An Introduction to Virtual Private Networks – Part 4

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The last post we did on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) examined a potential benefit-cost analysis model that you, the business owner can utilize in order to determine if a VPN is feasible for organization. It is important to keep in mind that the deployment and implementation of a VPN can be a costly proposition; and while it does offer a superb layer of protection, there is some financial cost to it, which could be a hindrance for small businesses.

There even some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that offer customized VPM solutions for your business at a fixed monthly price; a Google search can reveal them.  But, if you have decided to implement a VPN for your entity, the next step is the actual deployment of it. In this blog we broadly outline what it takes to get this task accomplished.

The Deployment of the Virtual Private Network

This is a controlled process which involves the following steps:

1. The analysis of your current IT environment;

2. Pilot testing;

3. Conducting a complete VPN rollout once the stages as described up above have been completed, and everything is set in place.

It should be kept in mind that part of this iterative process includes conducting a very detailed systems analysis and requirements, which includes carefully reviewing and examining the following major requirements:

1. VPN security requirements;

2. Virtual Private Network application program requirements;

3. Virtual Private Network User Access Requirements;

4. Virtual Private Network Requirements;

5. Virtual Private Network Performance Requirements.

Also, at this point, your IT staff (or even just your Network Administrator) needs to fully understand the broad categories of the security risks that your VPN will be protecting your business from, and they are as follows:

1. Integrity Risk: the data packets which gets sent through the Virtual Private Network System has qualities of both as a commodity and a weapon, such as:

> Data Loss;

Data Alteration;

> Data Theft.

2. Confidentiality Risk: the data packets which get transmitted back and forth between the Virtual Private Network solution can contain very private and confidential data about the place of business or organization, and are very prone to get lost, stolen, or hacked into and used for malicious purposes by a hacker;

3. Availability Risks: this is a grave risk and can occur when the Virtual Private Network totally becomes unavailable to the place of business or organization, and this is known as a Denial of Service Attack, when a hacker totally floods the Virtual Private Network System and overloads it.

Conclusions

This blog has examined the very general steps as to what it takes to deploy a Virtual Private Network at the place of your business or corporation. Keep in mind that this is only meant to be a very general template. The exact details and the specifics to be filled into it are of course highly dependent upon your own security requirements.

It is important to note that this you should not accomplish this task entirely by yourself, rather; you should get all of your employees that are involved with the day to functioning of your IT infrastructure involved as well.

In this regard, it is very important to get their buy in, so that they can contribute valuable advice and input as to how the VPN should be deployed and how it can best be maintained against cyber threats and attacks.

Once your Virtual Private Network has been fully deployed, the next step is to formulate the Network Security Policy for it. This will be the focal point for our next blog.


 

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