An Introduction to Virtual Private Concentrators – Part 2

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Introduction

In our last blog, we examined what a VPN Concentrator is, as well as its functionalities.  In today’s blog, we examine some of the implications of deploying such a device at your business.


The Implications

As a business owner, you need to be aware of the major issues, or considerations that are involved when deploying a VPN Concentrator. 

The following are the most typical kinds of scenarios that you could encounter:

  1. Using a VPN Concentrator vs. using a VPN Router:

Before you can decide what, you need to go with, it is important first to conduct an assessment in to the Security requirements, and the total number of users that are involved. 

If the entity is small enough, then going with a VPN Router would be the optimal choice. 

The costs of implementing a VPN Concentrator can be quite high, especially for a small business. 

Therefore, it is most optimal to have this set up in a medium to large sized enterprise, where there are many more remote employees that will be constantly needing access to shared resources and files. 

But also, maintaining a VPN Router for a small business can also be somewhat expensive, as there will be extra staff that will be needed to maintain it and making sure that it is functioning on a daily basis.

  • A VPN Concentrator vs. a Site to Site VPN:

It is important to keep in mind that a VPN Concentrator is typically used in those scenarios where there is a One to Many (1: N) set up. 

This simply means that there are many remote employees logging into just one physical location, where the server resides at. 

But, there are also those instances where there will be many remote employees logging into multiple corporate locations (for example, that of a Fortune 100 company). 

In these instances, a solution known as the “Site to Site VPN” will be required.  Further details on this can be seen here.

  • Using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or IPSec:

In order to establish a secure connection, the VPN Concentrator typically makes use of either SSL or IPSec. 

However, there are careful considerations that have to be made in this regard.  For example, using IPSec requires that a separate client software package to be installed onto the computer of the remote employee. 

Although this networking protocol does offer some of the highest levels of Security that are available, this typically requires extra IT staff to set up and deploy. 

Because of this, IPSec is the choice to be used where a majority of the remote employees remain in a fixed location.

But, if your employees are constantly travelling, then using SSL becomes the network protocol of choice. 

By using this, the VPN Concentrator can be accessed from virtually anywhere around the world; there are fewer implementation costs, and extra client software does not have to be installed.

SSL is also much more preferable to use with a VPN Concentrator if the remote employee has to constantly access many Web based shared resources and files.


Conclusions

Our next blog will examine one of the best ways that you can protect your lines of defense – the Penetration Test.

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