The Importance of Tunnels on Network Security

Implementing proper network security is more important than ever as the cyber threat landscape becomes more sophisticated and companies struggle to avoid falling victim to attacks and data breaches. One of the most common methods of data theft are Man-In-The-Middle attacks (MitM), which are used in 35% of data exploitations, according to SecureOps

In a Man-in-the-middle attack, a hacker puts themselves in the middle of two communicating parties, usually a user and an application, eavesdropping on their data exchange and intercepting sensitive information. By scanning for unpatched vulnerabilities, the attacker can intercept and decrypt a user’s private data such as usernames, passwords and credit card information. The worst part? The victim has no way of knowing that a malicious party is collecting their data. 

How Tunnels Reduce the Attack Surface

Here’s where tunneling makes a significant impact. Secure tunnels use VPN protocols like IPSec or Wireguard, as opposed to Transport Layer Security (TLS), making the transportation of data across networks significantly more secure. Tunneling allows data to be securely moved from one network to another by the process of encapsulation. This allows private network communications to be sent through a public network, by data packets that pass through unnoticed. The encryption of data through tunnels ensures that no one can read or intercept the data unless they have a proper encryption key, making tunneling a critical step in network security. 

By implementing tunnels across networks, IT admins take a critical step in securing their user and application data and reducing the greater attack surface.  

Meeting Compliance Requirements 

Making sure your security infrastructure meets all compliance requirements is no easy task. With compliance laws such as HIPAA and SoC 2, the need for data to be encrypted when shared over the network is a must-have. The HIPAA journal emphasizes that patches should be applied on VPN gateways and clients as soon as possible to prevent exploitation. 

As per HIPAA’s guidelines, Perimeter 81’s IPsec tunnel configuration policies prevent obsolete cryptographic algorithms. These tunnels establish mutual authentication between endpoints at the beginning of a session and negotiation of cryptographic keys to use during the session. The implementation of tunnels also meets AICPA Soc 2 confidentiality and security requirements. 

Setting up Your Network to Scale

With the implementation of tunnels, IT admins are able to set up their networks for scalability down the line. Often IT admins will rely on IP whitelisting to secure connections, having to manually configure each on-prem or cloud service. The use of tunnels allows for quick network expansion, as opposed to IP whitelisting, which can be tedious and time consuming. Since tunnels require a one-time modification to add a connector, admins can simply “set it and forget it” when it comes to securing their resources.  

Simple Tunnel Configuration With Perimeter 81 

Perimeter 81 makes it easy to secure connections between users and gateways, allowing IT to set-up tunnels between on-prem networks and cloud services for an added layer of security. With Perimeter 81, IPSec or WireGuard site-to-site tunnels let you configure your networks simply and securely. 

IPSec tunnels create a secure communication link between two different networks located at different locations using the IKE VPN protocol. IPsec includes protocols for establishing mutual authentication between endpoints at the beginning of a session and negotiation of cryptographic keys to use during the session. 

Wireguard is an effective and easy to use VPN protocol that is made up of a fraction of the amount of code needed for IPSec. This establishes a faster connection between devices and the network, improving the user experience without compromising on security. 

With Perimeter 81, admins can quickly set up tunnels when configuring their networks, ensuring advanced security, meeting compliance laws and creating a scalable network. For additional support, Perimeter 81 offers redundant tunnels for faster performance, less latency and better application response times.

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