By Fragkos Maragkou – Solutions Architect
What is VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs lets you create a Secure Connection to another Network but over the Internet. Today VPNs are very popular but not for the reason they were first created. A few of the more recent time applications of VPN includes access to region-restricted websites, shielding your browsing activity from nosey eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more. VPNs were originally formed to enable users connect to their business networks securely while being connected to their home network. They essentially route all your network traffic to the beneficiary network for accessing recourses remotely and bypassing Internet censorship.
In very simple terms, a VPN connects your device to another computer somewhere in the internet world and allows you to surf the internet using that computer’s internet connection. For example, if that server is in a different country, it will appear as if you are coming from that country, and you can potentially access things that you couldn’t normally. The network traffic is sent over a secure connection (tunnel) to the VPN. Since your device behaves as if it’s on the same network, it allows you to access local network resources securely even when you’re on the other side of the world.
Working from Home
The unfortunate spread of the COVID-19 virus has encouraged more and more individuals to work from home. Using the Fortigate’s Firewall we can provide a Secure access for the user, to the company’s network, to continue their work from home. The diagram below (Figure 1) shows how the SSL VPN will help a remote user:
Figure 1- SSL for remote user
The remote user connects over the internet using an SSL VPN tunnel to the Firewall, and the Firewall allows access to the company’s internal network. The SSL VPN connection is established over the WAN interface of the FortiGate. In addition to the SSL VPN we can add FortiToken Cloud which adds an even higher level of security using the two-face authenticator process.
FortiToken Cloud offers a robust platform to manage the lifecycle of the two-factor authentication. It is a centralized and very simple to manage solution for the two-factor authentication in a FortiGate environment. Since it is a cloud-based application, it is available to manage anywhere with an internet connection. It is very easy to deploy, no additional hardware or software needed. The image below (Figure 2) shows the basic operation:
Figure 2- FortiToken Cloud
FortiToken Cloud is a highly available platform equally able to scale to support organizations with a single FortiGate to managed service providers managing hundreds of FortiGates. It is the client component of Fortinet’s highly secure, simple to use and administer. Moreover, it is extremely cost-effective two-factor solution for consulting your strong authentication needs. FortiToken Cloud can easily expand as your needs change.