Wired Network 802.1x FAQ


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.

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.

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

The tentative timeline is to have all academic and administrative buildings activated by the end of 2017. A schedule is being developed and will be communicated via email.

By the end of 2018, all non user (example: printers) wired network connections should become subject to 802.1x authentication

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.

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.

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.

The security certificate should match the following information:

  1. Name/Subject: WakeForestWireless.wfu.edu
  2. Signed by: Go Daddy Secure Certificate Authority – G2
  3. Thumbprint: ‎b0ba41fda0721aaeb98f089421572a976c6aa9c6
  1. University owned
  2. Connected to University configuration management platform (JAMF or SCCM)
  1. Grant computers
  2. Departmental purchased computers
  3. Information Systems department issued computer
  4. Computers purchased via the procurement office
  5. University-leased computers

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

A ResolveIT 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.

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.

No, guests must use the WFUguest wireless network.

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.

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.


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Last modified: October 25, 2017