SafeConnect Network Integration Overview

SafeConnect Network Integration Options Comparison

SafeConnect may be integrated into a customer network environment leveraging either a Layer 3 or a Layer 2 integration option. The integration type may depend on several factors including network equipment vendors (make/model), network topology and customer security policy requirements.

At a high level, Layer 3 integrations quarantine devices at either the user VLAN/subnet default gateway or point of ingress on a Layer 3 integration switch/router if the VLAN/subnet is not directly connected while Layer 2 integrations quarantine devices and assign network access on the Layer 2 integrated device (switch, controller or access point as applicable).

A short list of pros/cons for each type of integration is listed below:

Layer 3 Integration Pros:

  • Less complex than Layer 2 integrations

  • Typically quicker/easier to deploy

  • Typically fewer network devices to integrate with

  • Fails open last state (quarantined devices blocked, compliant or new devices not blocked)

  • High Availability less of a concern

Layer 3 Integration Cons:

  • May not scale to desired levels depending on equipment, number of VLANs and number of users

  • May have negative performance impact depending on equipment, number of VLANs and number of users

  • Does not block East/West traffic on same network segment during quarantine

  • Does not provide ability to assign different levels of network access for compliant users/devices

  • Generally less secure than Layer 2 integrations

Layer 2 Integration Pros:

  • More secure than Layer 3 integrations

  • Blocks East/West traffic on same network segment during quarantine (some vendor limitations may apply)

  • Provides ability to assign different levels of network access for compliant users/devices

  • Typically no issues with scaling

Layer 2 Integration Cons:

  • More complex than Layer 3 integrations

  • Typically takes longer to deploy

  • Typically more network devices to integrate

  • Can fail closed in certain scenarios

  • High Availability more of a concern

Supported Vendors (at time of publishing):

Layer 3 Integration:

Cisco

HPE

Brocade/Ruckus/Arris (ICX and MLX)

Dell

Alcatel-Lucent

Layer 2 Integration Wireless:

Cisco

Meraki

HPE-Aruba

Aerohive

Ruckus

Xirrus

Layer 2 Integration Wired:

Cisco

HPE Ruckus/Arris (ICX)

Dell

Juniper

For more detailed information on models and versions support, refer to the SafeConnect Technical Requirements.

Layer 3 Integration Overview

Layer 3 integrations quarantine devices at either the user VLAN/subnet default gateway or point of ingress on a Layer 3 integration switch/router if the VLAN/subnet is not directly connected. Devices are detected through various network inputs (Netflow/sFlow, DHCP, RADIUS Accounting), assessed for policy and either quarantined or allowed on the network. If allowed on the network, a device will have whatever network access is provided by the VLAN/subnet the device resides in. Quarantined devices are redirected to SafeConnect by dynamic ACL updates sent to the Layer 3 switch/router when a device falls out of compliance. For locally connected user VLANs/subnets, East/West traffic within a segment is permitted but traffic beyond a user device default gateway (Layer 3 interface) is not permitted unless an explicit exception is configured. Common exceptions include remediation resources, anti-virus servers, etc. Capacity for ACL updates may vary depending on make/model of Layer 3 switch/router. For high volume environments (such as wireless with open SSIDs, etc) a Layer 2 integration is recommended.

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SafeConnect Layer 3 Integration Overview

Layer 2 Integration Overview

Layer 2 integrations quarantine devices and assign network access on the Layer 2 integrated device (switch, controller or access point as applicable). Devices are detected through various network inputs (Netflow/sFlow, DHCP, RADIUS Accounting), assessed for policy and either quarantined or allowed on the network with the appropriate level of access (for example, assigned to a specific VLAN or specific ACL applied). Quarantined devices are redirected to SafeConnect utilizing RADIUS Change of Authorization (CoA) updates sent to the Layer 2 integrated device (switch, controller or access point as applicable) when a device falls out of compliance. All routed traffic is blocked unless a specific exception is configured. Common exceptions include remediation resources, anti-virus servers, etc. If Layer 2ACLs are also supported by the vendor, East/West traffic within a segment may also be blocked. Capabilities for Layer 2 enforcement options may vary depending on make/model of Layer 2 device and what RADIUS attributes are supported.

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SafeConnect Wireless Layer 2 Overview

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SafeConnect Wired Layer 2 Integration Overview