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If you ask an IT security expert about strengthening your PC’s security or securing your company’s resources, he or she will only advise you one thing- setting up a VPN or Virtual Private Network. This is great advice if you’re a certified security professional or simply work for a top security company. But what about those users who don’t have any idea about what VPN stands for, and how it really works?
VPNs are getting too much attention these days as more and more internet users and companies see running a privacy-enhancing service as an IT requirement rather than just a piece of luxury stuff. VPNs are becoming increasingly popular among companies as a means of securing their sensitive data when connecting to remote data centers, it also becoming increasingly common among individual users as a method for securing and encrypting their communication links.
What is VPN?
VPN stands for the Virtual Private Network. It refers to a network that uses a public infrastructure, such as the internet, to provide individual users with secure access to their organization’s network. It simply extends a private network across a public network and securely connects geographically separated offices of an organization, thus creating one cohesive network. VPN use encryption techniques and security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data that is sent and received is secured and cannot be intercepted.
The network works by using a shared public infrastructure, such as the internet, while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols ( SSL, L2TP, PPTP, and IPSec). In addition, there’s an additional level of security that involves encrypting not only the data (sent and received) but also the originating and receiving networks.
There are a lot of things written about VPNs but very few explanations about how to make them even more secure. VPNs can be very secure if set up and used correctly, it provides very strong encryption, and enables authenticated access to the network from external and untrusted environments. It allows secure access to corporate resources by establishing an encrypted tunnel across the Internet.
How to make VPN more secure
Today we take a closer look at a few important tips that can help you enhance the security of your VPN. The following are the top 10 tips to make your VPN more secure.
- Use the strongest possible authentication method
- Use the strongest possible encryption method
- Enforce a strong password policy
- Provide strong antivirus and personal firewall protection to remote users
- Limit VPN access to those with a valid business reason
- Secure remote wireless networks
- Double up your security for extra protection
- Fix the PPTP/IPv6 security flaws and issues
- Use VPN providers that take privacy seriously
- Avoid DNS leak