2) Are Microsoft VPN tunnels secure? The answer to this depends on what you mean by "Microsoft VPN." Since Windows 95, all MS operating systems have shipped with Dial-Up Networking VPN connections that use the Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft added the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) over IPsec to Dial-Up Networking. By default, MS DUN VPN connections try L2TP over IPsec first, then fall back to PPTP if L2TP/IPsec fails. In addition, you can use Windows IPsec without L2TP by directly configuring and activating IPsec policies outside of DUN.
PPTP is widely considered to be flawed. Although most of the early problems with PPTP have been corrected, several vulnerabilities remain, largely associated with PPTP's control channel. To learn more about PPTP vulnerabilities, read Bruce Schneier's analysis and Microsoft's response. IPsec, with or without L2TP, is widely considered to be a robust method of providing confidentiality, integrity, data source authentication, and anti-replay services. To learn more about IPsec and security (including known vulnerabilities), follows links to papers posted at the VPN Consortium's website or the VPN Labs website.
3) Ultimately, WEP, PPTP, L2TP, and IPsec are only security protocols. To know whether any WLAN deployment is secure enough, you must start by identifying your requirements. Do you need to prevent eavesdropping on data over the air? If so, these protocols -- properly implemented and configured -- can help you stop eavesdropping. Do you need to prevent unauthorized use of your wireless network or host? If so, you'll need much more -- for example, firewalls between your APs and protected network, and endpoint security measures on wireless hosts. To learn more about other wireless security requirements, risks, and countermeasures, I recommend visiting the CWNP WLAN Security webpage.
Dig Deeper on Network Security Monitoring and Analysis
Related Q&A from Lisa Phifer
Is there a difference between a wireless access point vs. a router? Yes -- while the two wireless devices are related, they meet different needs in a... Continue Reading
Learn the differences between site-to-site VPNs vs. remote-access VPNs and find out about the protocols, benefits and the data security methods used ... Continue Reading
Need to send an email, check your flight's status or get ready for a presentation? You can do it all on your smartwatch, thanks to a slew of Apple ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.