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Wi-Fi Access Control

Evaluating Secure Wi-Fi Access: Cisco ISE, Aruba, Portnox & Foxpass

By Foxpass Team
5 minute read

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In today's evolving digital landscape, the need for robust access control on Wi-Fi networks has never been more paramount. Organizations are constantly on the lookout for solutions that can provide a seamless yet secure experience for their users.

In this blog, we'll deep-dive into four leading solutions for securing Wi-Fi (and wired) networks – Cisco ISE, Aruba ClearPass, Portnox CLEAR, and our own offering, Foxpass RADIUS.

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)

Cisco ISE, an integral component of Cisco's security portfolio, serves as a centralized policy enforcement tool that provides enterprise network security. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of its features:

  • Granular Access Control: Policies are powered by device profiling, posture assessments, and specific user identity and roles.

  • Holistic Integration: Seamless integration with other Cisco security and networking products, providing segmented and controlled access.

  • Guest Management: Temporary access is facilitated through the ISE Self-Registered Guest Portal. 

While Cisco ISE is feature-rich and an industry leader, to truly harness its capabilities, substantial investment in Cisco's infrastructure and training is necessary. It’s a robust solution but may be overkill and an over-investment for organizations not fully embedded in the Cisco ecosystem or those without the resources to manage and maintain it.

Aruba ClearPass

HPE Aruba ClearPass is known for its access security capabilities across wired and wireless networks. Aruba ClearPass is optimized for Aruba's infrastructure and offers:

  • Context-aware Access Control: Leverages HPE Aruba infrastructure for nuanced network access control.

  • BYOD Management: ClearPass Onboard supports posture assessments and remediation for various devices, including non-corporate-owned devices.

  • Guest Onboarding: ClearPass Guest provides convenient built-in portals for hassle-free guest self-service onboarding.

However, as robust as ClearPass is, integration with Aruba's infrastructure is recommended for optimal performance. While it offers multi-vendor support, the most seamless experience often comes from leveraging Aruba's complete networking suite.

Portnox CLEAR (part of Portnox Cloud)

Portnox CLEAR is a multi-vendor Wi-Fi security solution emphasizing security and visibility across diverse enterprise environments. Portnox markets its Wi-Fi-as-a-Service/RADIUS-as-a-Service offerings under the Portnox CLEAR/Portnox Cloud brands. Portnox also has an on-premises solution to support agentless network access control that can integrate with Portnox CLEAR for expanded management of both corporate devices and BYOD.

Portnox’s joint solutions provide:

  • Flexible Device Discovery: Agent-based and agentless options for device classification and assessment.

  • End-to-end Security: Comprehensive access control policies and integration with popular endpoint security tools.

  • Cloud-centric Authentication: RADIUS-as-a-Service managed in the cloud for ease of management.

To achieve a complete end-to-end solution, both on-premises and in-the-cloud CLEAR have to be jointly deployed. Some customers have indicated confusion and challenges in integrating their on-premises and cloud solution components and a lack of strong monitoring capabilities.

Foxpass RADIUS

In a world increasingly shifting towards the cloud, Foxpass RADIUS emerges as a top solution for organizations looking for a streamlined, scalable, and vendor-agnostic network access solution. Foxpass RADIUS emphasizes simplicity and scalability:

  • Simplified Cloud-Based Setup: One of Foxpass RADIUS's hallmark features is its user-friendly, cloud-driven setup. Organizations can swiftly establish and manage their RADIUS services without the burden of on-premises infrastructure, simplifying deployment and reducing IT overhead.

  • Scalability at its Core: Foxpass understands the dynamic needs of businesses, especially as they grow. With Foxpass, organizations scale up or down effortlessly based on their specific requirements.

  • Modern Certificate-Based Authentication: In the era of cyber threats, Foxpass emphasizes security with its focus on certificate-based authentication. Automated Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) ensures that devices and users are authenticated securely, reducing the vulnerabilities associated with password-based mechanisms.

  • Seamless Onboarding: With an ever-growing array of devices, users, and Wi-Fi networks, onboarding can often become a complex chore. Foxpass simplifies this process, ensuring devices and users can be added to the network with minimal friction, enhancing security and user experience.

  • Vendor-Neutral Approach: Unlike many Wi-Fi security solutions that bind organizations to a specific ecosystem, Foxpass RADIUS stands out with its vendor-agnostic design. This ensures it can seamlessly integrate with virtually any network and security hardware, providing businesses with flexibility and preventing vendor lock-in.

  • Centralized Management: A cloud-centric solution, Foxpass RADIUS offers a centralized platform where administrators can monitor, manage, and modify access policies, user profiles, and device lists. This unified view enhances efficiency, reduces response times, and ensures consistent policy enforcement.

Unlike traditional solutions, Foxpass RADIUS reimagines network access control for the modern age. Its emphasis on simplicity, flexibility, and affordability makes it an enticing proposition for organizations, from nimble startups to expanding enterprises. In a realm dominated by complex and often costly solutions, Foxpass RADIUS offers a breath of fresh air, proving that robust network security doesn't need to be convoluted or exorbitant.

Why You Should Choose Foxpass

Solutions like Cisco ISE, Aruba ClearPass, and Portnox are ideally suited for large-scale enterprises. They come with their fair share of investment implications in terms of licensing, hardware, and maintenance.

For small to medium-sized organizations, Foxpass represents an ideal alternative for network authentication and access control. The ease of setup, flexible scaling, and low maintenance overhead of Foxpass' cloud RADIUS solution enables organizations to get robust network security without the typical cost and complexity barriers.

Beyond its technical capabilities, Foxpass RADIUS is also designed with budget-conscious organizations in mind. By eliminating the cost and intricacies of traditional on-premises systems, Foxpass makes robust Wi-Fi network security attainable for businesses of all sizes and budgets.

In conclusion, if a cost-effective, user-friendly, and scalable Wi-Fi secure access solution is on your radar, Foxpass RADIUS is the go-to choice.

If your organization wants to enhance network security and authentication with an affordable and easy-to-use system, Foxpass RADIUS is the optimal choice compared to traditional on-premises network access control deployments or complicated cloud solutions. Our streamlined cloud delivery model and intuitive management make best-in-class network access control achievable for organizations of any size or budget.

You can get started now by starting a free trial of Foxpass!

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Foxpass Team
The Foxpass Team consists of seasoned engineers, cybersecurity experts, and thought leaders in the identity and access management sphere. With years of hands-on experience in developing and perfecting Foxpass's cutting-edge solutions, this collective body boasts an extensive and intimate understanding of the challenges and requirements of modern network security. Each article authored by the Foxpass Team is a testament to the collective knowledge and expertise that drives our commitment to ensuring robust and scalable security for our customers.
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