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How Secure Is Your Wireless Network? Safeguarding Your Wi-Fi LAN by CCNA Lee Barken - CISSP MCP, CPA

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Where Did 802.1x Come From?

802.1x has its roots in the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). As you may recall, PPP was originally designed for dial-up connections and later applied to some DSL/cable modems (as the PPP-over-Ethernet, or PPPoE protocol). PPP worked great, but was somewhat feature limited as it only supported username/password combinations as an authentication method.

Enter EAP

EAP was originally created as an extension to PPP. The idea was to establish a generalized framework for multiple authentication methods. In other words, PPP with authentication plug-in modules. This way, you could authenticate your users any way you liked. For example, you could use things like passwords, certificates, tokens, PKI, smart cards, Kerberos, biometrics, ...

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