CSAuth is the authentication and authorization service. It permits or denies access to users by processing authentication and authorization requests. CSAuth determines whether access should be granted and defines the privileges for a particular user. It is the Cisco Secure ACS database manager.

To authenticate users, Cisco Secure ACS can use the internal user database or one of many external databases. When a request for authentication arrives, Cisco Secure ACS checks the database that is configured for that user. If the user is unknown, Cisco Secure ACS checks the database configured for unknown users.

When a user has authenticated, Cisco Secure ACS obtains a set of authorizations from the user profile and the group to which the user is assigned. This information is stored with the username in the Cisco Secure user database. Some of the authorizations included are the services to which the user is entitled, such as IP over PPP, IP pools from which to draw an IP address, access lists, and password-aging information. The authorizations, with the approval of authentication, are then passed to the CSTacacs or CSRadius modules to be forwarded to the requesting device.

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