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Telecom: VPN Technology, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 2378

Research Paper

Table of Contents

Introduction………….3

VPN: Definition……..4

The Benefits …………6

Advantages…..6

Disadvantages…7

Implementation………8

Implementation in Business….9

Problems with Implementation…..9

Conclusion……………………….10

Executive Summary

The purpose of this paper is to discuss one of the technology innovations in telecommunications that allow for people across the world to effectively communicate. This paper will describe in detail what is the Virtual Private Networking or VPN. All the details that describe how VPN works, implementation through hardware and software, the benefits including the advantages and disadvantages, and how it is used in businesses. It will also cover any problems within telecommunications that VPN faces, and businesses can solve these problems. Overall this paper will help the reader understand through the aid of research and scholarly journals the definitions and framework of how VPN works in this technology driven world.

Introduction

Within the last quarter of the century innovations in technology have shape the way people, governments, and societies have operated, communicated, and related. Communication is the way that people across the world stay connected. Since the beginning of time through the methods of cave paintings, smoke signals, sticks and stones, to now, text messaging, emailing, instant messaging, and smart phones. Revolutions in communications have changed the way in which people and machines communicate and stay connected. Telecommunication is the science of communication over a long distance using telephone or radio technology. (Pearson, pg.1)  Telecommunication involves everything from computers, data, video communications, radios, telephones, and a number of other devices. Telecommunication has evolved over the course of history with innovative technology, changing consumer demands, and improvements to security. In the last decade, there is growing demand in businesses for employees to stay connected at all times from anywhere. The creation of a virtual private network comes into play that acts a tool for businesses to allow for secure, private, and most of all reliable connection to the internet. However, throughout the years VPN has faced several problems with implementation in businesses and organizations.

VPN: Definition

This network is a move to providing businesses and enterprise with the security that is needed in the society where information in freely accessible due to breaches in securities and hacking. VPN or a virtual private network is defined as a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, most likely through the internet or telephone that is able to provide remote sites or users, with a secure connection and access to the private network.
“Instead of physical connections VPN uses virtual connections to create a network connection, often referred to as tunneling. By utilizing tunneling in today’s VPN you only need some hosts, using Internet as the backbone for sending between the networks.”(Eckhoff, 2010) The network uses the public network infrastructure that is able to connect among the geographical dispersed nodes, that can also be described a LAN or local area network that can be connected from the organizations dispersed geographic sites to work as a single network.  The main focus of VPN’s is to provide businesses or organizations with all the benefits and advantages as a leased line connected through a wide-area network (WAN) link between computers but at a much lower cost.

Through the internet, people have made virtual private network that solve their problems of making a cheaper solution to connect through a private network access. The impression was to use the Internet’s already links that existed to create virtual circuits to connect. “In the virtual private network, any connection between two nodes, there is no end-to-end physical link required for the traditional private networks, but to compose with the dynamic resources of the public network.” (Bao-ming, Zhang, Zhang Bao-zhen, Taiyaun Shanxi, 2009) The virtual private network provides a solution that uses the conjoined infrastructure that allows for stronger security and high performance. Virtual private network (VPN) gives the access of a private network such as a controlled performance with the advantages of a public network that is flexible, scalable, low costs, and load sharing. Unlike a wide area network (WAN) that utilizes pipelines that are hardwired between nodes that use a dedicated connection, VPN are connected through a web interlinks of a public network like the internet.

The Benefits

The Virtual Private Network is an attractive option for many individual users and organizations. There are several benefits that allow for users to utilize an inexpensive way that lets users connect to a private network like the Internet without any of the fuss of leased lines through a wide area network. “Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network and to send voice, video or data.”(Beal, 2010)

Advantages

There are several advantages that make the option a better benefit over the traditional network technologies. One of the principal advantages is that it offers the lower costs that are directly involved in saving the users money compared to long distance calls, or remote access from leased lines. The savings can be reduced down to costs of training, equipment, security, scalability, and flexibility. Not only do individuals save from the costs of leased lines but also the costs of tariffs and fees for installation, monthly costs, charges for mileage, and increases in lines as the organization grows. The virtual private network is able to avoid problems by tapping into the internet resources that are dispersed in geographic areas where access is already available. Other advantages are that long distance costs to users in remote areas will be reduced for the teams that work offsite and have to call through long distance means, are now able to place local calls to the internet service provider (ISP) POP or through the use of local area networks (LANs) to connect to the corporate network.

