Skip to main content
Wake Forest University

Wired Network 802.1x FAQ

Modified on: Fri, May 28, 2021 10:58 AM

What is 802.1x?

802.1x is a standard that defines the requirements for the authentication protocol that restricts unauthorized clients from connecting to the network.

This is the same authentication protocol used on the Wake Forest wireless network.

Why did we enable 802.1x authentication on the wired network?

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important issue, both in our culture and on our campus.  This security measure recognizes and begins to mitigate the risks associated with our current approach. 

A recent cybersecurity audit identified this countermeasure as a step towards reducing risks to our network. Wake Forest already uses the industry standard “802.1x” user authentication on the wireless network. 

 This change extends that same technology to wired ports.

Are all wired network connections going to require 802.1x authentication?

All user wired network connections will require username and password to connect to the wired network in all academic and administrative buildings.

What if I have a University-owned Windows computer? 

Most University-owned Windows computer, running the standard load will receive an update that completes all required changes to the network settings on the computer. Once logged in, you will see no difference when using wired network connections on campus. 

What if I have a University-owned Mac computer? 

When connected to the wired network for the first time, you will be prompted to enter your WFU username and password. At first, you may also be prompted to accept the WFU certificate. 

Can I use a 802.1x connection with my Virtual Machine? 

Once your host is connected to the 802.1x network, your Virtual Machine (Mac or Windows) should connect to the network through your host's network connection. 

How do I verify that I am accepting the correct certificate during this authentication process? 

 The security certificate should match the following information:

  1. Name/Subject:
  2. Signed by: Go Daddy Secure Certificate Authority - G2
  3. Thumbprint: ‎b0ba41fda0721aaeb98f089421572a976c6aa9c6

What happens if my University-owned device does not connect correctly? 

Please contact the Information Systems Service Desk for assistance. 

What happens if my University-owned device does not support the wired network authentication? 

Please contact the Information Systems Service Desk for assistance. 

What are the requirements for a computer to connect to the WFU wired network?

  1. University owned
  2. Connected to University configuration management platform (JAMF or SCCM)

What is considered a University-owned computer?

  1. Grant computers
  2. Departmental purchased computers
  3. Information Systems department issued computer
  4. Computers purchased via the procurement office
  5. University-leased computers

May I connect my personally owned computer to the WFU wired network?

You should only connect your personal devices to the WFU wireless network.

How will exceptions be handled?

An AskDeac request should be submitted for evaluation. Each case will be reviewed and the appropriate solution applied to keep Wake Forest University in compliance with security requirements.

Can a visiting faculty member without Wake Forest credentials connect to the wired network?

If you are visiting from another institution and your institution supports eduroam for wireless, you may connect to our wired network with the same credentials.

Can guests or visitors utilize the wired network?

No, guests must use the WFUguest wireless network.

My laboratory equipment does not support wired network authentication.

We have a variety of strategies for connecting University-owned laboratory equipment whose network configuration doesn’t support 802.1x. Please contact the Information Systems Service Desk for assistance.

My telephone is connected to a wired network port. Will I have to log on to it before I can use the phone?

No. Our telephone system recognizes the embedded network address in your telephone and establishes a secure connection based on that address. You only have to authenticate a wired device plugged into your telephone. 

Was this answer helpful? Yes No

Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.