5.3. SSL VPN Use Cases

Because of their flexibility, a wide variety of remote access use cases include SSL VPNs. Enterprises use many of these appliances for all their remote access needs — not only employee remote access, but also partners, contractors, and even customers. Refer to Figure 5-3 to see the SSL VPN use cases discussed in the following sections.

Business Continuity

Because you can deploy SSL VPNs dynamically to just about any machine available (as long as it has a Web browser that supports SSL), many organizations have deployed SSL VPNs as part of their business continuity plans.

Many organizations have planned for disaster situations that result in loss of a datacenter or some other disruption to primary locations, but plenty of other potential scenarios can result in a different type of problem — geographical isolation of employees.

In recent years, concerns about situations such as a potential avian flu or SARS outbreak, and worries about more mundane events such as public transit strikes and snow days, have resulted in employees, even those that don't normally work remotely, working from home or from some other location for a period of time. When these last-minute events happen, you can use SSL VPNs to easily allow users to connect to the corporate network from home, even without a preinstalled client. You get an extension of your local NAC deployment: Because you can enforce many of the same access control rules with SSL VPNs, you have to deal with a much smaller ...

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