All about SSL VPN: a unique electronic key to network security

All about SSL VPN: a unique electronic key to network security

SSL VPN is a service that provides a secure and encrypted connection between the public Internet and the internal network of an organization or institution using the SSL security protocol. This type of VPN allows individual users gain access to various network resources, such as client-server applications and internal directories, without the need to use specialized software. SSL VPN provides secure communication for all types of devices, regardless of whether the network is accessed via the public Internet or a secure network.

All traffic between the user's web browser and the SSL VPN device is protected by encryption using the SSL or TLS protocols. Users do not need to select a protocol manually - SSL VPN automatically uses the most modern and updated protocol installed on their browser. This provides security without having to manually determine the protocol on the browser when updating it or updating the operating system.

Types of SSL VPN, features and benefits

Let's look at two main types of SSL VPN:

  • SSL Portal VPN. In this type of VPN, the user visits a website and enters credentials to establish a secure connection. SSL VPN portal allows you to establish one SSL connection to a website. Additionally, the user can access various specific applications or private network services as defined by the organization. Users can usually log into a gateway, or the hardware on a network that allows data to move from one network to another, using any modern web browser by entering the username and password provided by the VPN gateway service.
  • SSL Tunnel VPN. Tunnel VPN allows a web browser to securely access multiple online services that are not limited to the web interface through an SSL-protected tunnel. These services may be corporate networks or software created for corporate use only and not directly accessible over the Internet. This VPN tunneling technology may require a browser with additional applications such as JavaScript or Flash installed to display active content. If an SSL tunnel VPN is preferred by the organization, the IT team usually explains to employees what downloads or additional applications are necessary for the system to function properly.

SSL VPN vs IPsec VPN: comparison

For a long time, VPNs operated using a technology called IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) to create a secure tunnel connection between two endpoints. IPsec, being a fairly complex technology, requires both hardware and and software solutions for simulating the operation of a computer connected to the organization’s local network. It operates at the networking level of the OSI model and requires physical management by network engineers. While IPsec provides additional layers of security, the downside is that both hardware and software solutions are difficult and expensive to purchase, install, and maintain. In today's world where working from home is becoming the standard, this may require sending hardware to every employee, creating additional challenges for the organization.

In contrast, SSL VPN is supported by most modern web browsers and does not require additional installation. Since most devices already have a browser installed, users usually have everything they need to connect to the Internet via an SSL VPN. They also provide tunneling to specific applications, which is useful when network access is not required. For example, an SSL VPN can provide different levels of administrative access depending on the employee's position. However, the main security risk of an SSL VPN is related to the browser, which can be subject to malware attacks.

Why are SSL VPNs in demand?

Now SSL VPNs play a more important role than ever. As millions of people are forced to turn their homes into workplaces due to the need to work from home, employees are using their home Internet connections to access corporate networks while working every day, all day. The same goes for students who previously could only use the Internet to complete school assignments, but now need reliable and secure connections every day to attend online lectures.

As more people use the public Internet for work and school, cases cyber fraud is only increasing. One study based on government data and reported by Reuters found COVID-19-related losses were close to $100 million. It is clear that cybercriminals understand that more and more people are connecting to the Internet through potentially unreliable and unsecured connections, and are using a variety of malicious strategies to profit from unauthorized access to users' personal data.

It is becoming critical for organizations to provide a safe and secure online experience for their employees and students. This means that the VPN solution must be easy to use and scalable. SSL VPNs provide this capability even for users with no experience in corporate computing. They are accessible from any device and can be configured with the same level of security and privacy as the IPsec VPN protocol used previously.

With a VPN, businesses and educational institutions can be confident in their security and continue to allow employees and students to work and study from home, while protecting themselves from cyber attacks. Moreover, since the Internet and VPN are location independent, it matters little where users choose to connect to the Internet. This way, employees and students can work and study safely anywhere.

Private VPN server: purpose – secure secure access

If SSL VPN is usually used to access corporate resources from outside via the Internet, then a private VPN server is used by individual users to protect their privacy and security while using the Internet. It also creates a secure connection, but usually allows the user to choose the server to connect to and can be used to bypass geographic restrictions or protect against online surveillance.

To get more information and buy a private VPN server, visit Private VPN server. The FAQ section provides answers to frequently asked questions about private VPN servers, and extensive VPN articles reveal a lot of useful information about modern products in the digital market.

Share this article: