Virtual Private Networks For Dummies


Let’s face it: the information age makes dummies of us all at some point. One thing we can say for sure, though, about things related to the Internet is that their best strengths are often also their worst weaknesses. This goes for virtual private networks (VPNs). They may reach a wide base of customers – but can also be vulnerable to viruses, hackers, spoofers, and other shady online characters and entities. VPNs may allow for super-efficient communication between customer and company – but ...

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Let’s face it: the information age makes dummies of us all at some point. One thing we can say for sure, though, about things related to the Internet is that their best strengths are often also their worst weaknesses. This goes for virtual private networks (VPNs). They may reach a wide base of customers – but can also be vulnerable to viruses, hackers, spoofers, and other shady online characters and entities. VPNs may allow for super-efficient communication between customer and company – but they rely on information which, if compromised, can cause huge losses. The Internet is still a frontier – sometimes so wide open it leaves us bewildered – and, like any frontier, the risks go hand in hand with potentially huge rewards.

Virtual Private Networks for Dummies offers you a no-nonsense, practical guide to evaluating your company’s need for a VPN, understanding what it takes to implement one, and undertaking the challenging quest to set it up, make it work, and keep it safe. Whether you’re the resident expert leading the project team, or you just want to learn what makes e-commerce tick, this detailed, from-the-ground-up guide will soon have you comfortably conceptualizing:

  • Security goals and strategies
  • The evolution of VPNs
  • Privacy in VPNs
  • Extranets
  • Remote-Access VPNs
  • Funding
  • Custom network solutions design
  • Testing VPNs
  • And more

