Difference Between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 07, 2022

       

Difference Between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE Difference Between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE

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Introduction

Cisco ISE, or Identity Services Engine, is a next-generation identity that helps enterprises improve infrastructure security, enforce compliance, and optimize operations and services by giving them access to policy platform control. The RADIUS proxy and server, also known as the remote authentication dial-in user service, is implemented in the Microsoft network policy server. The Microsoft implementation of a Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) server and the proxy is Network Policy Server (NPS). NPS authorizes switch, remote access dial-up, and virtual private network (VPN) connections and performs centralized authentication and authorization for wireless devices like a RADIUS server. NPS allows you to centrally configure and manage network access authentication, connection request authorization, and information log accounting.

Microsoft NPS vs. Cisco ISE

The key distinction between Cisco ISE and Microsoft NPS is that Cisco abbreviates "Identity Services Engine" to "ISE." Maintaining compliance through empowering companies, increasing infrastructure security, gathering real-time data, and optimizing service operations are all critical tasks for Cisco ISE. NPS, on the other hand, has accounting, authorization, and centralized authentication for VPN connections, authenticating switches, and remote dial-up access. Cisco ISE, or Identity Services Engine, is a next-generation identity that helps enterprises improve infrastructure security, enforce compliance, and optimize operations and services by giving them access to policy platform control.

Several companies are currently using Cisco's identity services engine. Lewis, Inc., for example, makes between $1 million and $10 million in revenue and employs between 10 and 50 people. The full name of Microsoft's NPS is "Network Policy Server." Network policy server technology was developed by Microsoft, one of the leading companies. The RADIUS proxy and server, also known as remote authentication dial-in user service, is implemented in Microsoft's network policy server. Microsoft's network policy server is used by organizations that require VPN connections, dial-up, or wireless authentication.

The Cisco identity services engine is now used by several enterprises. Lewis, Inc., for example, has a revenue range of $1 million to $10 million with a workforce of 10 to 50 employees. Loren Technologies, on the other hand, is a firm that makes use of this technology. NPS is Microsoft's network policy server's implementation of the RADIUS proxy and server, also known as remote authentication dial-in user service. Microsoft's network policy server is used by organizations that require VPN connections, dial-up, and wireless authentication.

Difference Between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE in Tabular Form

Table: Microsoft NPS vs. Cisco ISE
Parameters of comparison
 Cisco ISE
Microsoft NPS
Full form
Cisco Identity
Network Policy server
Advantages
Greater visibility and accurate device identification
Increased security and increased efficiency
Functions
Infrastructure security is being improved, real-time data is being collected, and service operations are being streamlined.
For VPN connections, perform accounting, authorization, and centralized authentication.
Developed by
Cisco
Microsoft
Uses
Lorven Technologies, Lewis, Inc., and others.
VPN connections, dial-up, and wireless authentication are required by organizations.

What is Microsoft NPS?

The Network Policy Server is Microsoft's RADIUS server and proxy solution for network access and policy management. NPS provides authentication, authorization, and accounting services that enable the usage of heterogeneous network equipment while also maintaining network device health.

The RADIUS protocol is used to configure and manage network client authentication, which is critical to NPS operation. The Network Policy and Access Services (NPAS) feature in Windows Server 2016 and Server 2019 can be used to install current editions of NPS.

The full name of Microsoft's NPS is "Network Policy Server." NPS's important capabilities include accounting, authorization, and centralized authentication for VPN connections, authenticating switches, and remote dial-up access.

The purpose of Network Policy Servers, their function in networking, and best practices for managing NPS are all discussed in this article.

Radius Protocol

Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) was developed as a client-server protocol for dial-up connections. RADIUS servers, while dial-up has lost favor in the corporate, remain a simple solution to offload authentication from access points. RADIUS servers can run on either Windows or Unix servers, and they allow administrators to regulate who can join the network. RADIUS server clients represent network access points; users send requests to RADIUS clients, who subsequently pass the request on to the RADIUS server for authentication.

RADIUS servers communicate with network access servers using network communication protocols such as user datagram protocol (UDP) or transmission control protocol. The network access server receives a connection request from a client device. The NAS communicates with the RADIUS server, which uses its AAA capabilities to authenticate users and provide authorization for correct configuration.

Purpose of NPS

Network Policy Server is a solution for RADIUS-capable Windows network managers. NPS not only provides network access controls that may be customized, but it also assures that non-Microsoft device can connect once verified. Administrators can limit the sorts of clients and rights available to network users by grouping users and client devices or automating classification. This control allows for ongoing access to policy administration as well as event tracking for accounting purposes. NPS also examines requests to preserve network integrity and assure client health.

Roles of NPS

Radius Server

As a RADIUS server, NPS conducts AAA for wireless, switch, remote access dial-up, and VPN connections. Administrators set up network access servers as RADIUS clients, such as WAP and VPN servers, and log event data to a local hard disc or a SQL Server database.

Radius Proxy

NPS can set access policies and control which RADIUS server is used as a RADIUS proxy when a connection request is made. This provides the ability to transfer accounting data for load balancing log replication over several remote RADIUS servers.

Access Protection

Administrators need to know which endpoints are trustworthy because remote work and BYOD rules expose varied devices to networks. Through signs such as patched software, firewalls, and malware definitions, the NPS can serve as a health check for client devices.

Microsoft NPS Authentication

When NPS is utilized as a RADIUS server, it provides a centralized authentication and authorization service for all RADIUS client access requests, as well as authenticating user credentials for connection attempts. NPS acts as a central switching or routing point for radius access and accounting messages as a RADIUS proxy. You can be promptly notified if your NPS consistently refuses or rejects access requests using Applications Manager. You can also track the Access-Request messages delivered by each access server for authentication and report on the rate at which these access requests are disputed or rejected by NPS.

