Comparing SSL VPNs to Other Types of Remote Access VPNs

When deciding whether to implement SSL remote access VPNs, it is essential to understand how they compare to other types of remote access VPNs and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

Some of the main advantages and disadvantages of SSL remote access VPNs are as follows:

  • SSL remote access VPNs are relatively simple to deploy because it is not necessary to install or administer a VPN client on remote user devices.

    It is only necessary for remote user devices to have a web browser to access the corporate network. Remote users can use a web browser to access corporate networks from a wide variety of locations, including Internet cafés and airport Internet kiosks.

  • Clientless SSL remote access VPNs (those accessed using a web browser) provide a subset of the functionality provided by IPsec or L2TP/IPsec remote access VPNs.
  • SSL remote access VPN functionality can be enhanced by configuring the VPN gateway to dynamically download an SSL VPN client to remote user devices.
  • SSL VPNs can impose a relatively high CPU overhead on a VPN gateway if there are a large number of remote access users. This is due to the high CPU overhead incurred by public key operations associated with SSL.

    The relatively high CPU overhead imposed by SSL remote access VPNs can be ameliorated by careful selection of SSL remote access VPN gateways.

  • Little configuration is required on firewalls and NAT devices to provide transit for SSL remote access VPN traffic because SSL is carried over (NAT-friendly) TCP.

    Typically, TCP ports 443 (HTTPS) as well as (if e-mail proxy is configured) ports used for POP3 over SSL (POP3S), IMAP4 over SSL (IMAP4S), and SMTP over SSL (SMTPS) need to be opened for firewalls to ensure correct operation of SSL remote access VPNs.

  • One major disadvantage of SSL remote access VPN has been that universal access that they offer can lead to vulnerabilities being introduced into a corporate network. This is due to the untrusted nature of locations/workstations from which users can connect (Internet cafés, kiosks, hotels, and so on).

    Cisco addresses these concerns with the Cisco Secure Desktop.

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of SSL VPNs, it is time to move on to their operation, design, and implementation.

Understanding the Operation of SSL Remote Access VPNs

Part I: Understanding VPN Technology

What Is a Virtual Private Network?

Part II: Site-to-Site VPNs

Designing and Deploying L2TPv3-Based Layer 2 VPNs

Designing and Implementing AToM-Based Layer 2 VPNs

Designing MPLS Layer 3 Site-to-Site VPNs

Advanced MPLS Layer 3 VPN Deployment Considerations

Deploying Site-to-Site IPsec VPNs

Scaling and Optimizing IPsec VPNs

Part III: Remote Access VPNs

Designing and Implementing L2TPv2 and L2TPv3 Remote Access VPNs

Designing and Deploying IPsec Remote Access and Teleworker VPNs

Designing and Building SSL Remote Access VPNs (WebVPN)

Part IV: Appendixes

Designing and Building SSL Remote Access VPNs (WebVPN)

Appendix B. Answers to Review Questions

Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPHs
Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs
ISBN: 1587051796
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 124
Authors: Mark Lewis © 2008-2020.
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