an additional layer of security. This heightened security measure ensures that only authorized personnel gain access to critical financial systems or sensitive information, thereby achieving OCC and SEC compliance.

RFC 1492
  • This RFC outlines the foundational TACACS protocol, establishing a fundamental framework for managing access control and authentication. It serves as the blueprint for its successors, emphasizing its importance in the realm of network security.

RFC 1491
  • This RFC introduces the TACACS+ protocol, which is an extended and enhanced version of the original TACACS protocol. It includes improvements in security, encryption, and additional features for more advanced access control.

RFC 2138
  • Although not directly related to TACACS, this RFC introduces the RADIUS protocol, which is a widely used authentication and authorization protocol for remote access servers. RADIUS often serves as an alternative or complement to TACACS in network authentication.

RFC 2865
  • This RFC provides further updates and clarifications to the RADIUS protocol, including enhancements to the authentication and authorization mechanisms.

TCPWave TACACS+ is a powerful AAA solution that centralizes user management, provides fine-grained control over user access, supports multiple data sources, and enhances network security through robust auditing. By implementing TCPWave TACACS+, organizations can ensure a secure and efficient access control mechanism for their network infrastructure.