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MN610 Virtual Private Networks

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MN610 Virtual Private Networks

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Course Code: MN610
University: Melbourne Institute Of Technology

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Country: Australia

a. Analyse and discuss the significance of VPN for contemporary organisations and how it addresses their concerns and security issues.
b.Explain the role of VPN, its limitations and works done to address these limitations as well as to supporting the security of businesses and corporations
Virtual Private Network had been introduced on demand to protect the online activities of individuals [1]. This would help them to maintain their confidentiality while performing online activities. Besides this, the users are allowed to access blocked or restricted content from anywhere they want across the world. This can be done by just a click on the mouse. In brief, it can be said that VPN allows the users to send as well as receive data through internet along with maintaining their anonymity of data. This security of data depends on the level of encryption carried out by the user. The most important advantage of VPN is that it allows the access to the most unwanted data on internet. This provides the freedom to the user on internet that everyone deserves. The technology of VPN has been developed for the security needs of the people especially the need of securing data while it is transmitted through a medium. Besides the benefit of creating “private scope of computer communications”, VPN has many more advantages. These advantages are as follows.

Remote control: The most important advantage of VPN is that it allows remote access to the data. The users are allowed to access the data from anywhere and anytime they want. This gives employees, the freedom to work from home. They do not need to be physically present at office to do their work.
Enhanced security: when a user connects to a network with the use of VPN, the data is secured as well as encrypted. This is a technique used in order to keep the identity of the user as well as the data secured from the reach of hackers.
Sharing files: VPN service can be utilized if the user has a group, which requires data sharing for extended time period.
Change IP address: If a user needs an IP address of a user belonging to another country, the VPN provides him with that.
Reduce costs: Creation of VPN network reduces the cost incurred in maintenance [2]. If the user seeks help of a service provider for the service, the setup of network as well as surveillance does not bother the user.
Better performance: The implementation of VPN network increases the efficiency and bandwidth of the network.
Unblock websites: One of the most important advantages of VPN is that they help in accessing various blocked website that users would not have allowed to access otherwise [3]. It also helps in bypassing the internet filters. This is the reason most of the organizations are introducing VPN in their daily operations.
Maintaining anonymity during online activities: This is also one of the major advantages of VPN [4]. The users are allowed to maintain their anonymity when they surf the internet for gaining various information.

Literature review
Virtual Private Network, also known as VPN was actually designed for organizations that are huge and carry out numerous activities within a single day, where the employees require connecting to a particular computer from various locations depending on the situation [5]. It would be easier to understand with the help of an example. Suppose a company named ABC provides beverage products to its customers. It has branches across the world and according to their needs and requirements; it manufactures the products and assures that they are delivered to the end customers in time and at appropriate rate [6]. Suppose the ABC Company has its offices at Georgia, Atlanta, here all the computers are connected to the server of the company with the help of a network of connected cables. The cables are handled physically and are quite secured to some extent. Now, the company opens an office at a different place, say Canada and the employees present at Toronto would need the access to the private network in Georgia [7]. In this case, running cables from cables from Georgia to Canada is not efficient; as a result, the company requires creating a virtual private network.
In this paper according to A Rajiv, M Khalid, S Cherukuri, K A. Durazzo, and S Murthy, VPN is an extension of a particular private network, which encompasses various links across public as well as shared networks. VPN allows a user to transfer data between two machines across a public internet. This is done in a way that emulates numerous properties of a private link that is point-to-point. It makes a remote computer a part of a particular private network in a virtual manner. This is done by creating a tunnel that is encrypted with the help of public internet. The activity that includes configuring as well as creating a VPN is called virtual private networking. The authorization security makes it sure that VPN client has been granted the permission to make a VPN connection. The client also provides a particular set of constraints for the connection like idle timeout, maximum time for connection, required method for authentication and many more. This allows the administrators to increase the security of the data of the users that are remote based. The data is encrypted before it is transferred between the VPN server and VPN client through VPN connection. The data is encrypted with the help of a particular encryption algorithm and a private key that is only known to VPN server and VPN client.
As opined by C Deepak, and W Beckett III when a VPN server is connected to internet, the private intranet of the user and the server, both are exposed to attacks. A hacker would try to hack the network by attacking the VPN server. This is done by accessing the intranet of the user by using his VPN server in the form of a router or by flooding the network by various packets. In order to overcome the attacks, the VPN server’s internet interface is configured with various series of IP packets, which allows only VPN traffic. This is quite different from the filters of internal IP, which is applied to the authentication of user. This technique ensures that the server of VPN would accept the conversations that are authorized. This would as a result make sure that the operations are not affected by internet hacks and Denial-of-service attacks.
Main body
VPN was actually used by the big businesses and corporations because the employees are allowed to connect as well as access various files from different sources that are important [10]. This also does not allow any compromise in security while extracting the data.   
A VPN creates a cable between a server and a computer. This cable is virtual in nature. This virtual cable forms a tunnel, which encrypts the information that is made to pass through it. The encryption prevents hackers to steal the data [11]. It also prevents governments, ISPs and many other sources from monitoring the user’s activity.
The three main components that VPN includes are as follows

