Find out how to leverage a hosted RADIUS server and what your options are.

In order to safely configure a WPA2-Enterprise network, a RADIUS server is a must. The RADIUS authorizes and authenticates users signing into a network and eliminates any speculation into who is using that network. As cyber crime has increased, RADIUS-based authentication has become standard for companies wanting to strengthen their network’s defense. 

Many organizations struggle with the technical barriers of a RADIUS backed network. What they don’t know is that a lot of these issues can be ameliorated through the use of a hosted RADIUS. In this article we’ll delve into how to host a RADIUS server, some benefits that come with it, as well as SecureW2’s Cloud RADIUS solution.

Benefits of A Hosted RADIUS

The most apparent benefit of a hosted RADIUS is the ability to use a RADIUS that’s fully functional in the cloud. The RADIUS is always readily available with built-in redundancy and it’s more cost efficient because there is no hardware to deal with and no physical installation.

The IT department can use the simplicity of the hosted RADIUS to focus on other tasks and not have to worry about the cost and time associated with an on-premise RADIUS. 

Hosted RADIUS also provides security benefits as well. A common issue that organizations face comes from their network’s vulnerability to over-the-air credential theft. A cybercriminal has numerous attack methods to obtain legitimate credentials and comprise the safety of the entire operation. When using a WPA2-PSK network, devices will blindly send their credentials to any SSID that shares the same name as their Wi-Fi network, putting your organization at serious risk for credential theft. These risks can be catastrophic considering a 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report stating 29% of 2019 network breaches involved the use of stolen credentials.

However, a cloud RADIUS enables 802.1x which encrypts each user’s session uniquely, preventing credential theft and securing private information. 

How To Set Up A Hosted RADIUS

You have a number of different options when it comes to providers of a hosted RADIUS. 

The FreeRADIUS Solution

An often used hosted RADIUS comes from FreeRADIUS. The benefits of FreeRADIUS can be summarized in 4 points: 

  1. It’s the most popular RADIUS server in the world for a reason; It works like a charm
  2. It is a no cost solution. 
  3. It’s multithreaded, so it can process more than one transaction at a time. 
  4. There are no license expenses, meaning that it costs the same to authenticate one device as it does hundreds. 

That being said, it can be difficult for admins with little RADIUS experience to set up FreeRADIUS. It can also be difficult for organizations that have unique use cases to configure and customize FreeRADIUS. 

However, many are unaware that FreeRADIUS offers consulting and support services at quite reasonable prices. Oftentimes it’s much cheaper to pay for FreeRADIUS services than paying for some of the traditional options. 

SecureW2’s Solution

FreeRADIUS provides a way to authenticate users into a network, but if you don’t want to host your own RADIUS, a simpler solution comes from SecureW2’s Cloud RADIUS.  Our team has designed the RADIUS to seamlessly integrate with any network infrastructure, while also providing an easy-to-use certificate onboarding service.

Our turnkey PKI solution and JoinNow onboarding software allows users to manually configure without the risk of any onboarding misconfigurations. JoinNow allows users to self-configure their devices for certificates in minutes. The process involves only a few clicks, and once completed, the user is equipped with a certificate and can be immediately authenticated. Our solution makes working with any IdP a breeze.

SecureW2’s Cloud RADIUS is a vendor-neutral solution that can authenticate any network device and ensure your network is secure. Check out our pricing page to see if our cost-efficient solutions can fit your organization.

Eytan Raphaely

Eytan Raphaely is a digital marketing professional with a true passion for writing things that he thinks are really funny, that other people think are mildly funny. Eytan is a graduate of University of Washington where he studied digital marketing. Eytan has diverse writing experience, including studios and marketing consulting companies, digital comedy media companies, and more.

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