Recently the U.S. House of Representatives voted to retract privacy rules created by the FCC or the Federal Communications Commission.
The public is now worried about their digital privacy. This could be one of the factors driving the need for VPN.
A Virtual Private Network enables people to safely transmit information using public networks via a group of networked computers and remote servers.
How do VPNs help?
It allows companies to conduct business over the internet confidentially on a VPN or virtual private network.
To make matters clear you can imagine VPN to be somewhat like an encrypted third party middleman located between you and the internet safeguarding your data from snooping eyes.
But bear in mind that to use a VPN you need an application and not all apps are created equally safe.
If you are newbie in digital terminologies, here is a refresher on how VPN works
But before you get to know about VPN, a basic understanding of the internet is a must.
When two or more devices interact with one another they do it via a worldwide network composed of several networks and devices worldwide.
When a user accesses a website, data is exchanged. This is not very secure because observers can know who is visiting a particular site and what he or she is doing.
A VPN on the other hand is secure, because a user will need authentication to access the network. For example, if you want to access a company network you will need a username and password.
When you connect to a VPN, a “tunnel” is established. This is a secure mode because external viewers cannot see the data passing through your computer and the virtual private network.
For most businesses the best way to get on to a VPN is via a VPN provider.
The market is flooded with VPN providers offering various kinds of incentives.
If you as an entrepreneur are considering which VPN vendor to choose, then you must factor-in the following:
Cost – VPN services can be free of cost or very pricey.
Number of servers – More the number of servers the better it is for reliability
Server location – The wider the dispersal of a VPN service the less likely will it be impacted by outages due to natural disasters or any other reason.
Features – You would want it to have the features best suited to your business.
In practice, businesses use VPNs to connect remote points that can include data bases, offices and users to a company’s centralized network.
As one IT specialist pointed out, “We are finding VPN to be not only more cost effective than dedicated leased lines but also very functional and practicable”.
Yet, VPNs are not without challenges.
Privacy and security are key issues that bother organizations.
Traditionally encryption based VPNs use IPsec, short for Internet Protocol Security – a set of protocols for security at end points in a communication channel or for building tunnels across the internet.
But now SSL or Secure Sockets Layer gateways are making headway because the number of providers, platforms and functionalities are expanding manifold.
Moreover the exponential increase in web-based applications has strengthened the need of SSL as a VPN technology that can securely assist in data transfers across public and insecure networks.
The providers have responded positively by developing appropriate application-aware VPN gateways capable of sustaining access control and security regulations inside the VPN gateway itself.
Why is SSL preferred over IPSec?
- Despite the fact that IPSec provides an extra layer of security it can be a financial burden for businesses to pay for the licenses of software. It is also a difficult task for the technical staff to install and configure the client software on all remote devices.
- It is the above drawbacks that have compelled SSL to be a better VPN solution.
In the present scenario every computer on the globe is equipped with the appropriate software to connect to an SSL virtual private network.
The good news is VPN providers are continuing to develop methodologies that will expand the functionality of SSL VPN.
Going forward we can look to the following trends in VPN
Cloud services integration
The use of single service VPN access to the cloud is now thought to be very secure because it has the capability to greatly minimize susceptibility exposure to both the user and the server.
This kind of security assurance can drive businesses to the cloud services as they offer pay-as-you-use model plus the scalability benefits.
Growth of VPN service providers
According to an estimate the global market for VPN is expected to touch USD 106 billion by 2022. The driver for such growth is the need to address vulnerabilities in the current network infrastructure already burdened by advanced technological adoptions and an exponentially increasing number of connected devices.
As mentioned earlier, SSL VPN or secure socket layer virtual private network is preferred for secure and private communication for all kinds of traffic between devices operating along public networks such as the internet.
Several studies are revealing that the market for VPN has excellent scope for growth because of the rising need for cyber security.