A few years ago, adopting a VPNwas not the simplest of tasks for IT managers for a number of reasons which included: deployment, compatibility or interoperability issues and the expense of these systems. Things have changed. VPNs are now entering the mainstream, and many companies view them as a telecommunications necessity from both security and cost perspectives.
Originally designed to reduce the costs of connecting branch offices to the main office of a business, VPNs addressed the concern of high costs of leased lines and dedicated connections. The next matter-of-course step was to adapt VPNs to individual remote use, for internal network access and secure operations across the internet.
Widely used by companies to protect corporate data, Virtual Private Networks took over the personal data arena, as well, to such a degree that the use of a VPN has become an almost inalienable, “basic right”, for virtually any kind of private data exposed to the internet.
SSL VPNs pushed by Microsoft over a decade ago or the desktop VPN released just late last month by Opera, help the use of a VPN reach the mainstream.
To sum, a VPN enables a computer that is located outside the corporate network to connect to that network as if it were inside the building, allowing access to internal resources such as file shares, applications, and printers. Beyond connectivity a VPN implicitly means that a secure bridge has been created between any given device using that connection and your business server, which can be on your premises or in the cloud.
Geographically dispersed workforce, no longer a thing of particularity, but rather the norm as highly data oriented companies outsource or expand internationally, increase the need for data protection, as a first line of defense for these intangible assets. In this new paradigm, data loss or data leakage is just like throwing money out the window, since it may lead to competitors picking up sensitive information about your business and use it against you in the economic arena.
The need to access corporate or commercial information is a core component of connectivity inside the enterprise and managing these intangible assets over a plain internet connection is simply not for business use.
At the same time, on the individual approach, data leakage will make your online footprint larger and more visible, while some embedded, sometimes default, features of your favorite social networks like facebook’s location, Twitter’s places, share your data with third-party companies.
CLIENT vs. CLIENTLESS:
Clientless VPN solutions enabled the technology to go a bit further towards mainstream and so have appliances and servers or cloud-based, hosted VPNservices, in their growing plurality.
When challenged to go with one technology or the other, one may be faced with several conundrums: “client vs. clientless” or “hosted or on premise”.
Naturally, each one of these options has pros and cons according to specifics. Still, the question lingers: “which remote user communities can they best serve? What does it really take to install each or any of these VPN solutions?
Let’s just start with SSL VPNs, since they debuted over a decade ago and are generally held to be a user-friendly, cost-effective, secure remote access method.
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN was developed to simplify access to internal company network resources for remote end users. An SSL VPN is a VPN based on the Secure Sockets Layer protocol developed by Netscape Communications during the 1990s. Netscape Communications developed this protocol to transmit private documents via the Internet by initiating a connection from a client to a server using data encryption and other options such as server authentication, message integrity, and client authentication. SSL is now a standard built into every major web browser and web server. In addition to being used in web browsers, SSL has been adapted to secure other protocols (e.g., POP3, IMAP, and SMTP).
SSL PROs & CONs:
-access to specific applications, rather than entire subnets.
Getting access to exact applications can be helpful for hospitals and health care facilities, as they enable remote access to medical applications and patient information directly to the application. However IPSec(client based) connects hosts to entire private networks, while SSL VPNs connect users to services and applications inside those networks.
— Most SSL VPNs provide secure access to Microsoft Outlook Webmail, network file shares and other common business applications. However, they often require custom development to support nonbrowser-based apps.
— SSL VPNs are not designed for an environment where the VPN connection needs to be always on and shared by multiple users; since it requires a web browser to function. This makes SSL VPN connections only suitable for a single user to connect, other VPN implementations, such as IPSEC, where the client can be a single computer or a hardware device can tunnel multiple users’traffic back to the office VPN server.
— web browser pop-up blockers could prevent them from running. The pop-up blocker may see pop-ups coming from the SSL VPN as nuisances and block the helper applications from performing their security and proxy functions.
— on Windows XP and Linux users may encounter issues due to the different levels of access that these operating systems have for users, both put the standard user account at a level that does not allow the kind of changes on the local computer that are needed for the helper applications to run.
— Security concerns: the host checking application may only check the remote computer once when the user logs into the SSL VPN. If the host checking application does not run continuously while the user is logged in, the user could potentially breach the company’s security requirements and policies without censor.
Appliances or servers will give you great control, but cloud-based, hosted or outsourced VPN services are the real deal breaker, with unrivaled cost-to-features and security ratio, spearing you of the typical technical hurdles of on premise deployment and use.
A hosted business VPN solution will overcome the following thorny issues:
- on premise deployment:
having a dedicated VPN in place will reduce the complexity of deployment and use to a minimum of only having to run a single interface software;
- data security:
internal data, sites, git repositories and all information will be coated in multiple layers of encryption;
- remote connectivity:
you will enable access across a geographically disperse workforce;
My IP.io, the platform of choice for many agile businesses, trusted brand by thousands of happy business owners.
MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.
Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.