Unified Wireless Guest Access Service :
The paradigm of public access has extended to the enterprise itself. Long gone is the scenario where it was sufficient for a company to provide its partners, visitors, and guests with a place to sit along with an outside line with which to make phone calls. Our highly mobile, information-on-demand culture requires on-demand network connectivity. A half-day spent at a partner or customer venue without access to one's own network resources can impact the productivity of a meeting, service or sales call, and reduce the overall personal productivity of an individual who is away from their office. For this reason, enterprise guest access services are becoming increasingly important and a necessity in the corporate environment.
While there is broad recognition that guest networking is becoming increasingly important, there is also well-founded apprehension over how one safeguards their internal company information and infrastructure assets. Ironically, unbeknownst to many enterprises, their network might already play host to guests who, in an uncontrolled manner, find ways to access the Internet via improperly implemented wired or wireless networks. These guests are not hackers in the true sense, but otherwise well-intentioned individuals trying to get their jobs done. So, on the surface, while it might sound risky to implement a guest access solution, when implemented correctly, an enterprise that implements a guest access solution will most likely improve their overall security posture as a result of the network audits associated with the implementation process.
In addition to overall improved security, implementing a guest access network offers these additional general benefits:
● Authentication and authorization control of guests based on variables including date, duration, and bandwidth
● An audit mechanism to track who is currently using, or has used, the network
Additional benefits of a wireless-based guest access include the following:
● It provides wider coverage by including areas such as lobbies and other common areas that otherwise might not have been wired for network connectivity.
● It removes the need for designated guest access areas or rooms.
Ideally, the implementation of a wireless guest network uses as much of an enterprise's existing wireless and wired infrastructure as possible to avoid the cost and complexity of building a physical overlay network. Assuming this is the case, the following additional elements and functions are needed:
● A dedicated guest WLAN/SSID—Implemented throughout the campus wireless network wherever guest access is required.
● Guest traffic segregation—Requires implementing Layer 2 or Layer 3 techniques across the campus network to restrict where guests are allowed to go.
● Access control—Involves using imbedded access control functionality within the campus network or implementing an external platform to control guest access to the Internet from the enterprise network.
● Guest user credential management—A process by which a sponsor or lobby administrator can create temporary credentials in behalf of a guest. This function might be resident within an access control platform or it might be a component of AAA or some other management system.
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Reference : www.cisco.com