VPN across the WAN: IPsec is often used between appliances to secure data transfer over the WAN. Once again, performing encryption in hardware can ensure that security does not come at the expense of performance. Industry best practices recommend that a 128-bit encoding scheme, such as AES, be used when performing encryption. Older methods, such as 56-bit DES, are easily broken, which is why industry leaders such as Microsoft have moved away from that technology.
IPsec can be performed outside of the acceleration appliance, but it typically must occur downstream of this device. Otherwise, the appliance will not have visibility into traffic traversing the WAN, limiting its ability to provide significant performance gains.
Secure access: TACACS+ and/or RADIUS can be used to prevent unauthorized users from accessing network acceleration appliances. In addition, secure interfaces can be provided on all management consoles, including SNMPv3 and HTTPs. User credentials should be stored in as few places as possible, preferably in a secure environment, such as a purpose-built data center.
As more and more enterprises undergo server centralization projects, new products will be introduced to improve network and application performance. By following basic security precautions, enterprises can ensure that these performance improvements do not come at the expense of data security. In fact, by enabling the centralization of key resources, enterprises are actually increasing their ability to secure business information, which ultimately ensures better compliance with the key regulatory measures that are having an increasingly complicated effect on the way that everyone does business.
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