VPN Security and Methodology

Contributed by Jason Outen

In this paper I will discuss what VPN’s (Virtual Private Network) are and how they are best utilized by organizations and their personnel. I will include a timeline of the birth of the VPN up to its current state today to show the history of the concept and application. Then I will move on to discussing the various types of VPN’s and their differences. This will include the topologies and implementations involved in constructing the VPN’s. I will then delve into the myriad of security measures involved with VPN technologies ranging from protocols, authentication mechanisms, security measures, and certificates. The paper will also discuss the various manufacturers’ involved with VPN’s, costs of implementation, and the future of the VPN. This will include the current state of VPN technology and the ubiquity in which it is found within virtually all brands of security appliances sold today. The VPN is an often overlooked tool in the security toolbox and is currently a focal point of many compliance standards which may also make an appearance in this paper. Lastly the paper will look at the security risks and issues associated with VPN technologies since the inherent logic behind the VPN is to establish secure connections into networks but also provides a perfect venue for attack, penetration, and ultimately compromises.

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