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Virtual Private Networks: Achieving Secure Internet Commerce and Enterprisewide Communications

ISBN: 1-56607-067-8
Pages: 225
Published: April 1999


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About the report

What Is a Virtual Private Network?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure, encrypted connection between two points across the Internet. Information is sent via tunneling, which is the practice of encrypting and encapsulating traffic in Internet protocol (IP) packets. Wide area networks (WANs), security products, and routers are all pieces of the overall VPN puzzle.

Conducting Business over the Web

CTR's new Virtual Private Networks: Achieving Secure Internet Commerce and Enterprisewide Communications report examines the role of VPNs in corporate networks. The use of the Internet and the Web for e-commerce is a major impetus of the development of VPNs, which offer a way to send private IP data over a public network infrastructure. This report offers a step-by-step program for VPN implementation.

The report addresses the major Internet shortcomings, including lack of quality of service (QoS) guarantees, performance definition, and even the most basic security and privacy measures. The report discusses cryptography, encryption,hash functions, and public key infrastructure (PKI).

The report also outlines identification (Are you who you say you are?), certificates (How do you know who I am?), and the non technical aspects of public key certificates and Internet certificate authorities (CAs).

Remote Access

In many cases, remote access to a central intranet for mobile or at-home users is the cost justification for VPNs. Remote access VPNs enable the user to connect to an intranet via a local call to an Internet service provider (ISP) and an Internet connection, rather than via a long- distance direct call to a communications server.

CTR's Virtual Private Networks: Achieving Secure Internet Commerce and Enterprisewide Communications explores the "three A's" - authentication, authorization, and accounting - and specifics regarding products and protocols, such as:

  • Terminal Access Controller Access Control System + (TACACS +)
  • Remote Access Dial-in User Service (RADIUS)
  • Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)

This report also addresses multiprotocol encapsulation, generic routing encapsulation (GRE) protocol, secure tunnel establishment protocol (STEP), and point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP).

Firewalls and Virtual Private Networks

Firewalls are critical to VPNs. An entire chapter of the report is dedicated to firewall functions and related issues, including firewalls' relationship to intranets, extranets, and the Internet; how firewalls determine employees' use of office PCs; and Java screening, used by firewalls to determine which external downloads are permitted. Various types of firewalls are examined - from simple packet filters to hundred-user proxy servers.

Management Implications

Should an organization construct its own VPN or outsource the project to service providers? Is the answer a managed network service (MNS) or a simple, closed intranet? This report presents the advantages and disadvantages of both sides of the argument and provides sample VPN service offerings.

Organizations must consider user reaction to the chosen method of VPN implementation: No VPN will be valuable unless users have confidence in it.

CTR's Virtual Private Networks: Achieving Secure Internet Commerce and Enterprisewide Communications report discusses user and application perspectives of VPNs, and the risks and benefits of building or buying VPNs based on frame relay (FR), asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), or the Internet.

The future trends outlined in the report will provide information technology (IT) managers a foundation for planning successful VPN implementations.


Report contents

Executive Summary

  • What are Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)?
  • The Driving Forces Behind VPNs
  • The Internet and the Web in Relation to E-commerce
  • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Router Networks
  • Firewalls
  • Private Networks
  • Corporate Uses of VPNs
  • Step-by-Step Program for VPN Implementation
  • VPN Case Studies

Conducting Business over the Web

  • How Web Sites Have Transformed the Nature of Business and Economics
  • E-commerce Needs

The Internet, Quality of Service, and Security

  • The Internet and Lack of Quality of Service (QoS) Parameters
  • VPN Security
  • Privacy Issues

Cryptography

  • Encryption
  • Key Distribution
  • Hash Functions
  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Remote Access

  • Securing Remote Access
  • Mobile and At-home Workers
  • Remote Authentication
  • Remote Authorization
  • Remote Accounting
  • Terminal Access Controller Access Control System + (TACACS +)
  • Remote Access Dial-in User Service (RADIUS)
  • Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)

Tunneling Protocols

  • The Tunnel Concept
  • The Intent and Purpose of Tunnels
  • Implications of Tunnels
  • Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Protocol
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
  • Secure Tunnel Establishment Protocol (STEP)

The Firewall and the Virtual Private Network

  • The Relationships Between Firewalls and Intranets, Extranets, and the Internet
  • Firewalls' Affect on Office PC Use
  • Java Screening

Authentication and Certificates

  • Web Server Authentication
  • Public Key Certificates
  • Internet Certificate Authorities (CAs)
  • Corporate Trust

Implementing a Virtual Private Network

  • Should an Organization Build Its Own VPN?
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Service Providers
  • Managed Network Service (MNS)
  • Sample VPN Service Offerings

User Issues

  • User Appeal
  • Frame Relay (FR)
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  • User and Application Perspectives



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