IT personnel have been struggling to keep up with demanding security requirements as companies implement complex sales, service, support, and communication applications over their networks. As an outgrowth of cutting-edge Internet technology and thinking, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are quickly transforming the way companies conduct business by meeting many of their networking and security needs.
A VPN typically uses the Internet as the transport backbone to establish secure links with business partners, extend communications to regional and isolated remote offices, and significantly decrease the cost of communications for an increasingly mobile workforce. Essentially, VPNs serve as private network overlays on public IP network infrastructures, such as the Internet.
The advantages that VPNs provide organizations can be dramatic: product development accelerates, sales rise, and strategic partnerships are strengthened. Prior to the advent of VPNs, the only options for creating this type of communication were expensive leased lines or frame relay circuits. VPNs also make good use of the fact that Internet access is generally local and much less expensive than dedicated remote access server connections.
IrisLogic SecurNet offers Checkpoint VPN-1 Gateway and Cisco PIX products for VPN solutions in the following three primary categories:
- Intranet VPNsIntranet VPNs facilitate secure communication between a company’s internal departments and its branch offices. The primary technology requirements include strong data encryption (to protect sensitive information), reliability (to ensure the prioritization of mission-critical applications, such as ERP systems, sales and customer database management, and document exchange), and scalable management (to accommodate the increasing number of new users, offices, and applications).
- Remote Access VPNsRemote Access VPNs between a corporate network and remote and/or mobile employees have different requirements than the other VPNs. Strong authentication is critical to verify remote and mobile users’ identities in the most accurate and efficient manner possible. Remote Access VPNs require centralized management and a higher degree of scalability to handle their many users.
- Extranet VPNsExtranet VPNs are between a company and its strategic partners, customers, and suppliers. This configuration requires an open, standards-based solution to ensure inter-operability with the various systems involved. The minimal standard for Internet-based VPNs is the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) standard. Another function of equal importance is traffic control to eliminate bottlenecks at network access points and guarantee the quick and reliable exchange of critical data.