How To Shop For A VPN

    Date14 Feb 2005
    8390
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Get clued in on what to look for in enterprise-class products, including the ins and outs of software vs. appliances, LAN-to-LAN vs. remote access, SSL, IPsec, and other decisions you need to make. With a virtual private network creating safe access for your Internet-connecting users, you can rip out expensive frame relay, leased lines and modem dial-up banks in favor of a secure WAN connection. For any network that connects remote users to the Internet, a VPN gateway provides three essentials for your data: authentication, confidentiality and integrity.


    For any network that connects remote users to the Internet, a VPN gateway provides three essentials for your data: authentication, confidentiality and integrity.

    Authentication can be accomplished using certificates, passwords, smart cards or shared secret keys. Confidentiality is achieved through encryption--VPNs are designed so that someone intercepting traffic can't decode it. And integrity means that data hasn't been modified in transit--VPNs detect any modification to data and reject it.

    VPNs by themselves can cause security and network infrastructure problems--because packets are encrypted, the unencrypted data cannot be inspected inside the encryption tunnel. Therefore, you must install virus scanners, traffic shapers and other such appliances behind the VPN device. But the alternative--letting all VPN traffic pass untouched--is unthinkable.
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