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Choosing the Right VPN for Your Business

VPN use was crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to virtual private networks, employees can securely connect to corporate networks regardless of their location. This technology was essential for organizations to securely move their workforce to a completely remote workforce without compromising network security or creating vulnerabilities that could lead to data breaches. Now that the dust has settled, many companies and organizations can reevaluate their VPN solutions and adjust them based on feedback or issues that may have arisen during that time. We found it helpful to highlight three VPN solutions that are the industry leaders in adoption and deployment.

Leading VPN solutions

WireGuard VPN WireGuard is a modern, open source VPN connectivity solution that makes it easier than ever to securely connect remote workers, offices or other devices to the network. WireGuard offers advanced cryptography and a code base that makes the digital attack surface smaller and less vulnerable than other VPN options. In addition, WireGuard’s optimized code base provides extremely fast connections with very little overhead, making it an excellent choice for site-to-site connections as well as for client-to-site connections.

On road? WireGuard VPN maintains its secure connection on any device, even if it changes networks, for example from WiFi to LTE. This is ideal for employees who will be on the road for the foreseeable future or will be staying away. The installation of WireGuard is simple and requires the installation of an application on each client for client-to-site connections.

  • Benefits: Easy setup, fast connections between client connections, wide availability for mobile and desktop platforms, roaming function for enhanced device security regardless of the connectivity available.

  • Disadvantage: A lesser known and trusted VPN option requires the client application to be installed.

OpenVPN – With OpenVPN, administrators can provide remote users and locations with secure remote access to the internal network. OpenVPN is a client-server model that securely connects VPN clients to VPN servers, ensuring complete privacy. OpenVPN offers additional security through the use of 256-bit encryption keys and high-end ciphers. Installing OpenVPN is straightforward and requires installing a VPN client application on each client for client-to-site connections.

  • Benefits: Well known and widely used, easy to set up, connectivity can be provided between different brands of firewalls to create a connected network.

  • Disadvantage: Requires installation of the client application and can make slower connections.

IPsec VPN – IPsec VPN offers network administrators two options: transport and tunnel mode. In transport mode, administrators can encrypt traffic between two hosts, while in tunnel mode tunnels are created between two devices. IPsec VPN works in layer 3, the network layer. In this way, IPsec can provide security and complete data protection to all applications transmitted over the network. IPSec VPN support is built into many client-side operating systems that optimize the installation of client-to-site connections.

  • Benefits: Fast connections, client applications are usually already integrated in devices, well-known and standard selection for many companies.

  • Disadvantage: Traditionally more expensive, more complex to set up, and more complex to troubleshoot when problems arise.

While there are pros and cons to each of these leading VPN technologies, with certain points being more important than others for any particular deployment, it is also possible to combine VPN technologies based on the use case. For example, with site-to-site connections that use security gateways from different vendors, it can make sense to choose IPSec if the technology is supported at both locations. By using the most powerful VPN technology like WireGuard for site-to-site tunnels between the same provider, a better user experience is achieved. In addition, for end user devices, the VPN protocol / application that has the best compatibility and is easiest to manage, such as: B. OpenVPN, may be your best choice.

When businesses decide how to move forward, VPN connectivity remains a fundamental element of any network security solution. With so many options available, and now that SMBs have the flexibility to explore the VPN options available to them, choosing a solution that meets current business needs, future business needs, and unforeseen business needs is critical.

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What does your company need from a VPN solution?

Every business or organization needs a VPN solution that works in a unique way depending on their business or deployment structure.

Firewall compatibility – This is an important consideration regarding end-user devices and remote networks. Some corporate networks are managed independently, which means that the security gateway devices can be different in each location. This is a challenge when you need to securely connect the offices over a wide area network because the gateway devices may not support the same tunneling protocols.

capacity – As many companies noted in March, VPN services can have capacity limitations and slow down as usage increases. Choosing a VPN client that can handle 10, 100, or 1,000 users without sacrificing speed and security is key. Organizations will continue to have employees working remotely long after offices reopen to ensure they can access all bandwidth-intensive applications with minimal latency, regardless of how many users are connected to the VPN client. This is fundamental to any business.

Logging and reports – Depending on the industry, reports and logs are critical to maintaining compliance and regulatory standards of employees and managers. Understand whether your company needs to properly manage reports and activity logs and find a service that is basic based on industry needs.

As IT teams evaluate their current VPN solutions and look for alternatives to address the vulnerabilities identified during this pandemic, several key considerations need to be made when comparing VPN solutions:

  • Does it support full tunnel mode? Network administrators want to force all Internet traffic from remote devices through their security gateway. When a VPN solution supports full tunnel mode, an administrator can enforce the same level of security and reporting for every device regardless of location.

  • Can it be run as a service? Running as a service allows administrators to enforce remote access to ensure that remote users cannot disable the VPN connection.

  • Does it support two-factor authentication? Some VPN solutions support 2FA. This additional feature is ideal for businesses or content-sensitive organizations looking for additional protection for employees connecting to the network.

  • Does it support user-based authentication with a directory service? This gives administrators greater control over how users identify and connect remotely. For example, the administrator can disable a user from logging into the directory service, which in turn limits the user’s ability to connect via VPN.

  • Does it support dynamic configuration? Clients such as OpenVPN can retrieve configuration and routing information, which are each reconnected. This is useful for administrators because they can make network changes and those changes can be propagated to VPN clients without having to manually reconfigure each client device.

  • Does it support DNS configuration? Remote access typically involves connectivity to internal resources based on names as opposed to IP addresses. VPN tunneling provides IP-based connectivity but is not involved in name resolution. To ensure that remote client hostnames are resolved properly, some clients can update their DNS settings when connected.

Below is a helpful table to compare how VPN solutions answer the questions listed above:

WireGuard VPN OpenVPN IPsec VPN
Does it support full tunnel mode? Yes Yes Yes
Can it be run as a service? No Yes No
Does it support 2FA? No Yes No, but it can be layered in combination with a directory service, but the protocol does not natively support it
Does it support user-based authentication with a directory service? No Yes Yes
Does it support dynamic configuration? No Yes No
Does it support DNS configuration? Yes Yes No

As companies discuss the future of how their employees work and how they connect, VPN will no doubt be an important piece of the puzzle. Many companies welcome employees back to the office and create a hybrid work structure with more flexibility for remote work. Some companies are permanently switching to a completely remote workforce. In all of these cases, adopting a VPN solution that provides reliable connectivity to one or 1,000 employees without causing bandwidth or connectivity issues will continue to go a long way in keeping the corporate network secure. Each of these leading VPN solutions offers companies the security and connectivity they need, making them ideal for any network.

*** This is an Untangle blog syndicated by Security Bloggers Network and authored by [email protected] Read the original article at: https://www.untangle.com/inside-untangle/choosing-the-right-vpn-for-your-business/

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