Secure Remote Access with IPSec VPNs

The Internet - the global workplace for enterprises, and the meeting point for education, business and communication - presents one of the largest security challenges to overcome. Enterprises are placing increasing volumes of information on the Internet. More and more companies are moving towards always-on services, enabling access to their workforces internationally, remote access by a rapidly rising number of employees on the go, and sharing intellectual assets and resources with business partners. In addition, wireless access is gaining increased importance, with companies realizing the immediate benefits of providing their mobile employees with fast and ubiquitous Internet access through devices like laptops and PDAs.

Previously, remote access was typically provided through the use of dial-up lines and ISDN lines (using 1-800 services). Branch office connectivity was provided using leased lines. These methods are expensive and don't scale to increasing remote access needs of enterprises.

Remote Access Servers (RASs) provide scalability by the addition of more and more physical ports to accommodate increasing number of remote users. However, this further translates to increased infrastructural investment expenses and maintenance costs for companies.

Contemporary remote access is ensured through the Internet using firewalls and VPN capabilities on private networks. This is a cheaper, more scalable solution. The need today is for solutions that rapidly access networks remotely via the Internet, are cost-effective, scalable and interoperable with standard applications and devices.

Laptops and PDAs are increasing using wireless (802.11x) connectivity to connect to corporate LANs via wireless access points (WAPs). However, network administrators are unwilling to deploy wireless LANs until these LANs can provide security, manageability and scalability.

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