Global Security Forum

How To Strengthen Web Security with VPN

By Paul Glenn posted Thu May 07, 2020 08:49 AM

  

Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to have a safe connection to the network. It may be applied to access region-restricted sites, shield your browsing logs and keep yourself unreachable to cybercriminals.


Like many other technologies, VPNs as well were initially developed for military use. Now, many know it because of the wide use in enterprises, as a tool to securely connect in too enterprise networks - This allows remotely work from home without losing putting the company data to high risk..


Encryption and safety protocols


Along with the possibility of hiding their IP and location, users of VPNs also have their data protected due to encryption methods.


Encryption protocols are at the heart of VPN.  Each one outlines a different answer to the problem of safe, private, and somewhat secret browsing. Though many of us are informed of how a VPN usually works, it’s common to get lost on the fine features of the technology due to the sheer complexity of the topic. 


Types of VPN encryption

At a fundamental level, encryption involves replacing letters and numbers to encode data so that only approved groups can obtain and read it. We now use strong algorithms called ciphers to make encryption and decryption. These ciphers denote a range of well-defined actions that can be observed regularly. The development of a cipher usually depends on a portion of auxiliary data called a key; without information of the key, it is very difficult – if not impossible – to decrypt the resulting information depending of the protocol.


When speaking about encryption, we usually refer to a blend of cipher and key-length, which means the amount of ‘bits’ in a given key.

Symmetric-key


This is where the code for encryption and decryption is the equivalent, and both communicating individuals must possess the same key to talk. This is the kind of encryption applied in VPN settings.

Public-key


The public key is applied to encrypt data, which is then sent to the owner of the secret key. They then use this secret key to decrypt the reports.


Handshake encryption


Securely joining to a VPN server needs the use of public-key encryption through a TLS handshake. While a cipher obtains your actual data, this handshake secures your connection. 

This is usually done through the RSA algorithm, which has primarily been the basis of internet security for about two decades. 


Now, most VPN services have gone on from RSA-1024, but a little minority still includes it. These sets should be avoided. It’s best to find a service allowing RSA-2048, which continues secure.


Secure Hash Algorithm


SHA is used to verify data and SSL/TLS joints. In this method, an individual fingerprint is performed to validate the TLS certificate – that is, to prove you’re relating to the server you’re thought to be.
 

Protocols

VPN rules serve the processes and guidance that VPN customers rely on to transmit a secure connection among a device and a VPN server. There are different protocols generally supported by business VPN services. The central protocols you need to know about:

SSL and TLS


Though not exactly a VPN protocol, this is the kind of encryption most users are familiar with. Both OpenVPN and all HTTPS-secured sites use it. Construction on its predecessor – the SSL protocol – TLS uses a blend of symmetric and public-key encryption to secure web connections.

Through this process, your web browser uses public-key encryption to interact with a website’s server and distribute the symmetric keys used to secure the transferred data. The only problem here arises when a website’s server only practices one secret key to start all secure sessions. If this code is anyhow compromised, a hacker can easily block and read any information with that site. 


OpenVPN


This is the regular protocol used by most popular VPN providers. It’s generally configurable, very strong, and operational on almost all VPN-capable things.


OpenVPN is open-source, which indicates its codebase is openly available for review. Researchers can examine for vulnerabilities, complete security requirements, and refine the output. It uses TLS rules and the OpenSSL library in order with a range of other tools to produce a safe VPN connection. Custom OpenVPN forms are accessible from commercial VPN providers, but the original source code is designed and developed by the OpenVPN Project.


IKEv2/IPsec


Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) is a security association protocol that sets the foundation for a VPN connection by establishing an authenticated and encrypted connection between two parties. It was created by Microsoft and Cisco, and is natively supported by iOS, Windows 7 and later, and Blackberry.

As part of the IPsec internet security toolbox, IKEv2 uses other IPsec tools to provide comprehensive VPN coverage. This includes the Mobility and Multihoming protocol, which ensures the VPN stays connected as the client moves from one connection to another. This makes IKEv2 a very dependable and stable protocol for mobile devices.

As part of the IPsec suite, IKEv2 works with most leading encryption algorithms, which is testament to its security. That being said, the protocol is less efficient when trying to connect out of a highly censored country. What’s more, IKEv2 uses a method called the Diffie Hellman process to exchange the keys it uses to secure your data. During the Snowden leaks, slides in an NSA presentation revealed they may have found a way to break this procedure. Researchers working on a potential vulnerability estimated that, with hundreds of millions of dollars in computing power investments, the NSA could potentially break into as many as 66% of IPsec connections.

Ultimately, IKEv2 is a reasonably secure and fast protocol. Mobile users in particular may prefer it to OpenVPN due to its stability throughout interrupted internet connections. For users of platforms like Blackberry, it’s essentially the only option available. 


SSTP


SSTP is a exclusive Microsoft-owned protocol based on SSL 3.0. It supports AES-256 and can practice TCP port 443. SSTP gives most of the benefits of OpenVPN but is mostly only for Windows.

SSTP’s close relationship with Microsoft indicates you can be certain that any device accepting Vista or a later Windows OS will either help SSTP or have it built-in. Furthermore, you may be able to get support from Microsoft if you have difficulties in completing the protocol. 


WireGuard


WireGuard is an almost new tunnelling protocol that attempts to offer better production and faster rates than OpenVPN.

The protocol is created to resolve some of the negative effects usually associated with IPsec and OpenVPN: regular disconnections, complex service for users looking to configure, extended reconnection times manually, and heavy codebases which can make it hard for researchers to detect bugs. 


PPTP


Produced to create a VPN over dial-up connection, the PPTP is an old VPN protocol formed in 1999 by a organization funded by Microsoft.

It still holds some positives: it’s universally compatible, doesn’t need extra software, and is very fast.


Choosing a VPN protocol


Picking the most suitable VPN protocol depends on what you need to do with your VPN.

  • If you’re practicing a VPN initially for extra security and don’t care about steam, we support the L2TP protocol. It will defend you from hackers, snoopers and curious governments and assist you bypass licensing.
  • For the latest, most permanent protocol – and best streaming and mobile safety and connectivity – join to IKEv2 if your machine supports it.
  • If you need to open blocked websites and don’t bother about privacy or security, then use PPTP for a quick connection.
  • For everything, you can use OpenVPN.


Just if you think one singular protocol that would suit the best for you, currently the most popular service has all of the strongest ones included, This review of Express VPN will get you an idea how to make a good choice.

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