I define cloud VPNs as securely connecting from any location to resources (data and applications) that are provisioned in central data sites for the purpose of highly-available and reliable access. A cloud VPN must also offer specific characteristics which address the requirements for secure remote access from any device, over any type of network and from any location.
Companies who want their mobile employees to securely access the company network via the Internet have several solutions available to them: remote access out of the cloud, virtual private network as a service (VPNaaS) and managed security service provider (MSSP). Due to economic reasons, companies choose to outsource the operation of their VPNs to cloud, hosting or managed service providers.
The benefits for enterprises include the following:
- no investment in hardware, software and in-house experts
- a fast realization of a remote access VPN project
- low monthly expenses
If the cloud VPN is software-based, it’s able to be virtualized and offers high scalability. Ideally, the cloud VPN solution would support multi-tenancy, be available for all major operating systems and device platforms and have a central management component.
Email your VPN-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in November 2011