Chapter 7. EAP Authentication Protocols for WLANs

The second in the WLAN authentication trilogy of chapters, this chapter examines the various authentication protocols such as the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), Protected EAP (PEAP), the Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP), and EAP- Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling (EAP-FAST). This chapter begins with a look at the fundamental concepts and contexts of authentication and access control; next, it discusses the various protocols such as EAP and 802.1x.

Notice the slow progression out of the basic 802.11 standards as you begin to leverage other standards: IEEE, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and sometimes even proprietary standards. You will see how the various protocols add more security features such as encrypted tunnels for exchanging various information (authentication, credentials, and other data), dynamic key distribution and rotation, authenticating the user rather than the device, and applying identity-based mechanisms and systems that are part of the administrative domain in enterprises.