Network safety

Virtual private networks play a key role in creating secure communication channels for end users and protecting corporate data. As enterprises in the Middle East strive to achieve maximum security for their operations, best-of-breed solutions are at the top of a CIO’s shopping list.

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By  Angela Prasad Published  April 24, 2005

The world has changed a lot. Instead of dealing with local or regional concerns, enterprises now have to think about global markets and logistics. Today, businesses not only have operations spread out across the country, but also around the world and there is one thing that all of them need: A way to maintain secure and reliable communications wherever their offices are. Until recently, this has meant that enterprises had to use leased lines to maintain a wide area network (WAN). Leased lines, ranging from ISDN (integrated services digital network) to OC3 (optical carrier-3) fiber, provided organisations a way to expand their private network beyond their immediate geographic area. A WAN had advantages over a public network like the internet when it came to reliability, performance and security. However, maintaining a WAN, especially when using leased lines, can be expensive. As the internet gained momentum, enterprises turned to it as a means of extending their own networks. First came intranets, which are password-protected sites designed for use only by company staff. However, global players needed to be in touch with their staff in other parts of the world as well; hence the creation of a VPN (virtual private network) to accommodate the needs of remote employees and distant offices. With internet accessibility and bandwidth capacities on the increase, large corporations no longer have to expend considerable resources to set up complex private networks and intranets. However, like with most changes, the introduction of a private network had related issues such as online security. At the beginning, enterprises were comfortable to work with a low-level of security, but that is not the case today. Businesses want their corporate data safe and secure. In the Middle East, enterprises are exploring every possible avenue and IT solutions to secure that extra level of security.

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