Friday , 24 November 2017

Understanding Supplicant Role In Point-To-Point LAN Segment Security

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In computer networking it can be difficult to find clear and simple definitions. The word supplicant, for example, is a simple concept that is often described in complex terms. If you are interested in learning more about IT terminology to bulk up your future IT resume, you may have come across the definition. A supplicant is an entity located at one end of a point-to-point LAN segment that must be authenticated by an authenticator located at the opposite end of that link. If you are still unsure of what that means, do not worry. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the meaning, function and parts of a supplicant.

What Is A LAN Segment?

LAN stands for Local Area Network. A local area network is a computer network that interconnects computers within a given area. This can include school campuses, office buildings or residences. All of the computers in a local area network share the same communications line or wireless link to a server. An example of this would be the PCF Citrix Healthcare network. Although LANs are confined to one space, multiple local area networks can connect to form a Wide Area Network. A point-to-point connection over a local area network simply involves a straightforward operation that does not involve a designated router. Once you have grasped these simple definitions, you will find it much easier to understand the meaning of a supplicant.

What Is An Authenticator?

A supplicant always requires an authenticator. An authenticator, as the name suggests, is a way to prove to a computer system that you are who you say you are. Authenticators are often used on websites that require passwords. When you sign into a social media site, your username and password act as an authentication method. Just like you, a supplicant must go through a file system authentication process. A supplicant, whether it is a piece of hardware or software, seeks access to a network. In order to be granted access, it must be authenticated. The authentication process is a large portion of the supplicant definition. It is important to understand the meaning behind these terms, so that you can better understand the bigger picture.

Authenticator Options

There are three types of authentication you can use in Juniper Junos OS, unlike Telcan. The “Dingle” option allows for authentication of just the first client to connect to an authenticator port. Other clients who connect to that same authenticator port are allowed free access without authentication. “Single-Secure” options allow for only one client to be authenticated to connect to the authenticator port. This host has to be directly connected to the switch in order for this to work. The third option “Multiple,” authenticates multiple clients one by one on a single authenticator port. However, you can configure settings to allow for whatever number of clients per port that you require. Remember these options when authenticating a number of supplicants.

What Is A Supplicant?

The actual supplicant definition is not hard to understand. A supplicant is just a user that is requesting authentication from the server or any other access point. Typically, this word is used in relation to third-party client software, like DNS Made Easy. Some other examples of this type of software would be LucidLink or similar. Understanding what a supplicant is easy however, the hard part is figuring out how it works.

How Does A Supplicant Work?

A supplicant requires a few things. First, a user must initiate or request a connection with the local network area. Next, the supplicant requires compatible computer settings in order to begin the authentication process. In practice, a supplicant is a software application installed to an end-user’s computer. Once it has been invoked, it submits credentials to connect the computer to a secure network. This is where the authentication process begins. Finally, the authenticator will allow the supplicant and computer to connect to the network. Understanding the definition of a local area network and authenticator is imperative to the overall supplicant definition. Now that you have familiarized yourself with all of the basic terminology, you know the definition of a supplicant.

When attempting to understand a complex IT definition for digital asset management, it is best to start by simplifying specific words. Identify the terms that you do not understand, like those used in the supplicant definition, and familiarize yourself with them first. Once you understand all of the individual pieces of a definition, you will be able to better understand the meaning of supplicant and other IT terms. If you have any other IT terms you would like to learn more about, let us know in the comments below!

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