An SSL tunnel VPN uses standard web technologies to offer secure remote access without the need for client software on user devices. Since most Internet-accessible computers, mobile phones, and tablets already have a browser installed, using an SSL VPN is straightforward.
This article will explore some of the main benefits of using an SSL tunnel VPN.
Without needing specialized client software or hardware, a Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) provides remote access to Web applications, client-server programs, and internal network services. SSL VPNs encrypt all communication between a device and an organization’s servers at the device and browser level.
Unlike IPsec VPNs that require the device and server to communicate with each other over the Internet Protocol (IP) level, SSL VPNs rely on SSL and TLS, which are built into many modern web browsers. SSL is much easier to set up and use, saving network administrators time and resources.
Additionally, SSL VPNs work at the browser level and can be more secure. Since most malware attacks target the browser, SSL VPNs help prevent these threats by ensuring that all communication between devices and servers is encrypted.
Another security benefit of SSL tunnel VPN is that they can be configured to tunnel to specific applications rather than the entire network. This means an organization can limit what users can see and do on the web, which can be helpful in certain situations. This is especially beneficial for businesses that extensively rely on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that run on the cloud. This is because these applications can typically be accessed via the public Internet and do not need to traverse a company’s security network.
Unlike IPsec VPNs, SSL tunnel VPNs are accessed through a web browser. While this makes it easy for remote users to connect without needing additional software, it also poses some risks for hackers who can target the web browser and download malware designed to spy on behavior or steal data.
SSL VPN products often include features to prevent these threats. For example, some support authentication expansions that link to RADIUS servers connected to cryptographic tokens provided by users in MFA systems. This gives network administrators more control over who can access their organization’s perimeter. Other security features, such as jailbreak detection technology, are designed to prevent users from connecting from a device that has been compromised or modified.
SSL tunnel VPNs are a good option for providing users a secure connection to their organizational resources and websites. They can establish a secure tunnel from the device to the SSL VPN server. From there, they can redirect users to their organization’s website or other network services. They can even provide access to resources that are not web-based, such as enterprise software or proprietary networks. They do this by using a gateway on the server to act as an intermediary that can verify the user’s credentials and provide access.
SSL VPNs offer the benefit of scaleability because they use a standard protocol (TLS) widely adopted across browsers and mobile devices. This makes it easy for employees to connect to their corporate network from home or on the go without requiring extra software installation or device configuration. This also allows for multiple connections, increasing the number of web services that can be accessed without compromising data security.
Another way an SSL VPN offers scalability is by operating at the transport layer of the network rather than the application layer. This means that any attacks on an SSL VPN will be at a much higher level of scrutiny, preventing them from targeting specific applications or websites.
An alternative to portal SSL VPNs is the tunnel version, which extends the capabilities of an SSL VPN beyond web-based applications by offering a secure connection between a web browser and a gateway on an enterprise network. This can help users access network resources that cannot be reached via a web browser, such as local storage or SaaS applications hosted on the cloud. However, this requires a browser that can support active content, so IT teams must know which browsers their employees are using and any additional applications that may be required.
Unlike other types of VPNs, SSL tunnel VPN solutions are designed to run within common web browsers, requiring minimal hardware or software installation. As a result, they are easier to maintain and support. Additionally, since SSL VPNs are bundled with popular web browsers, updates can be pushed out automatically, further reducing maintenance costs.
In addition, SSL tunnel VPNs allow users to connect to multiple network services using their web browser, even those not based on the Internet. This makes them more versatile than an SSL portal VPN, enabling organizations to secure remote access to various applications and services that may not be available online.
Another great feature of SSL tunnel VPNs is that they provide granular control over network resources by allowing employees to gain access to the applications they need for their roles rather than a broader set of services. This can help reduce the risk of data breaches due to lateral movement.
However, one potential downside of using an SSL tunnel VPN is that traces of information can remain on employee devices once they have closed the browser. As a result, additional security measures are still required for remote workers to protect against malware downloads from untrustworthy websites or applications.