Sebastopol, CA--Historically, only large companies could afford secure
networks, which they created from expensive leased lines. Everyone else
had to make do with the relatively unsecure Internet. Nowadays, even
huge corporations have to go outside their private nets, because so
many people telecommute or log in while they're on the road. Network
administrators as well as managers must balance security concerns with
employees' demand for easy accessibility to data-grappling with the
question: "how do you provide a low-cost, secure electronic network
for your organization?"
One solution is a virtual private network (VPN): a collection of
technologies that creates secure connections or "tunnels" over regular
Internet lines-connections that can be easily used by anybody logging
in from anywhere. Key advantages offered by a VPN include universal
connectivity, security, and low cost. Until now, a key disadvantage
was the lack of documentation available to network administrators
considering implementing a VPN.
O'Reilly's newest release,
Networks describes how to plan and build a VPN. It covers
general concerns like costs, configuration, and how a VPN fits in with
other networking technologies like firewalls, as well as providing
detailed descriptions of how to install and use VPN technologies that
are available for Windows NT and UNIX, such as PPTP and L2TP, the
Altavista Tunnel, and the Cisco PIX Firewall.
Virtual Private Networks author Mike Erwin warns: "Just like in
the real world, security is one of life's little things that needs to
be addressed and re-addressed, and tested and probed, and re-done;
constantly underfoot. Without firewalls, a VPN could exist, with
some paranoia, but without encryption it most certainly could not.
Cipher routines are what solve the fundamental problem of secure
communication over an insecure channel in a hostile environment."
"In many companies in the near future, modem banks and remote access
servers may become a thing of the past." says author Charlie Scott.
"Many ISPs are offering VPN capabilities as a service, and it's important
for network administrators to understand the issues involved."
Virtual Private Networks gives network administrators all
the information they need to decide whether to implement a VPN
and step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
About the Authors
Charlie Scott is the senior vice president of OuterNet Connection
Strategies, Inc., an Internet service provider and outsource company
based in Austin, Texas. Charlie has also co-authored a half-dozen
Internet-related books on topics ranging from electronic commerce
to CGI programming.
Paul Wolfe has done everything from drive M1A1 tanks in Desert
Storm to sling computer chips for Motorola. He has written four books
in the last two years covering such topics as Windows NT web servers,
Internet commerce, VRML, and Virtual Private Networks.
Mike Erwin is the president and chief executive officer of
OuterNet Connection Strategies, Inc. Mike is the co-author of several
other works, including the CGI Bible, Building Web Commerce Sites,
and the 60 Minute Guide to VRML. Mike's technology related
interests involve encryption algorithms, super computing, Distributed
Operating Systems, universe game simulations, and building secondary
securities markets on the Net.