With new products and technologies offering supposedly revolutionary solutions to IT departments every day, this book focuses on the real world – you know, the one full of obstacles, mishaps, threats, delays, and errors – and gives you the background knowledge to make decisions for yourself about your VPN needs. Written with a dash of humor, Virtual Private Networks for Dummies contains both technical detail (standards, protocols, etc.) and more general concepts (such as conducting cost-benefit analyses). This clear, authoritative guide will have you securely and cost-effectively networking over the Internet in no time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764505904
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Merkow, an e-commerce and network security expert, writes a column for and is the coauthor of Building SET Applications for Secure Transactions.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
About This Book 1
Who Should Read This Book 2
How This Book Is Organized 2
Icons in This Book 4
Where to Go from Here 4
Part I Unlocking the Mysteries of VPNs 5
Chapter 1 Embracing Virtual Private Networks 7
Security Goals and Strategies 7
Where VPNs Fit In 9
Security Threats Are Everywhere 11
Chapter 2 Touring the Land of VPNs 17
Problems Before VPNs 17
The Evolution of VPN Technologies 19
Chapter 3 Putting Privacy into VPNs 25
It's All About Trust 25
From Distrust to Semi-Trust via Cryptography 27
Two Methods of Cryptography 27
Keys, Keys, Who's Got the Keys? 32
PPK -- It Can Save Your Hash 36
Chapter 4 Public Keys, Private Messages 43
Components of a PKI 44
Growing a Tree of Trust 45
Prove Yourself! -- Digital Certificates In Action 48
Certificate Authority Responsibilities 58
Certificate Practice Statements 61
Chapter 5 Fighting for the QoS 63
Policies at Your Service 64
The Importance of Service-Level Agreements 69
Establishing Your Own Service-Level Agreements 70
Part II Applying VPNs in the Real World 73
Chapter 6 Extraordinary Extranets 75
Three Frontiers of Extranets 75
Bridging Internet and Intranet 76
Extranets Gain Help from the Industry 77
Modern Extranet-Enabling Technologies 79
Case Studies in Extranets 84
Walk Briskly, but Watch Your Step 86
Chapter 7 Remotely Possible 89
Why Remote-Access VPNs? 90
Building Strong Authentication 91
Case Studies in Remote-Access VPN Success 97
Computer-Telephony Integration CTI 98
Chapter 8 Branching Out All Over 103
Put Your VPN Out on a Limb and Love It 103
Branch-Office VPNs -- Ripe for the Picking 106
Cultivating the Benefits of Branch-Office VPNs 107
Pruning the Problems of Branch-Office VPNs 111
Chapter 9 Justify Yourself 115
Inside Cost-Benefit Analysis 115
VPN Development: Go, Team, Go! 120
Cost Reduction in a Sample VPN Deployment 124
Chapter 10 Let Your Requirements Be Your Guide 127
Square One: Preliminary Analysis and Project Development 128
Detailed Systems Analysis 132
Control and Support of Your VPN 140
Part III Roadmap for VPN Solutions 143
Chapter 11 Designing Custom VPN Network Solutions 145
System Design and Development: Who, Me? 145
Secure That Back-Office Network! 146
What Is Multiprocessing -- and Why did I Ask? 149
The Fashionably Modular Back Office 152
Network Design: Tiers for Fears 157
Wrapping a Secure Network in a Secure VPN 159
Chapter 12 Evaluating and Selecting VPN and PKI Solutions 161
Plan for Tomorrow, but Live for Today 161
The Common Criteria CC for Information Technology Security 165
Evaluating PKI Solution Providers 176
Chapter 13 Implementing Your VPN and PKI 183
Does a VPN Make Me King of E-Commerce? 183
IPSec VPN Implementation in Four Steps 184
Using Digital Certificates to Access VPNs 189
Chapter 14 Testing Your VPN 193
Standards-Compliance Testing: Does Your VPN Measure Up? 194
Testing for Interoperability 195
Security Testing. Again 198
End-User Testing 202
Chapter 15 Living in a VPN-Wired World 205
Now What? 206
The Digital Writing Is on the Wall 206
International Implications of Using VPNs 210
Cryptography on the Horizon 211
Elliptical Curve Cryptography? Hang On 212
Maintaining a Sentry Position 213
Attaining VPN Nirvana 215
Part IV The Part of Tens 218
Chapter 16 Ten VPN Online Information Sources 219
VPN Source Page at Internet Week Online 219
Network World Fusion VPN Information Site 220
The NIST IPSec Project Home Page 220
International Computer Security Association ICSA Library 221
EarthWeb CrossNodes Technologies Information Resources 222
VPN Insider 223 223
The ISPortal 224
Electronic Privacy Information Center EPIC 224
VPN Operator's Home Page 225
Chapter 17 More Than Ten VPN Standards 227
IPSec Internet Drafts: The Horse's Mouth 229
Internet Drafts Related to X.509 Public-Key Infrastructure 235
Chapter 18 More Than Ten Steps to an Information Privacy Checklist 239
Responsible Information Handling 239
Privacy Policies for Client Relations 240
Privacy Policies for Employee Relations 245
Chapter 19 Ten Security and Security- Testing Specialists 249
Counterpane Systems 249
Deloitte and Touche 250
Ernst & Young's eSecurity Solutions 251
InfoSec Labs Inc. Formerly Miora Systems Consulting 252
LOpht Heavy Industries 253
Network Associates Global Professional Services 254
Network Security Laboratories, Inc. NSLI 254
Secure Computing Corporation 256
SecurelT 257
Trident Data Systems 257
Part V Appendixes 259
Appendix A VPN Buyer's Guide 261
Access Utility with Integrated Firewall and VPN 262
Dedicated VPN Hardware 262
Dedicated VPN Hardware with Concentrator 266
Firewall with VPN 266
Internet-Access Appliances with Router, Firewall, and VPN 270
Multiaccess Connector with Integrated Firewall and VPN 272
Routers with VPNs 274
Software-Based VPNs 276
Switches with Routing, VPN, Firewall 278
VPN Gateways with Firewalls 280
Vendor Contact Information 282
Appendix B Glossary 285
Appendix C Inside IPSec 295
Index 303
Book Registration Information
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