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SSL VPN: Benefits and Implementation Steps

  1. What is SSL VPN?
  2. Why Exactly SSL VPN?
  3. How Does SSL VPN work?
  4. Is SSL VPN Secure?
  5. Advantages of SSL VPNs.
  6. SSL Certificate Creation in One Easy Step.

Before we start talking about SSL VPN, ask yourself this question: have you ever tried to list everything that the internet has brought us?

You can answer this question all day, and the next day you will surely recall some other aspects you missed. In general, you can sum it up with: the internet brought us almost everything.

We look for the information we need, have fun, make purchases, order tickets, upload files and share them, and work. This is just the tip of the iceberg. But it’s not all that simple, because threats come alongside the advantages: credit card fraud and account data theft, privacy breach, hacks, and other cyber dangers.

For every action, there is a reaction. That is why online security is developing no slower than the ingenuity of cyber threats. One of the most effective and simple options to ensure security is to use a secure socket layer virtual private network (SSL VPN). Instead of being nervous about the unfamiliar name, just keep reading: we will reveal all its secrets.


What is SSL VPN?

Let us put it as simply as possible.

SSL VPN is a protocol that encrypts data in a special way and ensures its secure transmission.

You see, there is nothing complicated about it.

The emergence of the SSL portal VPN is due to the fact that the classic internet protocol security framework was not able to ensure the security and privacy of all end users from each of the available platforms. Given the increase in the number of remote workers who connect to companies and conduct their work remotely, security is becoming a priority issue.

Thanks to SSL VPN, users are able to connect to company services and resources from anywhere and work as securely as if they were in the office.


Why exactly is SSL VPN?

SSL is an interesting VPN alternative due to some special features:

  • advanced cryptographic capabilities
  • no need for deployment at the operating system level
  • no need to install additional applications; access is provided directly through the browser

It should be noted that if VPN provides a secure connection between two or more parties, this does not mean that any VPN will be able to provide an attacker with the opportunity to crack this SSL VPN connection. Of course, an unauthorized person, even if he or she has VPN access, will not be able to penetrate the company’s internal files–this requires special access data.


How Does SSL VPN Work?

Let’s find out how SSL VPN works. SSL VPN operates according to the most optimized scheme: it sends encrypted information through a special SSL tunnel under the protection of the SSL protocol. Thanks to this, the security of both the transmitted information and the entire system as a whole is ensured. At the same time, the creation of additional layers of security is not necessary at all.

As we have already mentioned, there is no need to install anything. All you need is a simple browser. Thanks to the X.509 digital certificates, SSL VPN easily authenticates users and protects data transmitted through the SSL tunnel.

How can you determine if SSL VPN is currently in use on this website? It is very simple: the letter “S” will appear in the HTTP address, indicating security, and it will appear as HTTPS.

HTTP works by default. You enter personal information on the website, and the browser transfers it to the server in an open form. And in the case of HTTPS, SSL protocol encrypts personal information before transferring it to the website owner.

The browser and server establish an SSL VPN connection each time a user visits the website. It takes a few seconds while the website is loading and is called a handshake. That’s how SSL VPN works.

Let's look at the HTTPS protocol in more detail.

After sending a request to load a secure page, the following actions occur:

  1. The browser asks the server if a certificate is installed for the website.
  2. The server sends general information about the SSL certificate and the public key.
  3. The browser checks the information with a list of certification authorities, generates a session key, encrypts it with a public key, and sends it to the server.
  4. The server decrypts the message using a private key and saves the session key.
  5. A secure connection is established between the browser and the website via the HTTPS protocol.

This algorithm uses three types of keys. A key is a way to encrypt or decrypt a message. For clarity, let's identify each of these keys again.

Public key- used to encrypt a message. The browser uses it when it is necessary to send user data to the server. This key is visible to everyone; the browser attaches it to the message. Private key- used to decrypt the message. The server uses it when it receives a message from the browser. This key is stored on the server and is never transmitted along with the message. Session key- used to simultaneously encrypt and decrypt messages. The browser generates it for the time that the user spends on the website. Once the user closes the tab, the session ends and the key stops working.

If two devices are connected to SSL VPN, the information will be transmitted only after it is encrypted. This happens in a special cryptographic way using public key encryption and generating a symmetric key.