NPS Performance

Is your Microsoft NPS environment suffering slow application performance? Monitor the availability and performance of your RADIUS-configured Microsoft NPS. With CPU and Memory Usage metrics, you can plan capacity, ensure your host CPU has enough resources, and monitor your storage memory. You can add more resources based on server demands without affecting application performance.

What is Cisco ISE?

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) is the next identity and access control policy platform, assisting enterprises in enforcing compliance, improving infrastructure security, and streamlining operations. Cisco ISE's unique architecture enables businesses to collect real-time contextual data from networks, users, and devices. By attaching identities to multiple network elements such as access switches, wireless LAN controllers (WLCs), virtual private network (VPN) gateways, and data center switches, the administrator can make proactive governance decisions. The Cisco Security Group Access Solution relies heavily on Cisco ISE.

Cisco ISE is a policy-based access control system that combines a subset of existing Cisco policy platforms' features. Features of Cisco ISE

  • One appliance that combines authentication, authorization, accounting (AAA), posture, and profiler.
  • Provides complete client provisioning measures and assesses device posture for all endpoints that use the network, including 802.1X environments, to ensure endpoint compliance.
  • Provides comprehensive guest access management for Administrators of Cisco ISE, sanctioned sponsor administrators, or both Enables consistent policy in centralized and dispersed deployments that allows services to be supplied where they are needed by supporting discovery, profiling, policy-based placement, and monitoring of endpoint devices on the network.
  • Advanced enforcement capabilities are used, such as security group access (SGA) via security group tags (SGTs) and security group access control lists.
  • Scalability to handle a variety of deployment scenarios ranging from tiny offices to huge enterprises.

Key Functions

Provide Identity-Based Network Access

In the following domains, the Cisco ISE solution enables context-aware identity management:

  • Cisco ISE evaluates if users are using an authorized, policy-compliant device to access the network.
  • Cisco ISE provides digital credentials, geolocation, and usage history for compliance and reporting purposes.
  • Cisco ISE assigns services to users depending on their role, group, and policy.
  • Based on authentication findings, Cisco ISE allows authenticated users access to specified network segments, applications, services, or both.

Manage Various Deployment Scenarios

Cisco ISE supports 802.1X wired, wireless, and virtual private networks and may be deployed throughout a corporate architecture (VPNs).

The Cisco ISE architecture allows both stand-alone and distributed (sometimes known as "high-availability" or "redundant") deployments, in which one computer serves as the main and another serves as a backup. Cisco ISE has configurable personas, services, and roles that enable you to design and deploy Cisco ISE services wherever they are needed in the network. As a consequence, a thorough Cisco ISE implementation that is fully functioning and integrated has been achieved.

You can use one or more of the Administration, Monitoring, and Policy Service personas to install Cisco ISE nodes, each of which plays a particular role in your overall network policy management topology. Installing Cisco ISE with an Administration persona enables you to configure and administer your network from a single location, resulting in increased efficiency and convenience of use.

When users access the network via WLCs and/or VPN concentrators that lack the requisite capability to permit Cisco ISE policy management, you can deploy the Cisco ISE platform as an Inline Posture node to perform policy enforcement and execute Change of Authorization requests.

Main Differences between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE in Points

  • The acronym "ISE" stands for Cisco Identity Services Engine. The entire name of Microsoft's NPS, on the other hand, is "Network Policy Server."
  • Identity Services Engine technology was developed by Cisco, which owns the copyright and patents for the invention. The creation of network policy server technology, on the other hand, was done by professionals working for Microsoft, one of the top companies.
  • Cisco ISE, or Identity Services Engine, is a sort of next-generation identity that aids in improving infrastructure security, enforcing compliances by allowing organizations, and optimizing operations and services by providing access to policy platforms. On the other hand, it is the implementation of the RADIUS proxy and server in Microsoft's network policy server, also known as remote authentication dial-in user service.
  • Cisco ISE's key roles include guaranteeing compliance through empowering businesses, improving infrastructure security, capturing real-time data, and optimizing service operations. NPS, on the other hand, performs accounting, authorization, and centralized authentication for VPN connections, authenticating switches, and remote dial-up access, among other things.
  • Several companies are now using the Cisco identity services engine. Lewis, Inc., for example, has a revenue range of $1 million to $10 million, with a business size of 10- 50 employees. Lorven Technologies, on the other hand, is a firm that makes use of this technology. Organizations that require VPN connections, dial-up, and wireless authentication, on the other hand, utilize Microsoft's network policy server. Moreover, the NPS was created to make it easy to integrate network add-ons like VPN and Active Directory.

Conclusion

Cisco's identify services engine is now used by several enterprises. For example, Lewis, Inc. has a revenue range of $1 million to $10 million and a business size of 10 to 50 employees. Lorven Technologies, on the other hand, is a firm that makes use of this technology. Cisco ISE's important tasks include ensuring compliance by enabling enterprises, increasing infrastructure security, obtaining real-time data, and optimizing service operations. Microsoft's network policy server is used by organizations that require VPN connections, dial-up, or wireless authentication. Furthermore, the NPS's main purpose was to make network add-ons like VPN and AD easier to integrate. NPS's responsibilities include accounting, authorization, and centralized authentication for VPN connections, as well as authenticating switches and providing remote dial-up access.



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"Difference Between Microsoft NPS and Cisco ISE." Diffzy.com, 2022. Sun. 27 Nov. 2022. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-microsoft-nps-and-cisco-ise-414>.



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