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VPN Security and Encryption

Discuss about the VPN Technologies and Security Issues.

There has been demand for a more secure network that can offer desired privacy as well as offer protection from intrusion and censorship [5]. As a result, VPN was invented with discovery of PPTP which is the precursor of VPN. The PPTP was only meant to offer secure connection to the network between computers and the internet. Initially, VPN were used exclusively in business that did not advocate other network technologies. VPN technology has grown substantially with technological advancements which has resulted to different types of VPNs such as business and Private VPNs. Different types of VPNs are supported by various protocols such as SSTP, PPTP and open VPN. Currently, the number of people connected to VPN network has grown but its percentage has been considered to be quite low. The use of VPN network has been attributed by need to protect personal activities from government censorship, improve online security and privacy as well as minimize network surveillance [1]. In regard to online security that has been on rise, there has been debate on appropriate technology to be incorporated in VPNs. FBI and Apple have tried to come up with secure VPN encryption technology to help on improving online security.

The paper focuses on VPN technologies, security measures involved, challenges and drawbacks encountered as well as possible solutions. Further, evaluation of literature is an important aspect to help in analyzing work done and future work to be done.

The main goal of the paper would be to: analyze VPN technologies and security issues that hinder implementation and use of the network. To achieve this, the following aspects would be considered;

  • An analysis and significance of VPN in the industrial application would be done to determine effectiveness of the current network.
  • Investigation would be done to determine VPN appropriate design and solutions to existing design problems in order to come up with scalable designs.
  • Finally, an analysis of both current and future state of managing VPN infrastructure and technologies would be done.

The stakeholders in VPN network are; users of the network who enters into contract with service providers. Network users have the responsibility of paying for the network, maintaining it and making sure it is aligned to state network security provisions. Next, VPN designers take part in installing the network and configuring it to make sure it matches specific customer requirements. Designers should have relevant skills and experience in order to facilitate quality service delivery to customers. Moreover, service providers are key stakeholders as they supply network to the users. Service providers are charged with responsibility of ensuring the entire network is secure to avoid exposing customers to attackers. They should also make sure their network is in conformity with state regulations in order to avoid censorship and privacy infiltration.   

Challenges with VPN Implementation

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is widely used by business and individuals to protect themselves from surveillance and censorship [3]. In order to make sure VPN is secure, some principles and policies should be set up. First, the network should be able to encrypt data at the source and decrypt it at the end point. This gives VPN capability to protect data from unauthorized users through use of private keys. The next security measure implemented in the VPN is the principle of encapsulation which puts all data in transit under a packet to protect it from hackers’ interception [2]. Additionally, authentication is the mechanism used to evaluate and provide prove of the user having all the privileges and rights to access required files in the network. The keys used in the protection of VPN can either be symmetric or asymmetric depending on the nature of communication between communicating parties. For communication to take place over the VPN, the host uses available public key to establish security association (SA) and does required authentication through generation of mathematical complex keys [9]. The introduction of VPN was spearheaded by Point-to point tunneling protocol (PPTP) which facilitates secure transfer of data packets over the network from one party to the other. Through use of PPTP, it is quite possible to move two different types of data packets over VPN type of connection.

Despite having unique capability to handle communication protocol, VPN has been facing some overheads when it comes to performance capability. Some of the factors that make it difficult to implement secure network is existence of insecure internet [10]. The tunneling mode make use of additional technological capabilities to advance VPN security. A good example is use of IPsec which implements three technological aspects namely; ESP, IKE and AH in order to boost VPN security. Similarly, tunneling makes use of two security protocols; EPS and IKE in conjunction with encryption algorithms to secure VPN. Similarly, VPN is believed to suffer from high rate of packet loss as well as packet reordering problems. The margin and rate of packet loss is mainly caused by poor implementation and configuration of different devices purchased from various vendors. Consequently, it is important to consider users remote handling capability so that all system processors has required capability to handle packet load generated to the system on daily basis [7]. In this case, the remote user is considered to be the VPN client which has sole responsibility of maintaining and ciphering the required message to unreadable form. 

