JumpCloud’s Cloud RADIUS & Azure AD Authentication

Written by Rob McGrath on September 2, 2022

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As businesses continue returning to the office, more and more MSPs are being pressed to ensure that employees are able to return with minimal pain. Wi-Fi connectivity is often the very first issue that users will run into in a new office setting, so MSPs are finding that they must revisit how they handle the security of the wireless networks that they manage. 

Common Wi-Fi Security Vulnerabilities

It’s very likely that your customers have their Wi-Fi set up with a guest network for visitors to use and a pre-shared key that employees are given on the first day of their employment. However, this authentication method is only marginally better than having no password at all and is very dangerous if the Wi-Fi provides access to domain-associated resources. 

Addressing Connection Concerns

Being that your customers’ Wi-Fi keys are likely older than COVID-19, there has never been a better time to switch to a tried and tested solution: RADIUS. With RADIUS configured, network authentication takes place against a directory that has been configured to allow a user’s existing login credentials (username and password) to grant and revoke access to network resources. 

RADIUS adds a much needed layer of security between users and a Wi-Fi network, while also bringing added convenience to your customers’ wireless networks. While RADIUS comes with a plethora of benefits, implementation can feel intimidating — but, it doesn’t have to be!

Using JumpCloud’s Cloud RADIUS Feature

In order to set up RADIUS for a client, you will need a directory to use as the source of truth for user authentication, and JumpCloud has the perfect solution for you. Here at JumpCloud, we leverage our powerful open directory platform to offer a high-quality, easy-to-use Cloud RADIUS solution that our customers love, giving them cloud-directory-fueled authentication and MFA to keep their networks secure and efficient. 

  1. Utilizing the Full Functionality of JumpCloud Alone

In addition to its Cloud RADIUS feature, implementing JumpCloud’sopen directory platform opens the door to a variety of other important features such as SSO, MDM, software deployment, and policies to help manage your users and endpoints. 

In effect, with JumpCloud, you will not only be able to address your clients’ immediate network security and user experience needs, but you’ll also be able to position your services in a new way. You’ll be able to offer current and potential customers a more forward-facing and expansive service using all of JumpCloud’s capabilities — including helping clients consolidate their technology stack or adding much needed features into their IT infrastructure.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s great, but I am not in a position to migrate directory services. I simply want to deploy RADIUS to improve Wi-Fi and VPN authentication, and I already have customers using Azure Active Directory (AAD).”

Well, I have some good news for you: you can leverage your existing Azure AD environments in harmony with JumpCloud thanks to our new feature: RADIUS Authentication with Azure AD Credentials.

  1. Using JumpCloud’s RADIUS Feature With Azure AD

Surprisingly (or maybe ironically?) enough, the implementation of RADIUS with Azure AD is reliant upon on-prem resources, with physical servers needing to be allocated to perform the required tasks. JumpCloud is a strong proponent of equipping MSPs and IT professionals with world-class tools to get their jobs done effectively, which means we focus on creating solutions for problems like this.

This means that we’ve made it so you can leverage JumpCloud’s Cloud RADIUS feature while maintaining Azure AD as the source of truth for your directory needs, effectively giving you the best of both worlds, with no on-prem setup necessary. This means that your customers can enjoy secure networks while improving ease of access to networks among their credentialed employees. On that same note, what this means for you, is that you now have a cloud-based RADIUS solution that can be implemented for any of your customers without gutting their existing directories.

Getting Started With Cloud RADIUS

Here are some guides to help you begin launching Cloud RADIUS across your MSP business and your clients’ orgs.

JumpCloud

Need additional help or guidance? Contact the JumpCloud Sales team to discuss your questions about the platform.

Cloud RADIUS Benefits

Check out some of the benefits that JumpCloud’s RADIUS solution will give to your clients:

  • Improved user experience that only requires a single, unique password to connect to networks and resources to get work done both in the office and remotely via a VPN.
  • Streamlined user onboarding and offboarding due to the activation or deactivation of a single set of secure credentials compared to many different usernames and passwords.
  • Fewer help desk tickets related to the pain associated with changing a PSK (pre-shared key) for a Wi-Fi network.
  • Simplified compliance that’s easier to prove by getting rid of a shared network password that anyone can get ahold of.
  • Easier network access for your techs. They’ll no longer be scrambling to figure out Wi-Fi passwords when performing site visits (this will also drastically lower the chance of a tech needing to huddle to one corner of a closet to get the single bar of LTE signal available for their hotspot to connect to your documentation service to find the Wi-Fi password. Definitely not speaking from personal experience. Sidenote: Why did they stop putting a network port on laptops?).

Ultimately, the largest benefit of having Cloud RADIUS from JumpCloud implemented is that you now have a solution that can be easily replicated across your entire customer base. Whether you’re working with a company that has never touched a directory service before (which JumpCloud can easily help with), or a customer that has been holding onto that 12 year-old server for dear life, JumpCloud is here to help you modernize your customers’ infrastructure. 

With Cloud RADIUS, your service offerings around network management can fully revolve around a single authentication standard, your hardware vendor of choice, and a unified support approach that will delight your customers. 

JumpCloud for MSPs

At JumpCloud, we are serious about setting MSPs up for success when working with in-office, hybrid, and fully remote clients. To do this, we have developed a dedicated platform for MSPs, called JumpCloud for MSPs. 

JumpCloud for MSPs is an open directory platform that enables our partners to centralize identity, authentication, access, and device management capabilities under one umbrella without having to tear and replace any existing infrastructure. 

JumpCloud

JumpCloud for MSPs enables you to securely and efficiently provide your customers with seamless access to resources to make work happen.

Rob McGrath

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