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IPSec VPN: More Bandwidth For Your Buck

Retailers are faced with an ever-increasing demand to deliver more applications to support employees and customers at all store locations. These include mobile POS units, in-store guest WiFi and Social media, data intelligence gathering and more. Retailers want to leverage new technology to deliver a better customer experience, improve store operations and collect shopper analytics, and they must do so in a cost effective manner.

Many retailers told us at the 2015 NRF Big Show, that “Skinny T1s don’t cut it anymore, we need more bandwidth.”

Introducing IPsec VPN, a PCI compliant managed WAN solution to securely connect all of your locations on a high bandwidth network that is a cost optimized.

Explaining IPSec VPN

These days, high-capacity Internet bandwidth may be substantially cheaper than private layer 2 access connections for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), which is pushing businesses toward IPsec to meet their data application distribution and security needs. What IPsec VPN provides is a secure protocol for transferring data over the Internet. Data transferred via IPsec will be encrypted so it can’t be breached in transit. In terms of the type of corporate information that would meet this need for encryption, the list is long. From point-of-sale transactional data to private application information, and from corporate proprietary data to customer personal information, there’s lots of corporate data that must be secured in transit. Without a technology like IPsec in place, any data transferred over the Internet is inherently insecure. Therefore, a secure Internet data transfer protocol should be a vital part of any corporation’s cybersecurity strategy.

As far as the distinctions between IPsec and MPLS, it comes down to considerations of cost and risk. With MPLS, users get a private network that ideal for running private applications and utilizing Class of Service (CoS) prioritization to maximize performance over a limited amount of bandwidth. But this solution may not provide enough bandwidth to run all the new applications that retailers are making available to employees and shoppers.  In contrast, an IPsec solution leverages the lower cost and higher bandwidth Internet access options to create virtualized private networks. At the end of the day, IPsec VPN allows you more bandwidth for your buck. But as this product offering from EarthLink demonstrates, this cost-effectiveness does not come at the expense of first-rate data security. EarthLink IPsec VPN will provide best in class, PCI certified, firewall and intrusion prevention services, which are crucial to protecting sensitive data.

How EarthLink’s Product Works

Here are some of the ways the service keeps user costs low while providing a top-tier level of security and efficiency for in-transit data:

  • PCI compliance: As far as security is concerned, PCI compliance is the baseline that every company needs to be at. EarthLink’s IPsec VPN solution is a PCI-compliant service that’s been certified by EarthLink auditors.
  • Firewalls at each location: In addition to the PCI-compliance of IPsec VPN, the product will feature firewalls at each location that are equipped with multiple features, including anti-virus/malware/spyware, intrustion prevention services and web content filtering. These provide security protection in a web sphere crowded with threats.
  • Flexible access options: One of the most convenient features of EarthLink’s IPsec VPN is the flexibility it offers. Businesses can connect via any type of Internet access, from Ethernet to wireless. They can purchase Internet access from EarthLink or bring their own Internet access from any other ISP. A true BYOA (Bring Your Own Access) solution allowing customers more bang for their buck.
  • Ease of use: IPsec VPN is designed to be extremely user-friendly. Users of the service will have access to myLink portal, which is a great tool for oversight and reporting. All of the customer locations can be self-installed or professionally installed by EarthLink.
  • Business Continuity: Use the EarthLink Cloud to host your aggregation point in a redundant environment or design your own redundancy plans with dual aggregation points in your own diverse locations.

For all retailers, it’s important to get the most bandwidth for your buck. That’s exactly what IPsec VPN provides. Businesses these days cannot afford to miss out on PCI compliance. By that same token, they can’t run the risk of having a lack of secure network connectivity between different locations. With IPsec VPN, your business has the potential to reduce costs, improve the customer experience, protect your brand and enable greater enterprise business continuity and network reliability.  You can learn more about IPsec VPN here.

About Mike Frane

Mike Frane
Mike Frane serves as EarthLink’s Director of Product Management, with responsibility for a broad portfolio of network products/services. Since joining the company in 2008, he’s overseen the launch and lifecycle of products including 3G/4G/LTE cellular wireless, Ethernet and MPLS IPsec access elements, Secure WiFi, Application Performance Optimization (APO) and IPsec VPN. He and his team are currently working to develop the next generation of software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) products. Mike has a BS in Genetics and Cellular Biology from the University of Minnesota and was involved in gene therapy research at the Institute of Human Genetics before entering the telecommunications industry as a business analyst for an investment firm based in the Pacific Northwest.