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Virtual Private Network

Essay by   •  July 23, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,209 Words (5 Pages)  •  866 Views

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Virtual Private Network

The Opportunity

The Internet application that I would encourage the organization to implement would be a virtual private network. This will provide the organization with the opportunity to save huge amounts of money because the application uses inexpensive public networks to create a private network. VPN's allow an organization to make use of the low cost of public networks as an alternative to purchasing costly dedicated circuits. Another opportunity that this application will provide is a secure way for remote offices and headquarters to be connected and to share information. In addition this application is very user accessible and allows employees access to the network from their homes' or other remote sites.

Description of the Application

Virtual Private Networks are private, protected networks that operate over public, unprotected networks. (New OS Eases Setup of Secure Networks) The VPN works by utilizing software and hardware encryption to create a secure tunnel to transfer the organizations information through a public network. To create VPN tunnels, organizations and their distant sites must set up connections to local points of presence (POPs) through Internet service providers and then the ISPs handle the transmission of the data through their networks and the Internet infrastructure. (Virtual Private networks Cost Benefits) To implement a Virtual Private Network, companies must implement VPN devices at their central sites and at any locations from which employees or branch offices will create VPN tunnels to their main corporate networks or headquarters. VPN's provide local offices with secure access to central IT systems at headquarters.

Site-to-site VPNs usually replace or expand existing private networks that use leased lines, Frame Relay, or solutions for connectivity. Site-to-site VPNs do not change private WAN requirements, such as support for multiple protocols, high dependability, and wide-ranging scalability, but VPNs do meet these requirements more cost-effectively and with greater flexibility. (Virtual Private networks Cost Benefits)

A VPN seeks to meet the following goals; connect users securely to a corporate network through remote access, link branch offices to an enterprise network via the intranet, and to extend an organizations' existing computing infrastructure through the extranet. (McDonald)

The purpose of the Virtual Private Network is also to create "trust relationships" through the use of a low cost public network without sacrificing the security of the organization. Consequently, a VPN should perform as if it were a private network and the VPN should be accessible, reliable and safe. (McDonald)

One of the primary features of the VPN is the security that it provides. There are several ways that security and integrity in the system can be implemented and maintained. Encryption uses advanced mathematical algorithms to ensure that the same information that is sent over the network is the same information that is received. This is very important in the implementation of VPN's because information is being sent over a public network. (Green)

Firewalls are also utilized to secure the VPN. Firewalls are a system or group of systems that enforce access control between two networks. The firewall works in two ways, to prevent access and to permit access. Firewalls are important to any organization because they prevent individuals from hacking into the organizations network.

The integrity of a system can be established in several ways. One-way hash functions are used to generate a fixed-length output value based on an arbitrary-length input file. The intranet journal contends, "it's easy to calculate the hash value of a file but mathematically difficult to generate a file that will hash to that value." To validate the integrity of a file, a recipient would calculate the hash value of that file and compare it to the hash value sent by the sender. Thus, the recipient can be assured that the sender had the file at the time he or she created the hash value. (McDonald)

Digital signatures are another way that the integrity of data can be established a digital signature is described as public key cryptography in reverse. A sender digitally "signs" a file with their private key and the recipient verifies the signature with the sender's public key. (McDonald)

Similar to Digital Signatures, Digital certificates are electronic documents that are

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