We use internet for variety of purposes. For browsing, searching, communication, online shopping, uploading and sharing files, you name an activity and the list goes on. Internet has made everything easy for us. With such ease, there are difficulties, threats, hacks and attacks that leave us vulnerable to lose identity, credit card misuse, privacy breach and other heinous cyber crimes.
The increasing number of cyber security threats, information hacks, privacy attacks have made the importance of security more evident than ever. This is the reason why large organizations that are involved in online business have realized the importance of cyber security. Now, every organization is working on a security framework meant to safeguard their online presence.
One of the simplest solutions to address online security threats is to use a secure socket layer virtual private network, (SSL VPN). In this blog, I will elaborate about what is an SSL VPN and how it works to safeguard a user’s identity, while minimizing the risk of online security threat.
What is SSL VPN?
In simple terms, an SSL VPN is a protocol that encrypts the data and ensures smooth flow of that particular data with an added layer of security, thus making it more secure and impenetrable.
One of the best advantages of an SSL VPN is that it provides remote access to restricted information, irrespective of the geographical location and web browser or application being used. It means that an SSL VPN does not essentially requires any installation on a user’s system. An SSL VPN allows secure access to critical administrative information as well.
How SSL VPN Works?
In contrast to the traditional VPNs, an SSL VPN does not necessarily creates a virtual security layer to get your data through to another endpoint. An SSL VPN essentially sends the information through a secure tunnel by encrypting the data in order to boost the security of the data and the overall system.
A user does not need to install an SSL VPN. All a user needs is a standard web browser only. An SSL VPN uses X.509 certificates to safeguard the information that a user tends to share or pass through via the secure tunnel, protected by the SSL protocol. This takes data security to a whole new level.
When you use an SSL VPN, you see an ‘s’ added to your ‘http’ address as it becomes ‘https’ i.e. http-secure’. You also see a small padlock at the bottom of your web page, which means that you are on a website that is secured with an SSL VPN.
Once you send a request to the server to fetch a secure page, the browser in return sends a digital certificate and a public key. Your browser then uses the public key to randomly encrypt the data to be transferred via the secured protocol.
If there are two computers connected through an SSL VPN, the data transfer takes place only after the encryption of the data is complete. In this process, one computer initiates a symmetric key and sends it to other computer, by using public key encryption.
The duration that the data takes to transfer is called a session. When the secure session is complete, both computers discard the symmetric key. In order to initiate a new session, you will have to create a new symmetric key.
Why Use SSL VPN?
By using a Portal SSL VPN, a user can establish a connection to a single web browser. Meanwhile, by using a Tunnel SSL VPN, a user can establish a connection to multiple web browsers.
Check out the following three advanced features that will make you fall in love with an SSL VPN, and you will surely be enticed to use it to your advantage.
Advanced Features of SSL VPN
In addition to common features, an SSL VPN connection provides some fabulous advanced features that make it the premier choice for the users.
Endpoint Security Compliance: It requires a computer to comply with a set of rules before allowing a user to login with his or her credentials. The rules include; anti-virus updates; Windows configuration; and scanning a particular file.
Source IP/Date/Time Restrictions: Restricts online access to certain websites in certain locations during designated time slots. Checks and maintains backup operations during the restrictions.
Cache Cleaning for Windows: Keeps browser cache clear by deleting all the temporary files after a user logs out of account.
Virtual Sandbox User Environment for Windows: Automatically configures a user’s desktop settings, in order to protect against unauthorized access to files and applications. Restores default desktop settings and deletes all temporary files once a user is logged out.
How to Use SSL VPN?
In order to use a traditional VPN, you just need to sign up for an account. Interestingly, to use an SSL VPN account, you need to obtain a digitally signed certificate. Before sending the certificate, the browser checks three things.
- Certificate is issued by a trusted and accredited company
- The company has issued a valid certificate
- The certificate issued has a relationship with the company that has issued the same.
If these three criteria are fulfilled, only then you can use an SSL VPN connection. Before signing up, do ensure that the VPN enjoys a good rapport in the VPN industry. The VPN service provider is reliable and has a strong presence. A user should also check out for the service legal agreement and the nature of customer support being provided by the SSL VPN service provider.
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