Telecommuting Services

This post is going to talk about the major technologies that make Teleworking or also called telecommuting possible. This is when an employee performs his or her job away from the office, usually from their home office. By doing this it allows personal convenience, less travel to and from the workplace. At an Organization level it provides continuity of operations, Secure, reliable and manageable access to information, cost-effective integration of data, voice, video and applications.

Broadband refers to advance communications systems that can offer high-speed transmission of services, such as data, voice, and video over the internet. Teleworkers require a connection to an ISP in order for VPNs to work. Some of the connections they offer are:

Dialup Access: is inexpensive option that uses any phone line and a modem. To connect to the ISP, speeds are up to 54kbps which is the slowest connection and is used in areas where higher speed options are not available.

DSL: More expensive than dialup but provides a faster connection. DSL uses phone lines and provides a continuous connection. DSL speeds vary to 200kbps and higher, upload and download speeds also vary according to the user’s distance from the central office.

Cable Modem: offered by cable television service providers, the signal is carried on the same coaxial cable that delivers cable television. A special cable modem separates the internet signal and provides an Ethernet connection to the LAN. Speeds vary between 200kbps and higher.

Satellite: internet access is also offered by satellite service providers. It uses a satellite modem that transmits radio signals to the nearest POP (point of presence) Speeds vary between 128kbps to 512kbps.

VPN Technology
A VPN is

Virtual, any information within a private network is transported over a public network (internet)

Private, the traffic is heavily encrypted to keep the data confidential
Instead of using dedicated Layer 2 connections like a leased line,  a VPN uses virtual connections that are routed through the internet.

Some Benefits of using  a VPN

Cost savings, Organizations can use cost-effective internet providers to connect remote offices and users to the main corporate site.

Security, advanced encryption and authentication protocols protect data from unauthorized access.
Scalability VPNs use the internet infrastructure within ISPs and carriers, making it easy for organizations to add new users, add large amounts of capacity without the need for significant infrastructure.

The Types of VPNs

Site-to-site VPNs – provide access between two physical sites to an intranet or extranet over a shared infrastructure, such as the internet. Site-to-Site VPNs are used by physical sites such as corporate offices, branch offices, and suppliers.

Remote-access VPNs – give remote users access to an intranet or extranet over a shared infrastructure such as the intranet. Remote-access VPNs typically are used by teleworkers and mobile users.

VPNs create a private connection or network between two endpoints and usually include authentication and encryption.

VPN tunneling

Tunneling uses three classes of protocols:

Carrier Protocol, the protocol over which information travels (Frame Relay, ATM, MPLS)

Encapsulating protocol, the protocol that is wrapped around the original data (GRP, IPsec, L2F, PPTP, L2TP)

Passenger protocol, The protocol over which the original data was carried (IPX,AppleTalk, IPv4, IPv6)

VPN Encryption algorithms

Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm: developed by IBM, DES uses a 56-bit key, ensuring high-performance encryption. DES is a symmetric key cryptosystem.

Triple DES (3DES) algorithm: A newer version of DES that encrypts with one key, decrypts with a different key, and then encrypts a final time with another key. 3DES makes the encryption process significantly stronger.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) adopted AES to replace the existing DS encryption in cryptographic devices. AES provides stronger security than DES and is computationally more efficient than 3DES. AES offers three different key lengths 128-bit,192-bit, and 256-bit keys.

Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman (RSA): An asymmetric key cryptosystem, the keys use a bit length of 512, 768, 1024 or larger.

These technologies make it possiable to work outside of the office, but be secure has possiable. Doing a web search will also give a lot of information about VPNs and encryption.

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