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Terminal Access Controller Access Control System

Terminal Access Controller Access Control System

(also TACACS)

Terminal Access Controller Access Control System definition

Terminal Access Controller Access Control System (TACACS) is a network protocol that provides centralized authentication, authorization, and accounting for users accessing a network. It enhances security by encrypting the entire authentication process.

See also: Access control entry

History of Terminal Access Controller Access Control System

Originally developed in the 1980s for ARPANET, TACACS has evolved significantly. It started as a basic network-user authentication protocol and evolved into Extended TACACS (XTACACS) for more comprehensive authorization and accounting.

The most substantial advancement came with TACACS+, introduced by Cisco in the 1990s, offering granular control and enhanced security by encrypting the entire authentication process.

History of Terminal Access Controller Access Control System

  1. Centralized user management. TACACS is used by organizations to centralize the authentication of users accessing network equipment, like routers and switches. It allows network administrators to manage all user credentials and access policies from a single location.
  2. Command authorization for network devices. In environments where different users need varying levels of access, TACACS can provide command authorization. It enables detailed control over which commands each user or group can execute on network devices.
  3. Accounting and audit trails. TACACS keeps a detailed log of every user’s activity on the network, including each session’s time, nature, and duration. This accounting feature is crucial for compliance, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

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