Remote Access SSL VPN

The cornerstone to providing Secure Remote Access for fixed site locations and mobile clients are VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). VPNs provide strong encryption between two points whether this is between the corporate network and a remote local area network, or a mobile device such as a laptop or PDA.

There are many methods in which VPNs can be established which include dedicated leased line connections, dial up connections or connections using the internet.

Traditionally connections between static points (such as the corporate network and branch offices) have utilised leased line connections secured by VPNs. These connections require dedicated hardware/software at each location and have provided fast data transfer speeds. Most organisations have utilized these secure connections at some point and there are a myriad of proven solutions which effectively fulfil this requirement.

Due to the high cost of private leased lines, more and more organisations are implementing IPsec VPN solutions which utilise the internet as an always on connection. IPsec VPN solutions still require the set up and configuration or hardware/software at each location (usually geographically remote). This continues to keep the cost of managing IPsec VPNs high. Thus organisations have needed to strike a balance between the benefits of providing network resources to remote users (Site offices, mobile workers, customers and partners) and the cost to provision, maintain and manage the security of this infrastructure.

So lets now consider remote workers. Traditionally remote and mobile workers have used dial up connections over telephone lines to gain access to network resources. Slow, often cumbersome, and requiring the maintenance and management of a modem bank at head office, it was a welcome relief when the availability of DSL connections and wireless hotspots became the norm. This allowed for fast and effective access and use of key resources and applications on the corporate network from any location. However to do this securely over the public domain still means implementing IPsec VPNs and the costly resources to maintain and manage this infrastructure.

As a result of this many enterprises are turning towards SSL VPN technology, which provide clientless, browser-based access to corporate applications and resources. Reducing the costs of deploying and managing IPsec VPNs, enabling users to remotely and securely access resources from any ordinary web browser (Including those found in internet cafes, smart phones and PDAs) and opening legacy (non web-enabled) applications to the user. It is imperative that strong authentication mechanisms are always considered when providing the ease and level of access provided by this functionality

In essence SSL VPNs are uniquely suited to meet the diverse remote-access needs of today's enterprise, with their low costs, application access flexibility, high security and overall simplicity. However, traditional IPsec VPNs also remain an important part of the static network infrastructure and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

FALCON's independent security consultants can provide advice and guidance on finding the solution which is most appropriate to the present and future requirements of your organisation. In conjunction with the world leading technology partners in this field, FALCON have a proven track record delivering these solutions to both SME and Enterprise customers.

Secure Remote Access allows employers to provide staff with the means to control their own workload, keep up-to-date with the latest developments, whilst working in a completely flexible and controlled environment.

FALCON only fully endorse a solution once it has been tried and tested in their lab by the research team. FALCON is confident that a combination of IPsec, SSL VPN solutions and various forms of two factor authentication are an essential and secure part of today's flexible working ethos.

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