Network Virtualization - What is VPN?
Security is and will always be a major concern for Canadian organizations. However, most of their security concerns now revolve around their Web site, intranet, databases, and online networks.
A high volume of confidential information is exchanged over the Internet each day and companies cannot afford to have information about business matters or their client information exposed. Therefore, many companies have invested in virtual private networks.
A virtual private network, also known by the acronym VPN, is a secure and reliable network that companies can use to transmit information over the Internet. VPNs connect sites over distances in a similar way to wide area networks and are commonly used to extend the reach of intranets.
VPNs are commonly used by companies that frequently have their employees working remotely or have a number of office locations that are dispersed geographically. To access the network, each user must be authenticated with a specific user name and password.
All communications over the virtual private network are encrypted. The network has the ability to send any kind of traffic over the network in a secure manner so information is not compromised. In this sense, virtual private networks create a very secure connection between networks that are connected over the Internet and allows for multiple computers to act as if they are on the same secure network.
Who uses virtual private networks?
There are a number of organizations that use VPNs to allow users to remotely access their private networks:
Universities and colleges
- Government agencies
- Multinational corporations
- Companies with multiple franchises
The benefits of using a virtual private network
Organizations that utilize VPNs experience a number of important benefits:
You can connect to the office with your laptop from any remote location.
- You can access the office desktop computer from your home computer.
- The security features of VPNs make it almost impossible to hack into the data or information on your system.
- A VPN is an inexpensive option to build a network. The Internet is a much more cost effective option than leasing private lines from a telecom company.
- Virtual private networks are flexible. Anything on the network can be adjusted to meet your companies specific business needs as required.
Potential issues with virtual private networks
There are a number of potential issues with VPNs that companies need to be aware of before they implement the network.
The network set up can be complicated.
- When connecting to the network, users may be requires to follow the hosting companies policies when establishing a remote connection.
- Quality of service can be an issue with some providers.
- Network conditions when accessing the VPN remotely are outside of the VPN providers reach.
Virtual private networks are not limited to one specific security protocol. Rather, there are multiple options to consider:
SSL: Secure sockets layer protocol is used to establish an encryption link between a browser and Internet server. SSL uses cryptography to create secure transfers of information over the Internet. Certificates are used to authenticate the connection between the server and users.
- IPSec: IP security is used to establish secure communications online. Often used as a security blanket for other protocols, IPSec uses tunnelling or transport mode to encrypt data on the VPN.
- L2PT: Layer 2 tunneling protocol is frequently used to tunnel data and communication from one site to another often in conjunction with IPSec. This requires a shared security certificate to transfer data packets from one source to another.
Regardless of the provider, VPN technology uses encryption for the secure transfer of data. The data is encrypted using complex algorithms to ensure data privacy. With these measures in place, organizations can feel confident in their ability to access their computer systems, no matter where they are in the world.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011Avaya extends virtual network to campus switches The company's VENA architecture is now available for use outside data centres to help the deployment of cloud-based services across a single backbone