Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) is a form of reliable VPN that can be used with standard Web browsers including mobile browsers. With emerging mobile technologies, thriving global markets and heightened focus on disaster preparedness, remote access control has become a business imperative. The modern mobile workforce demands secure access to data, information and more resources from more remote devices and platforms. Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) is a form of reliable VPN that can be used with standard Web browsers including mobile browsers.
SSL VPNs are often called transparent or clientless because they lack any additional client-side VPN software that is explicitly installed. The SSL components required to create a secure channel from the remote system are mostly the Web browsers, many already available on virtually every modern computer. The only new component that is necessary is a designated SSL VPN server. This acts as the gateway between the secured network and all remote systems.
There are two major types of SSL VPNs:
- SSL Portal VPN (Single point access)
While this type of SSL VPN is sometimes called clientless SSL VPN due to lack of explicitly installed software, client software usually a Web browser is still needed to use this VPN solution. This type of SSL VPN allows for a single SSL connection to a Web site so the end user can securely access multiple network services.
With SSL Portal VPN there is need to install add-ons such as Java, ActiveX controls and plug-ins however users will be able to access Web based applications only. The remote user accesses the SSL VPN gateway using any modern Web browser by way of authentication method supported by the gateway. This type of SSL VPN can be a good solution when remote users only need access to specific Web-based application.
- SSL Tunnel VPN (Multiple network services)
SSL Tunnel VPN use a Web browser as the client and allows a Web browser to securely access multiple network services, including applications and protocols that are not Web-based, through a tunnel that is running under SSL. Usually, add-ons such as Java, ActiveX or Flash have to be installed.
These add-ons enable a Web browser to handle active content and to provide functionality that is not accessible to SSL portal VPNs. The add-on encapsulates the native protocol used by the application and sends it in an SSL encrypted tunnel where it is presented to the client as if it were a Web-based application.