During data transfer, the so-called session, the symmetric key plays the role of the session key, which we have mentioned above. When the transfer of information is completed, both interacting devices reset the symmetric key in the same way as happens with the session key when closing the tab of a secure website. Accordingly, during a new session, a new symmetric key will be generated.


Is SSL VPN Secure?

SSL VPNs are widely used due to their simplicity and low cost. However, there are different opinions regarding the level of security they provide.

Why can't one rely solely on SSL VPNs? First of all, because of authentication: cybercriminals may well imitate legitimate users and gain access to secure data and networks. Therefore, it is necessary to adhere to additional disciplinary measures for maintaining safety and to elaborate these topics at the level of parties involved in the transfer of data.

Larger networks using SSL VPN can become victims of Trojan attacks or worms, and this also needs to be kept in mind. In this case, simply using SSL can serve a dirty trick: when you enter a secure network from any computer, you cannot always be sure that it is virus-free.

Another loophole for attackers is the manipulation of SSL gateways. Having created a portal similar to the original SSL portal, they are quite capable of collecting private user data.

Based on this, it can be concluded that ease of use should not blindfold you: additional safety measures and caution remain a priority. Is SSL VPN secure? It can very well be secure – it has all the qualities for this – if you use it not as the only security measure, but in combination with other steps and reasonable prudence.


Advantages of SSL VPNs

Remote access to sensitive information regardless of location and browser is the first advantage that comes to mind. However, it is not the only one:

  1. No need to install additional applications or software
  2. Ease of use and generally accepted standard for quick interoperability
  3. Some browsers include it by default
  4. Fast implementation and minimal learning curve
  5. Simplified certificate management: only the server needs them to establish a secure connection
  6. Low cost

If you have already determined that SSL VPN is for you, the last question remains – where to get the SSL certificate. But we already have the answer to this question.


SSL Certificate Creation in One Easy Step

So, you are convinced that you need an SSL certificate. This is an excellent choice because, in addition to high positions in search results, you ensure your website safety and demonstrate its reliability to your visitors.

The SSL certificate from TemplateMonster guarantees the security of your users’ personal data and the complete confidentiality of all transactions made on the website. High-quality and strong encryption protects the website from data hacking and phishing attacks, which are now very common and always target weak websites without proper protection.

SSL Certificate Creation.

After adding the SSL certificate on your website, the HTTPS encrypted data transfer protocol will be used, which we have talked about above. The green lock icon in the address bar from now on will be the hallmark of your website reliability. Your visitors can be sure that their data is encrypted and cannot be stolen.

This is true for any websites, the work of which involves collecting information about visitors. Online stores and information portals will undoubtedly only benefit from the use of the SSL certificate. Using the SSL certificate, you provide your visitors with safe browsing and interaction with your website.

Together with a certificate with a high level of encryption, you will receive easy domain validation, fast process of issuing, and free website seal. It is important to note that this certificate is backed by Comodo, a global leader in cyber​​security solutions.

What are you waiting for? The best time to protect your website is now!


Quick Reminder of Essential Issues (FAQ)

WHAT APPLICATIONS ARE NEEDED FOR INSTALLATION OF SSL VPN?

No applications are needed. Connection to SSL VPN takes place directly through the browser.

HOW TO DETERMINE IF A WEBSITE IS PROTECTED BY THE SSL PROTOCOL?

Pay attention to the address bar: it should start with HTTPS and contain a secure website seal – green lock.

DO I NEED VPN IF MY WEBSITE IS ALREADY PROTECTED BY THE SSL PROTOCOL?

For advanced protection, yes. VPN provides encryption from your computer to the VPN server, and HTTPS is focused on end-to-end encryption.

DOES SSL VPN PROVIDE COMPLETE SECURITY?

If you will use it in conjunction with other protective measures and high security awareness among staff, then yes.

Read Also

7 Websites to Analyze the SSL Certificate Cost – How to Find the Best Option to Make Your Website Protected

Everything About SSL Proxy [All the Whys and Whats]

5+ Best SSL Plugins WordPress 2020

How to Fix the SSL Error?


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Victoria Brouillard

An eclectic writer, forward-looking content strategist and backward-analyzing researcher. Vast experience in developing diverse content cradled in creativity and backed by tangible goals for B2B, B2C, and B2G. Find Victoria and the main milestones of her wanderings around the world of content on LinkedIn.

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