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(RADIUS authentication attributes are defined in RFC 2865.) Figure 6-1 illustrates how this process works.
The RADIUS server can also send IETF or vendor-specific attributes to the Cisco ASA, depending on the implementation and services used.
Cisco ASA supports local and external authorization, depending on the service used. NOTE Local authorization for administrative sessions can be used only for command authorization.
Cisco ASA does not support RADIUS command authorization for administrative sessions because of limitations in the RADIUS protocol.
TACACS uses port 49 for communication and allows vendors to use either User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or TCP encoding.
Cisco ASA uses the TCP version for its TACACS implementation.
For security reasons, this shared secret is never sent over the network.The following subsections introduce each of the authentication protocols and servers that Cisco ASA supports.RADIUS is a widely implemented authentication standard protocol that is defined in RFC 2865, "Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS)." RADIUS operates in a client/server model.The following services are included within its modular architectural framework: Cisco ASA can be configured to maintain a local user database or to use an external server for authentication.The following are the AAA authentication underlying protocols and servers that are supported as external database repositories: Using an external authentication server in medium and large deployments is recommended, for better scalability and easier management.NOTE Passwords are sent as encrypted messages from the Cisco ASA to the RADIUS server.This is useful to protect this critical information from an intruder.The TACACS authentication concept is similar to RADIUS.The NAS sends an authentication request to the TACACS server (daemon).However, if it is using an authentication server, such as Cisco Secure ACS for Windows NT, the server can use external authentication to an SDI server and proxy the authentication request for all other services supported by Cisco ASA.Cisco ASA and SDI use UDP port 5500 for communication.