Firewalls, VPNs, and Remote Offices

    Date24 Apr 2001
    CategoryFirewalls
    4177
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    This month I will look at what we might call "best practices" for internetworking remote offices. It is arguably an old topic--we've been connecting remote offices over Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for a few years now. It is one of the main purposes for VPNs, second only to secure dial-in connections. And yet, I think most of us do it wrong.. . . This month I will look at what we might call "best practices" for internetworking remote offices. It is arguably an old topic--we've been connecting remote offices over Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for a few years now. It is one of the main purposes for VPNs, second only to secure dial-in connections. And yet, I think most of us do it wrong. I want to suggest a way to do it better. (So maybe I'm addressing better practices.) I will do this by referring to how we did it wrong in my last job, and in retrospect, how we should have done it.

    We started, as most small organizations do, with remote offices connected to the Internet. This was back at the beginning of firewall use, but before people were even asking for VPNs. We had 4 offices, each connected behind a router with filtering rules--the common, if not best, practice. The Internet was our backbone, so to speak, and we allowed any kind of IP connectivity between the offices.

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