Most corporations subscribe and work through computer networks in order for their day-to-day operations to be accomplished. It is also a fact that the internet is widely patronized for research and even communications.
However, the internet is not a secure environment and is always susceptible to viruses and hackers. While firewalls are an option for protection, the downside to setting one up is that the freedom to “get” essential pieces of data is compromised. Thus, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) come into the picture.
VPNs are systems that certify that only authenticated and properly configured devices are able to access secured data on the company’s network. With the many types of VPNs that operate within the cloud, how does one know what the right virtual private network to choose?
The most common and oldest VPN is the network-to-network type. It creates a secure connection between two networks, ensuring the security of the data used. Also, it is generally wide open to the Cloud, and enjoys such diverse freedom that is available.
These are usually used for server farms, which are collection of computers and servers maintained to accomplish the workings of a company. Some uses include web-hosting, scientific simulations and generating 3D rendered images.
Cloud mashups are also a service where network-to-network VPNs are used. Mashups are services where several pieces of information from different websites are collated and presented. For instance, a news site is able to get the weather and international events from separate websites.
This VPN also allows a number of systems to be included within it. Due to the size of network-to-network VPNs, the security of its system is questionable. Hackers are able to infiltrate under the radar. They then would have access and use of all the data contained within the system.
Customers generally will not be privy to what networks are included within it. Since, many networks are tethered together using this type of VPN, compromise of one network with weak security, allow hackers to gain access to the other, more important networks and data.
A service-to-host VPN, or point-to-point, type is one wherein a single network is connected to a single host for multiple services. As opposed to the previous type, this ensures that the host already has the general software of the client and already takes action when pieces of data are procured and sent.
The con of this VPN type though is how limited its system is to the “cloud” or the net. Therefore, there is clients who subscribe to these types of systems are partial to the data and workings of the company.
This means that data that is sent through the VPN is already encrypted before being sent around. This is also the reason why the network-to-network type is a little unsecure because the host only sends the data, and the company itself takes care of encrypting it. Even though the sending of data in the Cloud is virtually as quick as just clicking a button, many things are still capable of happening, which may bring unneeded risk in to the equation.
Since service-to-host is a much more limited connection and narrow connection, it is able to easily up its security. It allows for the monitoring of entire sessions taking place within the system. Services such as logging software and security controls are included, but are still dependent on the client’s own security model.
A VPN network is generally good for the operation, protection and availability for clients and companies. Therefore, the question of which VPN type should be used is dependent on the general needs of the client. Each have their pros and cons and should carefully be inspected and decided.