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Is a partner anchor controller and SSID secure for my IT domain?

ezisaac
Level 1
Level 1

We're establishing an internal, distinct wireless network for a research partner with multiple lab spaces and various WiFi-enabled devices, including research laptops, tablets, and wireless field devices across our campus. Our objective is to ensure that they operate autonomously within their operation domain, with no access or monitoring of their research data by us, except for network management purposes. They maintain their server room and a wired research network in their designated area. A firewall separates their research network from our IT network, facilitating necessary inter-domain data exchange while preventing public internet access.

I'm considering the addition of another "Partner" anchor controller within the Partner DMZ on our WLAN, linked back to our campus 9800 WLC via a mobility tunnel. This setup would allow the research partner to administer and operate their controller, managing user authentication independently. Furthermore, I intend to incorporate the associated SSID, directing their traffic from the anchor controller to the Partner VLAN in the firewall DMZ, permitting connectivity for their field wireless data and traffic to reach their research servers in the server room.

Could you please advise if this configuration poses any network security risks to my IT domain? Is the wireless network adequately secure for the research domain? Are there any vulnerabilities inherent in this architecture? Additionally, I would appreciate any reference design documents or comments you may offer on this proposal.

3 Replies 3

Leo Laohoo
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

@ezisaac wrote:
while preventing public internet access.

You mean "air gap"?

Unless the area where this partner works is completely sealed off with a Faraday Cage, I would never use WiFi.  

ezisaac
Level 1
Level 1

No, not air gap. I aim to ascertain whether both corporate IT and research domain networks are appropriately segregated and secured. This is particularly pertinent as my IT team considers providing WiFi access to research partners, enabling their wireless devices to connect to their server (in their server room) through the 'Research Anchor Controller' via the firewall.

Rich R
VIP
VIP

There is no right or wrong answer.
You must have a defined security policy and then assess that design against the specified requirements of that policy.
Every organisation has slightly different (stricter/more relaxed) policies and practices.

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