20 Cisco Identity Services Engine Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Cisco Identity Services Engine will be used.

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) is a software application that simplifies the creation and management of user identities and network access. As a result, it is a key component of any network security strategy. Because of its importance, interviewers often ask questions about Cisco ISE during job interviews for positions in network security or administration. In this article, we will review some of the most common Cisco ISE interview questions and provide sample answers to help you prepare for your next interview.

Cisco Identity Services Engine Interview Questions and Answers

Here are 20 commonly asked Cisco Identity Services Engine interview questions and answers to prepare you for your interview:

1. What is Cisco Identity Services Engine?

Cisco Identity Services Engine is a software application that provides a centralized identity management solution for Cisco network devices. It allows administrators to manage user identities, authentication, and authorization from a single platform, simplifying identity management and improving security.

2. Can you explain the components of a Cisco ISE deployment?

A Cisco ISE deployment typically consists of three components: the Policy Administration Node (PAN), the Policy Services Node (PSN), and the Monitoring and Troubleshooting Node (MTN). The PAN is responsible for administering and managing ISE policies, the PSN enforces those policies, and the MTN provides visibility into ISE activity and performance.

3. How does Cisco ISE work with Microsoft Active Directory to provide identity management?

Cisco ISE uses Active Directory as an identity store, which means that it can authenticate users who attempt to access the network and authorize their access to specific resources. It does this by integrating with Active Directory and using its user and group information. This allows Cisco ISE to provide a central point of identity management for an organization.

4. Why are some endpoints excluded from Cisco ISE policy enforcement?

There are a few reasons why endpoints might be excluded from Cisco ISE policy enforcement. One reason is that the endpoint might not be able to support the necessary level of security. Another reason is that the endpoint might be part of a critical infrastructure that needs to be kept online even if it doesn’t meet security standards.

5. Why do we need guest services in Cisco ISE?

Guest services in Cisco ISE provide a way for organizations to give temporary network access to visitors in a secure way. By using guest services, organizations can create guest accounts that expire after a certain amount of time, ensuring that only authorized users have access to the network. Additionally, guest services can be used to track which users have accessed the network and when, providing valuable information for security purposes.

6. Which protocols can be used for endpoint profiling on Cisco ISE?

The protocols that can be used for endpoint profiling on Cisco ISE are DHCP, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, and RADIUS.

7. Can you give me an example of how Cisco ISE works in practice by explaining its role in network access control?

Cisco ISE is a network access control system that helps to ensure that only authorized users are able to access network resources. It does this by authenticating users and devices, and then authorizing them to access specific resources based on their identity and role. Cisco ISE can be used to enforce security policies, and to monitor and report on activity on the network.

8. What’s the difference between EAP-TLS and 802.1x authentication?

EAP-TLS is a type of authentication that uses TLS certificates to verify the identity of users. 802.1x authentication, on the other hand, uses a variety of methods (including passwords, tokens, and biometrics) to verify the identity of users.

9. What are some of the roles that users might have when using Cisco ISE?

There are three main roles that users might have when using Cisco ISE: guest, employee, and administrator. Guest users are typically given limited access to network resources, while employees are given more access. Administrators have full access to all of the features and functions of Cisco ISE.

10. What are some advantages of using Cisco ISE over other NAC solutions like ForeScout or Bradford Networks?

Some advantages of using Cisco ISE over other NAC solutions include its ability to provide a single pane of glass for managing network access, its scalability, and its integration with a variety of Cisco products. Additionally, Cisco ISE provides a number of features that other NAC solutions do not, such as the ability to create guest accounts and to track device compliance.

11. What OSI layer does Cisco ISE operate at?

Cisco ISE operates at Layer 2 of the OSI model.

12. What are some common use cases for Cisco ISE?

Cisco ISE can be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to network security, user access control, and compliance management. It is a common tool for managing user access to corporate networks, as it can provide granular control over what users are able to do and see once they are logged in. Additionally, Cisco ISE can be used to monitor network activity for compliance purposes, helping to ensure that sensitive data is not being accessed or shared without proper authorization.

13. What is endpoint posture assessment?

Endpoint posture assessment is a security feature of the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) that allows administrators to assess the security posture of devices that connect to the network. This assessment is performed by checking the device for compliance with security policies that are defined by the administrator. If the device is not compliant with the policies, then it will be quarantined and will not be allowed to access the network.

14. Can you explain what BYOD devices are?

BYOD devices are devices that are brought in by employees or other users to connect to a network. These devices may include laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

15. Are there any limitations of Cisco ISE?

Yes, there are some limitations to consider when using Cisco ISE. For example, the system can only support a limited number of devices and users. Additionally, the system may not be able to provide the same level of security as a traditional firewall.

16. What are some features of the latest version of Cisco ISE?

The latest version of Cisco ISE offers a number of features and improvements, including enhanced scalability, improved performance, enhanced security, and more.

17. What are some examples of when it’s best to use Cisco ISE?

Cisco ISE is best used when you need to authenticate and authorize users on a network. It’s also helpful in managing network access and enforcing security policies.

18. What happens if a user loses internet connectivity while logging into Cisco ISE?

If a user loses internet connectivity while logging into Cisco ISE, they will be unable to authenticate and gain access to the network.

19. What are the main types of policies enforced by Cisco ISE?

The main types of policies enforced by Cisco ISE are authentication policies, authorization policies, and accounting policies. Authentication policies determine how users will authenticate to the system, authorization policies determine what resources users will have access to, and accounting policies track and log user activity.

20. Can you describe the lifecycle of a Cisco ISE session?

The lifecycle of a Cisco ISE session consists of four phases:

1. The initial phase is the authentication phase, where the user’s credentials are verified.

2. The second phase is the authorization phase, where the user is granted or denied access to the requested resources.

3. The third phase is the accounting phase, where usage information is collected and stored.

4. The fourth and final phase is the session termination phase, where the session is ended and all resources are released.


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