Tobi’s take on secure communications:Tobi tests VPNs

Hello, everybody!

Today we’ll be tackling another myth about VPN. I’ll also touch on security protocols and what role they play in VPN. So you'll be a lot smarter than you already are after reading this post. I’m in danger of becoming an expert in this stuff now and looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you.

Today's myth is: “All VPNs offer the same protection.”

I have to admit that I could not have said much about this myth before starting at NCP. Although I could have told you that protecting your data with a VPN is important, I didn’t think that the type of VPN mattered too much.

One of my first tasks as a marketing intern was to carry out a small market analysis, where I took a closer look at solutions provided by other VPN manufacturers. Doing this research made me realize just how many VPN products are out there! What stood out straight away is that there are a number of different “security protocols”. Some providers use SSL protocols in their VPN solution, while others use IPsec. Don't worry if you don’t understand what these technical terms mean, I didn’t either! So I asked a colleague to explain the difference. Most people understand football, so we’ll use that to help us get an idea of what’s going on here.

Imagine you're a football player and you want to protect your shins (data). You need shin guards (VPN) for this. There are two different types of shin guards – either made of thin cardboard (SSL protocols) or made of hard plastic (IPsec protocols). If your shins (data) are important to you, you’ll most likely choose the shin guards (VPN) made of hard plastic (IPsec) as they will protect you better from injury (cyber attack) from the opposing team (attacker).

In a nutshell, your choice of protocol decides how well your data is protected and IPsec protocols are ahead of the game. Companies that deal with highly sensitive and confidential data should therefore choose IPsec VPN.

I’m not ‘bashing’ SSL VPNs but in terms of security, I know who I would rather have on my team. There are hundreds of SSL VPN solutions on the market, which also makes perfect sense at the application level. But our focus is much deeper than the application level, rather in the reference model for network architecture.

Let’s sum up what we’ve learned so far: all VPNs do not all offer the same level of protection! There are many aspects which affect how well a VPN keeps your data protected, and it is important to bear in mind that not all VPNs have not been designed for the same use cases and applications. So if you meet someone who tells you otherwise, do them a favor and ask them if they have thought about how they are going to use it.

My next post deals with a topic on which we Germans, in particular, always listen particularly well when it comes to money. I'll tell you whether you can make a real bargain when buying a VPN software or whether you should invest a little more.

Stay tuned for the next episode. It’ll be worth it!


Subscribe to blog

CAPTCHA image for SPAM prevention If you can't read the word, click here.