In addition, another added advantage is the improved security. “Improved security for exchanging data, flexibility for remote offices and employees to use the business intranet over an existing Internet connection. Savings in time and expense for employees to commute if they work from virtual workplaces, and improved productivity for remote employees.” (Tyson, Crawford, 2011) Virtual private networks are protected with the use of a firewall that allows for encrypted information to be passed and transferred over the internet. The aid of Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) provides better security with harder encryptions, and authentication. Also, IPSec uses AAA (authentication, authorization, and accounting) servers, and certificates that authenticate the identity of hosts with public key encryptions that provide a more secure access to VPNs in remote areas.  IPSec is one of the two most popular protocols for VPNs. Its features include an integrity check that guarantees that the data packets are not added, corrupted, or deleted during data transmissions. Furthermore, VPN provides users with the benefits of creating a secure private network through the Internet.

Disadvantages

There are several disadvantages that many critics have lobbied against VPN. Through many research articles, authors have argued that although VPN is a popular alternative to leased lines or networking, it raises serious concerns for IT departments. VPN are an attractive target for hackers to infiltrate as information is passed freely over the network, hackers can easily infiltrate and steal valuable information that usually consists of sensitive corporate data. When choosing a virtual private network it is complicated technology that requires in-depth training of IT departments, and employees in understanding the basics of virtual client access, securities in the public network access, and how to gain access to ensure the maximum use. Another disadvantage includes the remote access VPNs. When workers are connecting through remote access they are accessing the full capabilities of the corporate private network. “This means that if the VPN is compromised, then the attacker gets full access to the internal network too.” (Hills, 2005) Another disadvantage is the VPN traffic as networks that run over the Internet tend to congested and cause routers to fail which can affect the performance and availability of the organizations VPN. When companies choose the vendors to run their VPN they are key differences that some carry in standards, framework, and other developments that impact the security and performance for the company’s network. In addition, the differences in infrastructures such as the Software and Hardware have to be accommodated for the various protocols that exist in the internal network technology. The unsecure procedures that companies following in storing users credentials within a registry or unencrypted files for access to networks can also create a problem for hackers and penetration into networks. Nevertheless, these disadvantages do not essentially outweigh VPN advantages.

Implementations

There are many problems to address before implementing a VPN.  A successful VPN should acquire simplified software that end users are comfortable using. Otherwise expensive training can impose additional costs not addressed in the initial estimated price of the VPN. Virtual IP addresses are needed to integrate into the corporate network. VPN utilizes the connection through the intranet which facilitates communications that are secured between departments and branch offices. The main requirements in technology needed are encryptions that are stronger to provide protection to data and sensitive information. VPNs intranet can be aided through reliable applications such as customer database management, ERPs, document exchange through desktop sharing, and other scalable management applications to provide accommodations for the increasing users to the organization. Users also gain access through remote access that is utilized by employees that work offsite or in virtual offices. As pointed out in the disadvantages this is usually a breeding ground for hackers, so a strong, encrypted authentication is needed for passwords and usernames to be readily identified in a fast response time. For users and organizations IT managers must provide a management that is centralized for scalability to support the multiple users that access the network.  The last place that is VPNs will be implemented is the extranet where organization connect with customers, vendors, and partners need a standard based open solution that guarantees interoperability in numerous solution that others can implement. The protocols utilized are IPsec, Point-to-Point Tunneling, and Layer Two (2) Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) standards. It is necessary to maintain control of traffic that will effectively deter congestion and ensure rapid response, and data delivery for sensitive information.

