Virtual Private Networks – Pt.2

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As a small business owner, ensuring the safety and security of your business is of course of paramount importance.  Obviously, there are many security related technologies that you can use, but one of the best ones out there that you can utilize is what is known as a “Virtual Private Network”.  Essentially, this is making sure that when your employees login remotely into your IT infrastructure, this line of communications actually remains invisible to the outside world.

Because of this, any communication that are sent forth between your remote employee and your corporate server cannot be seen by anyone, not even a Cyber attacker. Thus, this is why using a Virtual Private Network is one of the best ways to fortify your lines of defense. In this blog, we examine the mechanics as to how this line of communication is made invisible.  This is known as “IP Tunneling”.

An Introduction to IP Tunneling

In order to fully establish the invisible connection between your remote employee’s laptop and your corporate server, a specialized route known as a “Virtual Private Network Tunnel”, or “IP Tunnel” must be established.

Here are the steps as to how this is accomplished:

  1. The VPN client that is installed on your employee’s laptop will first penetrate a firewall that you have deployed at your place of business.
  2. The firewall will then allocate a brand-new IP address from the VPN.  This particular technique creates the virtual tunnel (alternatively, the IP Tunnel) in which the encrypted data packet can be transmitted from your remote employee’s laptop up to the point of the firewall.
  3. Now, when your employee’s laptop attempts to communicate with your corporate server, the encrypted data packets (from the last step) that have reached the point of the firewall will then be further encapsulated by yet another layer of data packet which have been created and allocated by the VPN.  These data packets will then be transmitted to the corporate server, thus establishing the full line of communications from your employee’s laptop.  As a result, he or she will then be able to access the resources that they need from the corporate server in a secure and “invisible” fashion.

This extra layer of protection that is afforded by the VPN is so well encrypted that even if a Cyber attacker were to intercept these particular data packets, there is nothing that he or she can do to extract the information and data that resides in them.

As one can see, the beauty of the Virtual Private Network is that to an outsider, particularly the Cyber attacker, it looks and appears as if the communications of the data packets from your remote employee’s laptop to the corporate server is actually transpiring over a public network segment.  But in reality, this line of communications takes place across a hidden and secret communications paths that nobody else can access.



It is important to keep in mind that many remote employees actually use their Smartphone to access the corporate server.  Thus, the concept of the “Mobile VPN” has been established and will be examined in our next blog.