Wednesday 12 January 2011

SSL VPN : Understanding, evaluating and planning secure, web-based remote access: A comprehensive overview of SSL VPN technologies and design strategies

SSL VPN : Understanding, evaluating and planning secure, web-based remote access: A comprehensive overview of SSL VPN technologies and design strategies
Joseph Steinberg,Tim Speed,J. Steinberg,T. Speed | 2005-03-09 00:00:00 | Packt Publishing | 212 | Networking
A comprehensive overview of SSL VPN technologies and design strategies
  • Understand how SSL VPN technology works
  • Evaluate how SSL VPN could fit into your organisation?s security strategy
  • Practical advice on educating users, integrating legacy systems, and eliminating security loopholes
  • Written by experienced SSL VPN and data security professionals

In Detail Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide remote workers with secure access to their company network via the internet by encrypting all data sent between the company network and the user?s machine (the client). Before SSL VPN this typically required the client machine to have special software installed, or at least be specially configured for the purpose.

Clientless SSL VPNs avoid the need for client machines to be specially configured. Any computer with a Web browser can access SSL VPN systems. This has several benefits:

  • Low admin costs, no remote configuration
  • Users can safely access the company network from any machine, be that a public workstation, a palmtop or mobile phone
  • By pass ISP restrictions on custom VPNs by using standard technologies

SSL VPN is usually provided by a hardware appliance that forms part of the company network. These appliances act as gateways, providing internal services such as file shares, email servers, and applications in a web based format encrypted using SSL. Existing players and new entrants, such as Nokia, Netilla, Symantec, Whale Communications, and NetScreen technologies, are rushing our SSL VPN products to meet growing demand.

This book provides a detailed technical and business introduction to SSL VPN. It explains how SSL VPN devices work along with their benefits and pitfalls. As well as covering SSL VPN technologies, the book also looks at how to authenticate and educate users ? a vital element in ensuring that the security of remote locations is not compromised. The book also looks at strategies for making legacy applications accessible via the SSL VPN.

What you will learn from this book?

  • How SSL VPN technology works, and how it fits into existing network architectures
  • Evaluating SSL VPN for your organization
  • Understand what to look out for when talking to vendors
  • How to plan an SSL VPN implementation for your business
  • Educate staff to maintain SSL VPN security
  • Strategies for providing access to internal legacy applications via SSL VPN
  • A heads-up on likely trends and possibilities for the future of SSL VPN


The book blends technically rigorous descriptions with a friendly approach based on practical examples and scenarios. The authors write in clear, informal language and make extensive use of diagrams and images. The book begins with an overview of SSL VPN?s purpose, and the technical and business trends that are making it popular today. It then looks at how SSL VPNs work and how they fit into existing network plans. The effect of SSL VPN on the wider business environment is then considered, before looking at how SSL VPN technology is likely to develop in the future.

Who this book is written for?

This book aimed at IT network professionals and managers who are currently evaluating SSL VPN technologies. It requires a broad understanding of networking concepts, but does not require specific and detailed technical knowledge of protocols or vendor implementations.
"SSL VPN - Understanding, evaluating and planning secure, web-based remote access" - the only thing wordy about this book is its title. The rest of the book delivers information clearly and concisely through text, diagrams and examples. "Hacker Bob" animates key passages to keep things from getting dry.

As expected, the audience for this book is techies. Basic network concepts are explained, so anyone with a technical background will understand. Any network fundamentals quickly lead to SSL VPN applications.

The authors are good about explaining "why" and providing the pros/cons of a decision. Key criteria are also provided for both technical and business decisions. I found one of the most valuable parts to be about bad architectures. The authors illustrate several common architectures and point out weaknesses. The focus on diagrams and flow was quite useful.

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1 comment:

  1. I've read this book about understanding SSL VPN and it helped me a lot.
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