Security protocols: VPN uses a particular security protocol that secures the data of users. The data is secured when they pass through the server. This protocol forms a secured connection as well as influences the sort of encryption that is used by VPN [12]. Though the security protocols are not reliable similar to the private network, but they are close. There are various categories of protocols, which are used for their own individual reasons. One of the protocols that is mostly used and is best among all is OpenVPN.
Encryption: Security protocol and encryption are the two sides of the same coin. This technique protects the data by encrypting it. With the use of this process, the hackers are prevented from hacking the data. Even if the hackers get hold of the data, they would not be able to get access to it because the data would be encrypted and they cannot decrypt it. The best VPN uses AES 256-bit and 128-bit. AES is also known as Advances Encryption Standard, it is one of the common ciphers used by people. This cipher is compatible with most of the protocols of VPN. In case of VPNs, the encryption is one of the crucial factors.
Servers: IT is good for a VPN to have a huge array of locations as well as servers. This is because when a user uses the internet, he sends a particular data to the server requesting the access to a certain website. When a VPN is used, the data goes to the VPN’s server, after that the VPN transfers the data to the intended server. This helps the server to maintain the anonymity of the user. 

VPN provides various benefits to the contemporary organizations. These advantages are as follows 

Hide IP: The way, by which VPN unblocks content, it can hide the IP address of the users as well. The VPN uses a technique, which changes the IP address of the user depending on the server he uses. When a user connects to VPN, his IP address is hidden behind the server of VPN. As a result, the ISPs, hackers and governments are not able to see the genuine location of the user.
Save money: Changing the IP address of a user might help in saving a lot of money while performing an online transaction [12]. This is because websites change the prices according to the county.
Encrypt data: VPNs are nearly impossible to hack but it is not impossible. Just as the technology grows smarter, hackers find some or the other way to hack the networks and steal data. Performing encryption before transferring data helps the data to stay safe [13]. Even if a hacker is successful in breaking through the network and gets the data, the encryption does not let the information compromise. This is very useful when the user does not want the ISPs or governments to track his activity.   

Along with the advantages, VPN has various limitations as well. These limitations are as follows 

Performance issues: VPN connects the network to x/redirected to the desired website. This might cause a problem in the performance of the process[14]. Sometimes the private networks tend to take a long time to contact with the private servers. This might as a result create delay in loading the website that the user wants to access.
VPN service might monitor the activities and the data: Sometimes the private networks allow the user to utilize their private servers but ask for their data in return [15]. There have been some cases where it as found that the VPN companies monitored the information of the users and used them for their benefits. They do hide the IP addresses of the users but the companies can carry out the tracking. 

Some recommendations that can make organization use the fullest of VPN without any breach in the process. These recommendations are as follows 

Use of P2P servers: Some of the people use VPN service in order to download things that are not usually available to people [16]. For avoiding any kind of mishap, P2P servers should be used.
Using Double VPN:Double VPN helps users to browse without disclosing their identity [16]. This is done by connecting the server to an array of VPN servers. Double VPN consists of VPN levels and tunnels of encryption and security.
Use VPN+ Tor: Tor is used to encapsulate confidential information; the use of Tor might awaken the ISP of the user and mark the user for surveillance. The safest way to connect to a VPN is by using Tor.
Protection of leak: All the settings of the VPN app should be checked and ensue that there is no chance of leakage such as IPv6 leaks and DNS leaks.
Testing the server network: The server network should be tested before connecting [17]. This would help the user to connect to the server faster than usual.