Possible Solutions to VPN Issues

The development and growth of VPN has been subject to ups and downs. Some of the drawbacks are; complexity in design of secure Virtual Private Network. Since all VPN users will anticipate best results once they roll out the network, design of the VPN should be done by an expert with recommendable skills and experience. The expert should have skills and understanding of VPNs in order to make required configuration that meets security requirements [4]. Similarly, there are cases of infrastructure incompatibility issues that result from additional devices while expanding the network. The incompatibility issue arises from the choice of device vendor selected when expanding the network. Additionally, there are network reliability challenges that are associated with VPN which mainly depend on service provider. Some of the VPN provider do not offer reliable network to its customers and this may cause network connectivity issues [6].

Considering VPN challenges, possible solutions are; choosing up to date devices when extending VPN network infrastructure. This helps in solving network devices incompatibility issues. Similarly, it is quite important to contract skilled and experienced VPN designer in order to eliminate design issues and device connection incompatibility [8]. Experienced VPN designer will help in solving the problem of infrastructure device incompatibility and network design issues. Further, to solve VPN reliability issues, it is important to choose service providers very wisely. Network users are advised to check service provider score card and get recommendations from other customers using similar provider. Finally, on all these matters, educating all parties in the VPN industry is of great importance as it makes them aware of the requirements when initiating VPN network setup.   

Table 1: VPN challenges and solution



VPN design complexity issues

Contracting experienced and skilled designer

Devices incompatibility problems

Purchasing up to date devices  

VPN reliability

Selecting service providers with best score card

Minimal understanding of VPN

Conducting education on the use of VPN

Various organizations have implemented VPN and have been facing different technical problems. In the view of the issues they encounter, they try to come up with solutions to the problem. The organizational approach, initiative and procedures in solving VPN issues can be categorized in to different levels.

Approach & Initiative


Establishing secure communication,

Connect to network through organizational cyber screening

Choosing reliable service provider

Get recommendations from some customers

Upholding communication privacy

Protection of unauthorized access to the network

With advancement in technology, network security remains to be a challenge. There is need for an advanced research on the algorithm to be used in securing VPN. Through use of asymmetric and symmetric encryption algorithms, some network vulnerabilities have been noted. This is a clear indication there is need for more secure network protection algorithm.


There is a general understanding VPN is the most secure network in use today. Since its inception, VPN has been in use by organizations and individuals for various purposes. PPTP and SSTP are some of the technologies that have been implemented in the VPN security parameters. Considering the number of internet users who have turned from other networks to VPN, it is important to recognize there is need for more secure network which can shield internet users from privacy intrusion. Technology has made many internet users lose their privacy to various organization that contact online surveillance and to the government through censorship. This has made many people turn to VPN with aim of protecting personal data from going to the public domain. In this regard, VPN has turned to be the only available network that offer substantial protection from network censorship and surveillance. Although it is secure, intensive research is required to make sure personal privacy is given the highest priority.


Adat, V., & Gupta, B. B. (2018). Security in Internet of Things: issues, challenges, taxonomy, and architecture. Telecommunication Systems, 67(3), 423-441.

Dziech, A., & Czy?ewski, A. (2011). Multimedia Communications, Services and Security: 4th International Conference, MCSS 2011, Krakow, Poland, June 2-3, 2011. Proceedings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Herzig, T. W. (2010). Information security in healthcare: Managing risk. Chicago, IL: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Jadeja, Y., & Modi, K. (2012). Cloud computing-concepts, architecture and challenges. In Computing, Electronics and Electrical Technologies (ICCEET), 2012 International Conference on (pp. 877-880). IEEE.

Kim, H. (2012). Security and vulnerability of SCADA systems over IP-based wireless sensor networks. International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks, 8(11), 268478.

Masala, G. L., Ruiu, P., & Grosso, E. (2018). Biometric authentication and data security in cloud computing. In Computer and Network Security Essentials (pp. 37-353). Springer, Cham.

Metke, A. R., & Ekl, R. L. (2010). Security technology for smart grid networks. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 1(1), 99-107.

Ramachandran, M., & Chang, V. (2016). Towards performance evaluation of cloud service providers for cloud data security. International Journal of Information Management, 36(4), 618-625.

Reis, D. (2016). Cybersecurity: Issues of Today, a Path for Tomorrow.

Stewart, J. M. (2014). Network security, firewalls, and VPNs, second edition. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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