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Configure Your Access Points as IEEE 802.1X Supplicants

SUMMARY For added security, use this feature to block traffic to an access point until its credentials are verified.

Juniper Mist APs can authenticate to their uplink wired switch by using IEEE 802.1X authentication. When 802.1X authentication is implemented, the switch blocks traffic to the AP at the port until its credentials are presented and matched on the authentication server (a RADIUS server). When the AP is authenticated, the switch stops blocking traffic.

To get the 802.1X supplicant feature working on your Juniper Mist™ APs, you'll ensure that the APs have the required firmware, enable 802.1X the switch port profile and the device profile, and add the Juniper Mist CA certificate to your RADIUS server.

Deployment Considerations

The preferred method to deploy your Juniper Mist APs with 802.1X at the edge is to leverage a guest VLAN on the switch side. With a guest VLAN that is completely locked down, except for access to the Mist cloud, the AP can connect to the cloud, receive its configuration, and download the correct AP firmware version (if required). Once it has the supplicant configuration, the AP will attempt to authenticate to the network.

Requirements: AP firmware version 0.14.x or higher is required. To ensure that all APs meet this requirement, the processes below include enabling auto-upgrade in the site settings. This way, all APs automatically get the required firmware to support this feature.

Enable Auto-Update to Version 0.14.x or Higher

802.1X is supported in Juniper Mist AP firmware version 0.14.x or higher. To ensure that all APs meet this requirement, enable auto-upgrade in the site settings. This way, all APs automatically get the required firmware to support this feature.

  1. From the left menu of the Juniper Mist portal, select Organization > Admin | Site Configuration.
  2. Select a site to open the Site Configuration page.
  3. Under AP Firmware Upgrade, select Enable Auto Update.
  4. Under Upgrade Version, select Auto upgrade for production firmware to get the latest firmware.
    AP Firmware Upgrade Section of the Site Configuration Page
  5. Select the Time of Day and Day of Week when you want the auto-upgrade to run.
    Allow at least 2 hours for the new settings to take effect. For example, if you are configuring these settings at 2 p.m. and you want to update your APs today, set the time to 4 p.m. or later.
  6. Click Save near the top-right corner of the Site Configuration page.

Enable 802.1X in the Switch Port Profile

On your switch, enable 802.1X authentication for the ports that your APs connect to. We recommend using a Guest VLAN, server reject VLAN, or MAC auth fallback with a default VLAN that allows AP connectivity to the Mist Cloud, at least for initial deployment of the site. This way, APs can safely connect to the cloud to receive the initial configuration and AP firmware.

To configure 802.1X in the Port Profile:

  1. Select Organization > Switch Templates, and then click the switch template that you want to configure.
  2. In the Authentication Servers section, add your RADIUS servers.
    Adding RADIUS Servers in the Switch Template
  3. In the Shared Elements section, enable 802.1X and either MAC Authentication or Guest Network.
    • 802.1X with MAC Authentication—With this option, your RADIUS server has full visibility and control. When an AP connects, the switch performs MAC authentication. RADIUS should return a default/unknown device VLAN with access to the Mist Cloud. Then the AP connects to cloud, downloads firmware if necessary, and receives the supplicant configuration. Next, the AP requests RADIUS authentication. When the AP is authenticated, the switch places the AP in the specified VLAN(s).

      Enabling 802.1X and MAC Authentication
    • 802.1X with Guest Network—With this method, you use a Guest VLAN to provide limited access to new APs until they connect to the Mist cloud and get their configuration. When an AP connects, it is placed on the Guest VLAN. Then it connects to cloud, downloads firmware if necessary, and receives the supplicant configuration. Next, the AP requests RADIUS authentication. When the AP is authenticated, the switch places the AP in the specified VLAN(s).

      Enabling 802.1X and Guest Network in a Port Profile
    Note:

    Also identify the VLAN in the port profile so that the APs are assigned to the desired VLAN(s). Alternatively, assign VLANs via RADIUS. See Assigning VLANs via RADIUS (If Applicable).

  4. Apply the Port Profile to the ports where you'll connect the APs.

    You can apply the profiles by using Dynamic Port Configuration or by editing the port configuration (in the Select Switches Configuration section).

    Dynamic Port Configuration Example

    Example Dynamic Port Configuration Rule
    Note:

    For help configuring a Juniper Mist switch template, see the Juniper Mist Wired Assurance Configuration Guide.

Assigning VLANs via RADIUS (If Applicable)

If you use Mist Edge and tunnel all of your WLANs, then likely an AP connecting to a switch port configured as access will suffice. However if you don’t use Mist Edge, or have WLANs local traffic breakout, then you probably need the switch port to be a trunk. Most switch operating systems allow you to return multiple VLANs from RADIUS.

For Junos, you can either return multiple Egress-VLANID or Egress-VLAN-Name.

Example for Egress-VLAN-Name:

  • 1 = tagged
  • 2 = untagged
  • vlan-2 and vlan-3 are the VLAN names on the switch

In the example below, VLAN 1vlan-2 is tagged, and VLAN 2vlan-3 is untagged:

Note:

For help with configuration, see your Junos OS documentation.

Enable the 802.1X Supplicant Option in the Device Profile

To quickly configure multiple APs at once, set up a device profile with this feature enabled. You'll then apply the device profile to the APs. When the AP connects to the cloud for the first time, it will receive the supplicant configuration straight away.

  1. Select Organization > Device Profiles from the left menu of the Juniper Mist portal.
  2. Click an existing profile or click Create Profile.
  3. In the Ethernet Properties section of the Device Profile, find the 802.1X Supplicant option, and click Enable.
    802.1X Supplicant Option on the Device Profile Page
  4. Configure any other desired settings for this device profile.
  5. Click Save near the top-right corner of the Device Profile page.

Apply the Device Profile to Your APs

When you claim your APs into your organization, apply the device profile and identify the site. This way, when you bring your APs online, they'll get the firmware through the auto-upgrade settings in the site configuration, and they'll get the AP configuration from the device profile.

  1. Select Access Points from the left menu of the Juniper Mist portal.
  2. Click Claim APs at the top-right corner of the Access Points page.
  3. In the pop-up window, enter the activation codes or claim codes, select the site, and select the device profile.
    Applying a Device Profiles When Claiming APs
  4. Click Claim.

Import Your Certificate to Your RADIUS Server

Juniper Mist generates a unique CA certificate for your organization. You need to import this certificate to your RADIUS server so that the server can authenticate your APs.

You can find your Mist Certificate on the Organization > Settings page.

Mist Certificate Link on the Organization Settings Page