A common access card (CAC) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) smart card for multifactor authentication. CACs are issued as standard identification for active-duty military personnel, reserve personnel, civilian employees, non-DoD government employees, state employees of the National Guard, and eligible contractor personnel. In addition to its use as an ID card, a CAC is required for access to government buildings and computer networks.

Part of the requirement necessary to satisfy the Federal Government Certification (JITC requirements) is two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is the redundant authentication of the CAC. For example, the CAC satisfies two-factor authentication by mandating that you have both the physical card and know the pin number associated with the card.

To provide support for CAC authentication, the requirement for the network is the establishment of SSH connections. Two-factor authentication constitutes authentication based on public key or certificate and username/password on the switch.

See also “Common access card (two-factor) authentication” in the basic operation guide for your switch.

Several commands are provided to configure two-factor authentication.