SSL VPN Fast becoming the Solutions for SMBs
With VPN or virtual private networking, there is a safe way for mobile workers to connect to the company's local
area network to access their essential resources. The VPN options available are numerous, while there are some
that require additional software and hardware, there are other that are built in the operating system. SSL VPN
enables anytime, anywhere secure remote access for employees, customers and strategic partners to business-
critical resources thereby increasing corporate productivity and lowering IT overhead. The growing technology
has given enterprises the flexibility of choosing the best SSL VPN solution to suit their needs.
Looking at the existing VPN alternatives for SMBs
The prevalent VPN options that are popular in SMBs are
● Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) VPN- A PPTP can be set up without purchasing extra software,
and the PPTP client can be built into all latest versions of Windows.
● Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPSec encryption- This can usually be built into Windows 2000 Server
and above. The L2TP client can be incorporated in Windows 2000 Professional and later client operating
● Third party VPN solutions- IPSec-based VPN appliances and integrated firewall/VPN products are
available from a number of hardware vendors.
● SSL-based VPN solutions- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) based VPN appliances and software products are
available from many sources. This is another cost-effective VPN option for the SMB market.
Understanding the Benefits of SSL VPN for the SMB market
The SSL technology creates a secure conduit for conveying data by utilizing a public key cryptography. As
deployment and management is relatively less complex, it is suitable for SBMs. Small and mid-size businesses
often do not have large IT staffs, or IT personnel that have specialized expertise that may be needed. An SSL
client is already installed on most computers, and can be established from machines on which the user isn’t able
to install client software. Most networks allow Secure HTTP traffic, so the SSL VPN will work in situations where
other VPN protocols don’t. Using SSL, the security protocol present in all Web browsers enables a range of
remote access options across a broad spectrum of managed and unmanaged devices including laptops, desktops,
mobiles and PDAs.
SSL VPN solutions were earlier used more by enterprise level organizations because of the cost. With low-cost
SSL VPN appliances and software available now, it is fast becoming a feasible choice for small and midsize
businesses. SSL VPNs also offer a more cost-effective, easier to deploy remote access solution than IPSec, along
with an easy migration.