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Choosing Remote-Access VPN Technologies, Securing the VPN Deployment

Defining Remote-Access VPNs
Remote-access VPNs allow secure access to corporate resources by establishing an encrypted tunnel across the Internet. The ubiquity of the Internet, combined with today's VPN technologies, allows organizations to cost-effectively and securely extend the reach of their networks to anyone, anyplace, anytime.
VPNs have become the logical solution for remote-access connectivity for the following reasons:
• Provides secure communications with access rights tailored to individual users, such as employees, contractors, or partners
• Enhances productivity by extending corporate network and applications
• Reduces communications costs and increases flexibility
Using Remote-Access VPNs to Improve Business Productivity
Anytime, anyplace network access gives employees great flexibility regarding when and where they perform their job functions. VPNs accommodate "day extenders", employees who desire network access from home after hours and weekends to perform business functions such as answering e-mail or using networked applications. Using VPN technology, employees can essentially take their office wherever they go, thus improving response times and enabling work without interruptions present in an office environment.
VPNs also provide a secure solution for providing limited network access to non-employees, such as contractors or business partners. With VPNs, contractor and partner network access can be limited to the specific servers, Webpages, or files they are allowed access to, thus extending them the network access they need to contribute to business productivity without compromising network security.