Definition of Role-Based CLI Access: Role-Based Command Line Interface (CLI) Access is a security feature implemented in network devices that allows administrators to define and assign specific roles or permissions to users based on their responsibilities. This approach enhances security by ensuring that users only have access to the commands and configurations necessary for their tasks.

Example of Role-Based CLI Access:

Consider a network scenario where there are different user roles such as “Administrator,” “Operator,” and “Viewer.” Each role has a specific set of commands and configurations associated with it. For instance:

# Administrators have full access to all commands.
# Operators can perform configurations related to network operations but not administrative tasks.
# Viewers have read-only access and can view the current configurations.

Configuration Example with Code:

Let’s take an example of a Cisco device using the IOS command-line interface. Assume we want to create three roles: “admin,” “operator,” and “viewer.”

# Define the roles
aaa new-model
aaa authentication login default local

# Create role-based access lists
privilege exec level 15 configure terminal
privilege exec level 5 show running-config
privilege exec level 1 show

# Create user roles and assign privileges
username admin privilege 15 secret <admin_password>
username operator privilege 5 secret <operator_password>
username viewer privilege 1 secret <viewer_password>

In the above configuration:

  • The “admin” user has full access (level 15).
  • The “operator” user has access to operational commands (level 5).
  • The “viewer” user has read-only access (level 1).

Benefits of Role-Based CLI Access:

  • Security Enhancement: Role-Based CLI Access minimizes the risk of unauthorized changes by restricting users to specific commands, reducing the attack surface.
  • Operational Control: It allows organizations to enforce a least privilege principle, granting users the minimum access required for their tasks.
  • Compliance: Role-based access controls help in meeting compliance requirements by ensuring that only authorized personnel can perform critical operations.
  • Audit Trails: With role-based access, it becomes easier to track who made what changes, aiding in troubleshooting and auditing.


Role-Based CLI Access is a crucial component of network security and management. By implementing this feature, organizations can strike a balance between providing necessary access to users and securing critical configurations. It enhances control, reduces the risk of human errors, and contributes to a more robust and secure network infrastructure. As network environments continue to evolve, adopting role-based access controls becomes imperative for maintaining the integrity and security of systems.

Actiive Tech Network Cisco Academy Dubai

Actiive Tech Network Cisco Academy Dubai