FortiWLC – RSA SecurID Authentication

RSA SecurID Authentication

RSA SecurID is two-factor authentication mechanism. This authentication mechanism primarily involves three components: RSA SecurID Authenticator token (hardware based or software based) that generates a unique authentication code

  • RSA SecurID Server (Authentication Manager)
  • RSA Authentication Agent
RSA SecurID Authenticator Token and Code

Each RSA SecurID token includes a factory-encoded, unique ‘seed.’ The token uses this unique seed to generate an authentication code at fixed intervals (for example 60 seconds). By utilizing the built-in-clock time and the unique seed, the authentication code keeps changing at fixed intervals. Since the token’s clock and the server’s clock are synchronized. the server generates authentication codes at the same fixed intervals as the token. Possession of the resulting code is then combined with knowledge of a PIN number to produce secure authentication.

RSA SecurID Server

Users are authenticated against the RSA SecurID Server with the username and the passcode, which is the combination of the authentication code generated/displayed by the token and the PIN (see above).

The first time a user uses the token, they are asked to choose a new PIN. The server also requests a new time-synchronous PIN regularly or whenever the timing between a token and a server ‘drifts.’ If the drift is more than 3 minutes, then the Server requests the user to enter the next authentication code generated by the token in the next interval to verify the possession of the token. If the next authentication mode has the same clock drift, then token is assumed valid by the Server.

RSA SecurID Agent

This authentication is similar to the standard username-passcode authentication, but the passcode is not a single word. It is a numeric combination of the authentication code in the token and the PIN known to the user.

The RSA SecurID can be achieved two ways:

  • EAP-RSA based authentication – implemented currently
  • Native SecurID Authentication – not in use at this time

RSA SecurID Authentication


Configure RSA SecurID

Communication between an RSA server and a controller is the same as communication between a controller and any other RADIUS server (IAS or Free RADIUS). The only difference is in the way the client authenticates to the RSA Server, by means of two factor authentication in which Fortinet does not interfere. Configure an RSA server on a controller using the CLI command radius-profile. For example:

default# configure terminal default(config)# radius‐profile <RSA>

default(config‐radius)# ip‐address <IP of the RSA server> default(config‐radius)# key secure‐secret default(config‐radius)# exit

Having trouble configuring your Fortinet hardware or have some questions you need answered? Ask your questions in the comments below!!! Want someone else to deal with it for you? Get some consulting from Fortinet GURU!

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