Sonicwall SSL VPN or standard PPTP VPN: Which to use?

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We’ve been an increasing number of attacks on PPTP VPN connections. PPTP VPN connections are the most common method for users to use a VPN connection to connect to their server back at the office. Recent attacks on a few of our clients have made us recommend (in some cases) an alternative VPN option to protect your server from these types of attacks. Read on for how you can help protect your server with a Sonicwall VPN connection and Intrusion protection.

This gets a bit technical, but we’ll try to make it easy to understand. We have seen an increasing number of what are called brute force dictionary attacks on the VPN connections into servers. Hackers are trying to get to the server via a standard accessible protocols (PTPP VPN port 1723), and then then using automated tools to try to guess the password to allow access. This puts a load on the server and requires a blocking of the attacking IP address at the firewall to protect things. It’s not ideal, that’s for sure.

There are a couple methods to help prevent this traffic from getting to your server, and it all starts with having your Sonicwall ready-to-go.

  1. Configure Your Sonicwall with Intrusion Protection: Sonicwall Intrusion Protection (part of the full Comprehensive Gateway Suite) will help prevent these attacks from getting to your network. It will scan your network traffic and attempt to intelligently scan the traffic to block malicious traffic, including nefarious VPN connection attempts.
  2. Use Sonicwall VPN: Sonicwall VPN is a client software that runs on your remote system to securely connect you to the Sonicwall at your network, where you will then act as a part of the network like you would if you were in the office. The advantage of this is that it allows you to specifically block access to the server that isn’t connecting to the network via that Sonicwall VPN client, keeping hackers from evening getting past your firewall to see if your server even exists.

Do note that both of these options will have varying costs depending on your current firewall model. It will also put an additional load on your firewall, so you’ll want to make sure your firewall is adequately sized for your environment.

As a Sonicwall partner, and a member of their new Firewall-as-a-Service program, we know a thing or two about firewalls and web filtering. For a flat monthly fee, we can provide the hardware, warranty, software licenses and reporting you need to make sure you are fully protected (and in-compliance with regulations, if necessary).

Call us today to discuss the network security your environment. We’ll make sure your firewall is properly sized for your business and discuss with you the best ways to connect securely to your server without putting your safety at risk.

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