Implementing in Businesses

Implementing VPNs within a business would have to be based on the specific business model. In businesses, there are several way in which business can utilize the resources of virtual private networks. When companies choose the more affordable option over leased lines they will reap the savings and cost over time. Business is able to connect through geographically available access networks that work as one unit. Using the internet as public network and a source for employees that are off-site, international, and virtually connected allows for the company to expand globally. When business use VPNs to permit users to access through remote access they save costs of long-distance fees, among others, and stay connected to business partners, customers, and vendors from all around the world. In some business that specialty is in services utilizes virtual private networks as a means to running diagnostics on equipment to access if it is malfunctioning are working properly. Businesses also test security and access protocols by identifying weak areas in the company’s infrastructure.

Implementation Problems

There are many problems that can occur with the implementation of a within a company or organization. However, the problems that concern IT managers and critics is security. The crucial issue when creating a Virtual Private network that a company will use for its employees to be able to wirelessly access its database and servers from around the globe is security. When companies allow for remote access they are vulnerable to outsiders and employees that are permissible to change or steal information and data. This failure to design a security system could result substantial losses of capital from the company, and exposes all that the sensitive information within the organization that could jeopardize operations and employees. This could allow another company to buy the files, build similar products with the same techniques, impact profits and revenue. Another big problem with implementing a VPN is the reaction on the user’s end that allows for several downfall. There first being that the user is not always trained in the correct policies and procedures to fully access all the capabilities of the VPN. Within training, companies need to include how users can keep their passwords secure, and other security issues that require common sense and the not leaving devices available for unauthorized use. Protection against others altering information, entering information, and procedures when accessing the company’s server.

Conclusion

With new additions to technology to the telecom industry, people and inventors will continue to create innovative ways for people to stay connected in an affordable, easy, and accessible way. Virtual private networks allow for users and organizations to stay connected from anyplace at any time through the use of the public network such as the Internet in order to provide a secure, scalable, flexible connection for users to access. There are several advantages and disadvantages that include the alternative to the cheaper option than leased lines through long distance means, and security issues. Businesses are usually the main sources that implement VPNs since they usually save the company money in a matter of ways. However, there are problems that arise when implementing VPNs that are mainly derived from inefficient training and security flaws that allow for hackers, breaches in security, and penetration into the network. In order for businesses and individuals to prevent these problems form happening a clear security guideline is needed to address the security issues and the measures that are added to the system. Train staff and employees on correct procedures and provide sure ways to reduce the threats of outside penetration, hackers, and employees within the company to alter, or steal information. When these problems are address the VPN can work efficiently and effectively in providing real-time use within the organization.

References

Bao-ming, Zhang, Zhang Bao-zhen, Taiyaun Shanxi. “Technology of Virtual Private Network.” Shanxi Electronic Technology. (2009). Retrieved from http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-SXDS200902028.htm

Beal, Vangie. “What Makes a Virtual Private Network Private?” Webopedia. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Internet/2007/virtual_private_network_VPN.asp

Eckhoff, Kristoer. “The concept of Virtual Private Network.” NTNU. (2010). Retrieved from http://folk.ntnu.no/kristoec/portfolio/Informasjonssikkerhet/Concept%20of%20VPN%20-%20Kristoffer%20Eckhoff.pdf

El-Sayed, M, Lucent Technol, Jaffe, J. “A view of telecommunications network evolution.” Communications Magazine, IEEE. (2002). Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1106163&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D1106163

Hills, Roy. “Common VPN Flaws.” NTA. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.nta-monitor.com/files/whitepapers/VPN-Flaws-Whitepaper.pdf

Tyson, Jeff, Crawford, Stephanie. “How VPNs Work.” (2011). HowStuffWorks. Retrieved from http://computer.howstuffworks.com/vpn5.htm

“VPN Security and Implementation.” IBM. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=ssg1S1002693&aid=1

Yuji, Saito. “IP Network. Virtual Private Network (VPN).” Fujitsu. (2000). Retrieved from http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200109/000020010901A0135957.php

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