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Virtual Private Networks, Second Edition by Paul Wolfe, Charlie Scott, Mike Erwin

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Chapter 10. Managing and Maintaining Your VPN

Now your VPN is up, and remote users and sites are connecting to it over the Internet. This doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear and can tuck this book onto your shelf and never think about VPNs again. Now begins the battle to keep your VPN upgraded and monitor its security—not to mention dealing with problems when users call to complain that they can’t connect. Some of these problems can be taken off of your hands by using an ISP that will manage your VPN for you. Even if you go this route, a good working knowledge of what can go wrong is essential. That’s what this chapter is about.

Unlike a firewall or proxy server, where you may set it up once and not touch it for months, your VPN is a more dynamic security mechanism. The main reason for this is that users rarely realize that they’re interacting with a firewall or a proxy, while logging into a VPN server may take some interaction on their part. Users with various types of equipment may access your VPN from any point on the Internet at any hour or day. Anyone who has ever run a remote access server knows the various problems dial-up users can have. Many of the same problems that apply to remote users also apply to remote access VPN users. Remote sites that are connecting to a corporate LAN might require less maintenance, however, because with a LAN you often need to set them up once, have them dial in, and that’s it. In this chapter, we’ll go over the problems that can occur and ...

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