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Server Security (Part 4): Protecting Your Server with a VPN and Private Network


Server Security (Part 4): Protecting Your Server with a VPN and Private Network

August 19, 2015
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Welcome to the fourth and final part of a series of posts about server security.   Successful hacking attempts are in the news on a regular basis, and cyber attacks on Internet-connected servers are at an all time high. Without a properly executed security system in place, the chances of your server getting hacked are extremely likely. In this fourth QuadraNet blog post on the subject, we will take a look at VPNs and Local Private Networks and how they can be incorporated into a server security plan.

What is a VPN and Local Private Network?

Simply put, a VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a method for extending secure data communications to a Private Network from a remote computer over a public network. It allows remote users to act as if they were locally connected to a private network. This gives the users the benefits of the functionality, security, and management policies of the private network.

Many multi-server clients at QuadraNet have a physical private network configured among their many servers. The addition of a VPN allows the client’s team to access their servers as if they were physically present in the data center and keeps this private communication segregated from other clients on the public network.   The VPN can also be used to extend that private network to other servers a client may own in any of QuadraNet’s regional locations.

Why Use a VPN and Local Private Network?

Using a VPN to access your server not only encrypts the data communication to and from the server providing a more secure management environment but also allows you to deploy stringent security rules over what the outside world can access on your server. Applications can pass sensitive data over the VPN’s virtual interface to ensure secure communications.   This gives you the flexibility and protection to only configure specific applications that need to be publicly accessible the ability to transmit over the public (internet) interfaces.

In addition, a physical private network can be used to move data securely between servers within a data center, without incurring bandwidth charges that could result from moving this same data over the public facing, bandwidth metered network. This not only can save you money on bandwidth charges but also helps keep these data transfers secure.

How to Setup a VPN and Local Private Network?

Setting up a private network is as simple as enabling a second interface when initially configuring a server and instructing its applications and firewall to use it for the services you want to keep private.

Setting up the VPN will require a little more configuration. Every server and remote computer must install the necessary software, and configure the security and configuration settings to establish secure communications with one another.

There are many commercial and open source packages available for the creation of a VPN.

To see a demonstration on setting up a server and client with access to a VPN using OpenVPN, please watch this video:

As always, the support staff at QuadraNet is standing by and ready to help in securing your server.  To request help from our Support Department in securing your server or for options on installing a VPN and private network, please open a support ticket in your QuadraNet Management Portal.