Understanding site-to-site VPN: How do they work?

site-to-site VPN

Site-to-site Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a subset of VPNs that encrypt data in transit between endpoints without requiring user authentication or specialized client software on the end devices.

Many businesses worldwide rely on virtual private networks (VPNs), and in light of the unprecedented nature of the current crisis, businesses using free VPN are reevaluating their security measures.

How Do they work?

You are exposing yourself to the public if you utilize a wired or wireless connection to access the internet through a router.

Consider a sea of interconnected information, users, and networks.

The issue isn’t with the concept itself but rather the fact that safeguards need to be stronger.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) were originally developed to aid companies in maintaining security.

Tunneling between networks is the key to its success.

Site-to-site VPNs create encrypted tunnels from one location to another, ensuring that only the intended data recipients may access them.

All data traveling through the VPN’s gateways at each site is encrypted.

The gateway is responsible for encrypting all data before transmitting it over the tunnel to the other end.

For example, if an employee receives private client information, the inbound traffic is decrypted, and the data packets are transmitted to the intended host.

By encrypting and decrypting data, hackers and other cybercriminals are prevented from gaining access to it. Any other possible bad actors in the “ocean” cannot take advantage of the secure communication channel.

The Value of Site-to-Site Virtual Private Networks

What advantages do site-to-site VPNs have over the increasingly popular remote access VPN technology displacing more conventional VPN methods?

Secure Internal Connections

When a company implements a site-to-site VPN across all of its systems, it can be assured that its data is on much firmer ground.

Executives are worried about the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks, and hackers’ recent preference for going after small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is cause for more anxiety.

By connecting to a virtual private network, they may be assured that their data is secure throughout transit between sites.

Effectiveness in operations

By eliminating the need for clients to be installed on end-user devices, site-to-site connections provide several advantages for enterprises.

The gateway takes care of everything else once an employee has logged into the corporate network.

Scalability

The scalability of a site-to-site VPN is one of its primary advantages for an enterprise.

Connecting a new office or branch to the WAN is simple, eliminating the need to manually configure each device on the network.

Why avoid Site-to-Site VPN?

Although site-to-site VPNs have been effective for enterprises to safeguard traffic, recent years—and 2020 in particular—have changed working conditions to the point where most modern businesses don’t benefit from this setup.

Routing traffic through a local data center is no longer practical as SMBs continue migrating their data and apps to the cloud and employees spend more and more time working remotely.

As a result, many businesses are entirely abandoning site-to-site VPNs.

Security Concerns with Site-to-Site VPN

Site-to-site VPNs can only encrypt data in transit between their respective locations; the VPN tunnel does not provide any further layers of protection, such as access control or content censorship.

As a result, many businesses employ a “spoke-hub” method for handling VPN connections, wherein all information is routed through a single hub (often the company’s headquarters) before being forwarded to its final destination.

The problem with this method is that it puts extra strain on your servers and slows down your connections.

Ability to monitor and control

The lack of central control and transparency into data flows stems from the fact that each site-to-site VPN tunnel operates in isolation. In an IT environment where data centralization and low network latency are priorities, a site-to-site VPN can work against those goals.

Further, this requires individual VPNs to be set up, configured, monitored, and managed, which may be difficult and expensive for most small and medium-sized businesses.

Do You Need One for Your Business?

This relies on a variety of variables but typically boils down to the following factors:

  • Size of the company.
  • The number of sites or offices.
  • Sensitivity of shared data.

A site-to-site VPN is unnecessary if your company is small, operates from a single office, and rarely shares data with third parties.

However, a site-to-site VPN would be a wise investment for the present and the future if your business is expanding and you have plans to become a larger corporation with numerous sites, or perhaps you already do.

It is necessary to examine how crucial data security is when discussing data.

Data protection is vital for firms operating in some sectors, such as healthcare or finance. It can be disastrous to not take the best care of customer records.

This also applies to numerous companies in other industry sectors, many of which handle large amounts of client data and may be subject to heavy penalties or worse if inadequate security measures are used.

Sharing critical data that isn’t encrypted outside of a secure network in 2020 is just asking for trouble, so if this is your situation, having a site-to-site VPN is worthwhile to protect your client’s information and the security of your business.

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