From the above paper, it can be concluded that the VPN has various advantages that it serves to the contemporary organization that have their branches nationally as well as internationally [18]. Some of the advantages that VPN serves are low cost incurred, hide IP address of the user and encrypt the data transferred through the network. Any unauthorized user cannot access this encrypted data. VPN has numerous disadvantages as well. Some of the disadvantages are monitoring the data by the companies providing VPN and performance issues in the process [19]. The paper provides some recommendations for overcoming the problems caused due to the usage of VPN. Some of them are use of Double VPN, use of VPN+ Tor, protection of leak and many more. These points are described in details in the former part of the paper. The paper also discusses regarding the history of VPN and some literature reviews that have been discussed in some articles.
Future Work
Since around a decade, the VPN has been emerging greatly. Organizations are implementing VPN to carry out their regular works. Regarding the future of the VPN in industry, it has been assumed that it would be easier for the users to create access and use VPNs. People would be more aware regarding the online privacy and network. This would also help in increasing the rate of users using VPN [20]. The developers are already trying to bring innovations in VPN. The VPN creates a tunnel between two devices in order to help the users to carry out safe transmission of data. This would help the users greatly.
[1] R, E., I. J. Wijnands, Y. Cai, and A. Boers. Multicast Virtual Private Network (MVPN): Using Bidirectional P-Tunnels. No. RFC 7582. 2015.
[2] L, A, and A Moradi. “Experiments on virtual private network design with concave capacity costs.” Optimization Letters 12, no. 5 (2018): 945-957.
[3] B, A Zameer, D Khalfan Al Shuaibi, and A Vikram Singh. “Virtual private network as a service—A need for discrete cloud architecture.” In Reliability, Infocom Technologies and Optimization (Trends and Future Directions)(ICRITO), 2016 5th International Conference on, pp. 526-532. IEEE, 2016. 
 [4] L, M, M Ylianttila, and A Gurtov. “IP-based virtual private network implementations in future cellular networks.” In Handbook of Research on Progressive Trends in Wireless Communications and Networking, pp. 44-66. IGI Global, 2014. 
[5] J, M, and P Trivedi. “Improve Performance of Successive Ratio for Virtual Private Network.” In Computational Intelligence and Communication Networks (CICN), 2016 8th International Conference on, pp. 97-101. IEEE, 2016.
 [6] CnDeepak, and W Beckett III. “Methods, systems, and computer program products for providing a virtual private gateway between user devices and various networks.” April 28, 2015.
[7] Y Ho Sun, S  Back Hong, J Sik Kim, S Moon, S Cheul Kim, S Woo Hong, S Jin Hong et al. “System for managing virtual private network and method thereof.”  March 17, 2015.
[8] R, A. Y, C. Swathi, and R. Kalavathi. “Performance Evaluation and Design Considerations of Ultra Virtual Private Network.” Journal of Network Communications and Emerging Technologies (JNCET) www. jncet. org 7, no. 12 (2017).
[9] C Deepak, and W Beckett III. “Methods, systems, and computer program products for providing a virtual private gateway between user devices and various networks.” April 28, 2015.
[10] A Rahman, R, N Asikin Zahari, M Kassim, and M Ikram Yusof. “Virtual Routing and Forwarding-lite Traffic Management over Multi-protocol Layer Switching-Virtual Private Network.” Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer Engineering (JTEC) 8, no. 3 (2016): 107-113.
[11] D, D, and B Iyer. “Design of IPSec virtual private network for remote access.” In Computing, Communication and Automation (ICCCA), 2017 International Conference on, pp. 716-719. IEEE, 2017.
 [12] T Luiz Cláudio, P Macedo Leite, H Pereira de Freitas, A Carlos Souza Passos, Joao Henrique de Souza Pereira, F de Oliveira Silva, P Frosi Rosa, and A Cardoso. “Revisiting Virtual Private Network Service at Carrier Networks: Taking Advantage of Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualisation.” ICN 2015 (2015): 84.
[13] S, T, and R Yadav. “Security in Virtual private network.” International Journal of Innovations & Advancement in Computer Science 4 (2015): 669-675. [14] Y Ho Sun, S Back Hong, J Sik Kim, S Moon, S Cheul Kim, S Woo Hong, S Jin Hong et al. “System for managing virtual private network and method thereof.” U.S. Patent 8,984,618, issued March 17, 2015.
[15] S, S, S Madan, and S Magare. “Review on protocols of Virtual Private Network.” (2017).
 [16] B, A, and N EL KAMOUN. “Policy-Based Automation of Dynamique and Multipoint Virtual Private Network Simulation on OPNET Modeler.” Policy 5, no. 12 (2014).
 [17] T, A Nadjaran, and R Buyya. “Virtual Networking with Azure for hybrid Cloud Computing in Aneka.” In Research Advances in Cloud Computing, pp. 93-114. Springer, Singapore, 2017.
[18] L, M, and A Gurtov. “Securing virtual private LAN service by efficient key management.” Security and Communication Networks 7, no. 1 (2014): 1-13.
[19] S, M Aman, M Nazim Kabiri, and M Wannous. “Utilization of cloud technologies in building a virtual programming lab for higher education in afghanistan work in progress.” In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Applied System Invention (ICASI), pp. 422-425. IEEE, 2018.
 [20] L, C, and F. Richard Yu. “Wireless network virtualization: A survey, some research issues and challenges.” IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 17, no. 1 (2015): 358-380.

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