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Information Technology Solutions - Network Access & Connectivity


Network Access & Connectivity


Remote Access

Remote computing is becoming increasingly prevalent as companies recognize the cost savings implicit in letting employees work from home, and employees in turn benefit from the convenience. However, managing multiple remote connections to an enterprise network and ensuring proper security presents singular challenges to the data center. The selection of the appropriate remote access technologies and vendor also are critical to a successful long-term remote access strategy.

A virtual private network is based on the VPN tunneling technology, which establishes and maintains a logical network connection. Packets contained in the connection are assembled in a VPN protocol then wrapped in a base or carrier protocol. When data is received on the other end it is de-encapsulated. VPNs also shield personal IP addresses with that of the VPN server, which provides another effective layer of security for the user.

Virtual Private Networks

A virtual private network, (VPN) is an encrypted connection that provides secure remote access to an organization's network. Because all data passing through the VPN is encrypted, none of the data passing between the endpoints can be hacked or otherwise hijacked by a malicious entity. VPNs are perceived to be the most reliable means by which to achieve a safe remote connection.

A virtual private network is based on the VPN tunneling technology, which establishes and maintains a logical network connection. Packets contained in the connection are assembled in a VPN protocol then wrapped in a base or carrier protocol. When data is received on the other end it is de-encapsulated. VPNs also shield personal IP addresses with that of the VPN server, which provides another effective layer of security for the user.

Securing Virtual Private Networks with Transport Layer Security

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection provides the ultimate safety for a remote network access. The SSL protocol creates a unique encrypted channel for private communications across the internet by employing an SSL certificate comprised of a public and a private key. The public key is used to perform the encryption; the private key is used to decipher it. Active encryption levels depend on the web servers and browsers used in the receiving and rendering data. Strong encryption is typically considered at least 128-bit.

An SSL session initiates with a message exchange between the server and client called the SSL handshake. The handshake allows the server to authenticate itself to the client through the public-key, and permits the client and the server to subsequently exchange symmetric keys used for rapid encryption, decryption, and tamper detection. This interplay defines the characteristics of the session and makes invulnerable to hacking.

Several reputable vendors offer powerful and secure remote access solutions that utilize VPN and SSL technologies. Principal among these are Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and Citrix. Neteam's engineers are duly certified for deploying each of these robust remote access solutions.

VPN Solutions

Juniper Networks Secure Access

The Juniper Secure Access (SA) network appliances provide:

  • Single SSL VPN security platform to serve all remote access requirements.
  • Secure clientless access to enterprise applications and resources.
  • Best-in-class endpoint security, granular remote access control, and threat prevention.
  • Scalable SSL VPN appliances for secure remote and extranet access.
  • High availability and long-term scalability.

Juniper's solution employs Junos Pulse, a proprietary client that simplifies network access and enforces tight security on the remote user's side. A version is also available for use with most popular mobile devices.

Microsoft Network Policy and Access Services

The Network Policy and Access Services that is part of Windows Server supports three types of VPN connections:

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).
  • L2TP/IPSec.
  • Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP).

PPTP is the Point to Point tunneling protocol. PPTP is the simplest type of VPN connection but is also the least secure: the credentials are not exchanged across a secure connection. L2TP/IPSec, a joint endeavor between Microsoft and Cisco, provides mutual machine and user authentication, and data integrity checks, SSTP, a new VPN protocol, utilizes SSL encrypted HTTP connections to establish a VPN connection to the VPN gateway. PPP and EAP authentication can also be applied to a session, making it that much more secure.

Citrix Access Gateway

Citrix's Access Gateway SSL VPN solutions are versatile, reliable, and proven secure. Theirs is the only available VPN solution guaranteed to secure virtualized desktops.

  • Enables access from any device.
  • Encrypts network and application traffic.
  • Scans remote devices to ensure a proper security configuration.
  • Ensures that users authenticate their identity before connecting to the network.
  • Provides access only to the user's appropriate network resources.
  • Enforces access control and security policies.

If your organization is investigating the options available for a remote access solution, contact a Neteam representative. Our seasoned team of engineers can help you assess your requirements and determine which type of solution is most appropriate for your network, your user base, and your business model. Our experience in this arena will provide your site the most granular level of application security, data protection, and compliance management while serving the long-term interests of your organization