Types of Site-to-Site VPN Scenarios and Configurations

The history of site-to-site VPNs converges in diverse ways with the history of the internet itself. They were first made a reality through the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), which was the original packet switching network and the initial use of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

Site-to-site VPN is a VPN connection set up to secure data transmitted from one endpoint to another. These VPN types are beneficial for companies with multiple offices in diverse locations because their work activities always require constant access to resources stored on a private network.

Sometimes a server may be an applications operational hub which is advantageous to the daily running of a company. In such a situation, a VPN provides easy access to all authorized sites as if they are located in one physical location.

A site-to-site VPN connection is used to protect your identity while online, stream geo-blocked content, evade ISP monitoring, and achieve several other benefits. Tomsguide revealed 20 ways VPNs are used.

In addition, it allows you to connect to two Local Area Networks (LANs). They are essential to the network security of organizations around the globe. Because of the dire cybersecurity situation the post-pandemic era has ushered us in, it is non-negotiable that companies must integrate multiple layers of network security to bolster smooth business activities.

What Does Site-to-site VPN Look Like?

A Site-to-site VPN is designed to connect multiple networks from various locations. They are functional through traffic routing from one site-to-site VPN tunnel to another.

For instance, a technology company with offices in Chicago, Florida, Texas, and New York can connect their resources through a site-to-site VPN and secure data moving between them.

This approach creates a network where authorized users can pass information and receive data from each other from diverse areas as though they are in the exact location.

Usually, users of site-to-site VPNs do not have to run a separate VPN software for their data protection. So, with this VPN type in place, IT teams are saved from installing VPN software on every device used to process sensitive company data.

How Site-to-site VPNs Work

Most companies keep multiple sites separate in physical locations, and individuals have their own corporate local area network (LAN). While not physically located in the same area, they need a single corporate WAN to support secure communication across sites.

A site-to-site Virtual Private Network (VPN) solves this by initiating an encrypted channel between VPN gateways located from site to site. So, this VPN type encrypts data at one end and conveys it via a medium where it is decrypted and routed to the recipient.

Usually, when you connect to the internet with a wired or wireless conventional connection, your connection is vulnerable to diverse forms of attacks using a router.

In such situations, there is an overwhelming volume of networks, data, and users that interact together. Hence, VPNs kicked off as a means for businesses to secure their activities while using the internet.

VPNs create a tunnel between networks that pass from one end to another while transmitted data is only visible to authorized users—those logged into the network.

All data are being encrypted at gateways which are primarily concerned about securing data transferred from one point to another.

The data being sent is decrypted at the destination point, and data packets are dispatched to the host. For example, the host could be an employer or employee who receives sensitive client information.

As a result of encrypting and decrypting data, it becomes difficult for hackers, cybercriminals, and other bad actors to take advantage of a data situation as the tunnels are not accessible.

Site-to-site VPN Configuration

In configuring your site-to-site VPN connection, you’ll need a target gateway which could either be a transit gateway or a virtual private gateway.

1. Ensure that you correctly configure your virtual routers, ethernet interfaces, and zones.

2. Develop your tunnel interfaces in separate zones to make tunneled traffic can benefit from various policies.

3. Create static routes or assign routing protocols to transfer traffic to VPN tunnels. The tunnel interface must be assigned a specific IP address to support dynamic routing.

4. Define gateways for establishing the transfer of information between peers across each edge of the VPN tunnel. Also, determining the cryptographic profile specifies the algorithms and protocols for identification, encryption, and authentication to be utilized in the VPN tunnel setup process. VPN gateways are specific types of virtual network gateways that sends encrypted traffic over the internet between a virtual network and an on-premises location

5. Configure the parameters required to establish the IPSec connection for data transfer across the VPN tunnel. You may also want to show how firewalls will regulate IPsec tunnels.

6. Define network security policies to filter and assess traffic flow.

After completing the VPN configuration, you can start using the tunnel. Traffic defined in the policy is routed based on the destination path in the routing table and addressed as VPN traffic.

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