Not so long ago, business travelers could only access the Internet through a telephone line and a notebook modem in a hotel. Today, Internet access has become not only ubiquitous, but also fast and largely reliable. The vast majority of hotels provide Wi-Fi or LAN connections for guests to connect their notebooks, tablet PCs or smartphones and log onto their corporate network.
Unfortunately, too many hotels operate under the misconception that everyone uses SSL VPNs to remotely connect to their corporate networks. The reality is, however, a large number of companies prefer IPsec VPNs but many hotels block these connections. In fact, there are two network components frequently cause this trouble in hotels – the firewall or the proxy server. And this is not just annoying for guests, but it’s bad for the hotel’s business. What hotel wants to be tarred with a reputation for being unaccommodating to the needs of business travelers?
It is not just hotels that struggle with such problems regarding IPsec connections. Each sales employee who has tried to logon to a guest Wi-Fi network at a customer’s site has likely faced similar issues. Not only do many firewalls block IPsec connections, but so do several radio communication networks.
Now that we’ve identified the problem with securing remote access in hotels and other remote sites, what will it take for guests to easily and securely access their company network, despite firewall and proxy server issues? Tune in next time for part two — the solution.