Implementing VPNs

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If you’re planning on taking the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of protocols used with VPNs. For example, can you answer this question?

Q. Your organization is planning to implement a VPN and wants to ensure it is secure. Which of the following protocols is the BEST choice to use with the VPN?

A. HTTP

B. SFTP

C. IPsec

D. PPTP

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

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Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

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INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

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Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

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Connecting via Remote Access

The following figure shows three examples of how users can connect to internal networks from remote locations. The first VPN client connects to the Internet using a broadband connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and the second VPN client connects to the Internet using a dial-up connection to an ISP. The third client bypasses the Internet and instead uses a dial-up connection directly to the RAS server.

VPNs

Connecting to a VPN server and a RAS server

The figure shows the VPN server and RAS server between two firewalls (configured as a DMZ). The firewalls provide some protection for the servers and the private network. The VPN server is reachable through a public IP address, making it accessible from any other host on the Internet and the RAS server is reachable through a phone line. Both the VPN server and RAS server use an internal RADIUS server to authenticate clients before granting them access to the internal network.

Of course, the firewall access control lists (ACLs) need to include rules allowing the traffic. The ports you open are dependent on the tunneling protocols used for the VPN.

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SY0-401 Study GuideThe CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.

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IPsec as a Protocol Used with VPNs

IPsec supports Tunnel mode, which encrypts the entire IP packets, and is the mode used with VPNs. Transport mode only encrypts the payload within the IP packets and is used within private networks.

IPsec provides security in two ways:

  • Authentication. IPsec includes an Authentication Header (AH) to allow each of the hosts in the IPsec conversation to authenticate with each other before exchanging data. AH provides authentication and integrity. AH uses protocol ID number 51.
  • Encryption. IPsec includes Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) to encrypt the data and provide confidentiality. ESP includes AH so it provides authentication, integrity, and confidentiality. ESP uses protocol ID number 50.

The term protocol ID number may look like a typo, but it isn’t. AH and ESP are identified with protocol ID numbers, not port numbers. A basic packet-filtering firewall can filter packets based on IP addresses, ports, and some protocols, such as Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and IPsec. Packet filters use the protocol ID numbers to identify AH and ESP traffic.

IPsec uses Internet Key Exchange (IKE) over port 500 to authenticate clients in the IPsec conversation. IKE creates security associations (SAs) for the VPN and uses these to set up a secure channel between the client and the VPN server.

Remember this

IPsec is a secure encryption protocol used with VPNs. Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) provides confidentiality, integrity, and authentication for VPN traffic. IPsec uses Tunnel mode for VPN traffic and can be identified with protocol ID 50 for ESP. It uses IKE over port 500.

L2TP and IPsec

Cisco and Microsoft joined forces to create the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). Although it is possible to use L2TP to create a tunnel between devices, L2TP doesn’t include any encryption, so it does not provide confidentiality of the data. However, you can combine IPsec with L2TP (as L2TP/IPsec) to provide security for the VPN tunnel. L2TP uses UDP port 1701.

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NAT and IPsec

IPsec and Network Address Translation (NAT) are not compatible with each other. NAT manipulates the IP header of the packets when it translates the IP addresses. This change causes the receiving end of the VPN tunnel to discard the packet as invalid.

If the path to the VPN server is through a device using NAT, you need to look for alternatives. NAT Traversal (NAT-T) is one possible choice, or you could use another tunneling protocol.


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Online access includes all of the content from the

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  • Introduction
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  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
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  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
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  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

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Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
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  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

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Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

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Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

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Q. Your organization is planning to implement a VPN and wants to ensure it is secure. Which of the following protocols is the BEST choice to use with the VPN?

A. HTTP

B. SFTP

C. IPsec

D. PPTP

Answer is C. Internet Protocol secure (IPsec) is one of several protocols used to secure virtual private network (VPN) traffic. It is the best choice of the available answers.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) doesn’t provide any security.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) secures FTP transmissions but not VPNs.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is an older protocol used with VPNs, but it is not as secure as IPsec.

See Chapter 4 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for more information on remote access.

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