Cisco TrustSec on ASA Firewall

In a previous post Cisco TrustSec was discussed and enforcement implemented on Cisco CSR1000v router using Cisco ISE to dynamically classify the traffic. In this post we will implement enforcement on a Cisco ASA Firewall. Unlike a Cisco switch or router when configuring TrustSec enforcement, when using the ASA as the enforcement point the TrustSec matrix on ISE is not utilised. Instead the ASA downloads the CTS environment data (SGTs), these are defined in a normal ASA access list as the source and destination.

The advantage of using an ASA Firewall for TrustSec enforcement over a Cisco switch or router is that the ASA firewall rules are stateful, unlike the ACLs on a switch or router which are not stateful.

In this blog post we will setup a simple lab, using ISE and ASAv. ISE will be configured with TrustSec SGTs’, SXP and a basic Authorization Policy. Secure communication between the ASA and ISE will be established by the use of a PAC file (Protected Access Credential). The ASA will use this secure channel to authenticate and establish a radius connection to ISE to download the CTS environment data, which contains the SGT table. An SXP connection between ISE and ASA will be established to transfer the static SXP bindings (the servers in the DC) and the dynamically assigned bindings for the authenticated users.

Basic configuration of ISE is not covered in this post. The posts below describe in greater detail configuration of ISE and TrustSec:-

Initial Cisco ISE Configuration – Basic configuration ISE
Configured Wired 802.1x/MAB authentication with Cisco ISE – Configuring dot1x authentication on ISE
Cisco TrustSec Enforcement using Cisco ISE – ISE configuration and enforcement on a Cisco CSR1000v router

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Initial Cisco ISE Configuration

This post will describe the basic steps in order to install Cisco ISE 2.4 from ISO image, build a cluster and integrate with Active Directory.

  • Initial ISE Configuration
    • Installing ISE 2.4 from ISO image file
    • Initial configuration from CLI
  • Certificates
    • Admin and EAP Authentication Certificates
  • Deployment Roles
    • Minimum 1 x PAN (Policy Administration Node), 1 MnT (Management) and 1 x PSN (Policy Service Node)
    • Valid DNS entry for each ISE nodes
    • Valid certificates (Admin for establishing a secure connection for build the cluster)
  • External Identity Source Integration
    • Integration with Active Directory
  • Network Access Devices
  • Policy Sets

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ISE Dynamic Variables

Using Cisco ISE you can apply variables such Downloadable ACL (DACL) or VLAN from an External Identity Source (e.g Active Directory) and apply these values during authorization. For example instead of defining multiple authorization rules such as – If AD:ExternalGroup membership equals “GroupName” then assign static attributes”DACL_1″ and “VLAN_1”.

The same can be achieved by extracting the attributes from an External Identity Source such as AD, resulting in 1 authorization rule instead of multiple.

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MACsec with Cisco AnyConnect and ISE

MACsec provides secure communication on wired networks; it encrypts each packet on the wire so that communication cannot be monitored. There are 2 deployment types:- User facing/downlink MACsec or switch-to-switch MACsec.

When using downlink MACsec a supplicant that supports 802.1x with MACsec is required, Cisco AnyConnect version 3.0+ supports this functionality. When AnyConnect is configured with MACsec it authenticates the user/computer using 802.1x and then encrypts all traffic using MACsec that is sent to the directly attached Access Layer switch. Once the packet has been received by the Access Layer switch the packet is decrypted, this allows the possibility to apply QoS polices or monitor with Netflow. The switch could then route packet in clear text or if switch-to-switch MACsec is enabled re-encrypt the traffic.

Switch-to-Switch MACsec secures the packets on a hop by hop basis, decrypting and encrypting on each network device (meaning all traffic inside the switches are in clear text). The MACsec sessions are completely independent as they are routed through the network.

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Cisco ISE pxGrid integration with Firepower

Cisco ISE and Firepower can exchange attributes such as TrustSec SGT (Security Group Tag), endpoint profile information and IP address via pxGrid. These attributes can then be used in Firepower Access Control Policies to permit/deny access as required. In addition, this integration can also be used to quarantine users/hosts in the event the user performs a malicious activity. When Firepower detects the malicious activity this will match a correlation rule on the FMC, which instructs ISE to perform a remediation action such as sending a CoA (Change of Authorization) and quarantining the user by apply a DACL and/or applying a new SGT.

This post will describe how to configure the pxGrid integration between the FMC and ISE, it is assume that you already have a working ISE environment with users/computers authenticating using dot1x and a working Firepower FMC/FTD environment.

Refer to these previous ISE posts on how to configure ISE, dot1x authentication and more information about configuring TrustSec.

The following software versions were used:-

  • Firepower Management Centre
  • Firepower Threat Defence Virtual
  • Identity Services Engine 2.4
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (Domain Controller and PKI)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise

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Wireless 802.1x authentication with Cisco ISE

The purpose of this blog post is to document the configuration steps required to configure Wireless 802.1x authentication on a Cisco vWLC v8.3 using Cisco ISE 2.4 as the RADIUS server.

WLC Configuration

Define AAA Servers

Cisco ISE Adaptive Network Control (ANC)

Adaptive Network Control (ANC) is a feature of Cisco ISE that can be used to monitor and control network access of authenticated (via ISE) endpoints. With ANC you have the ability to quarantine and endpoint by restricting access with a DACL or shutting down the interface. ANC is a manual process that can be triggered by an administrator. ANC requires ISE Plus License, the Base license is also required.

This post covers only the configuration of ANC and assumes Cisco ISE and 802.1x is setup and working. The posts below maybe useful to assist when configuring Cisco ISE and Cisco switches in order to authenticate users/computers with 802.1x.

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