A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that uses the Internet to connect remote sites together securely. The private network is established in such a way that data transmitted between the sites travels through a “tunnel” that is invisible to the rest of the Internet. The tunnel is created through the use of firewalls at each of the remote sites. The benefit of this technology is that transmitted data flows directly from one site to another, rather than being routed through multiple places on the Internet before reaching its final destination. This eliminates the possibility of interception of the transmitted data by unauthorized individuals. This makes a site-to-site VPN an extremely secure method of transmitting data.
Information Security maintains site-to-site VPNs for Boston University’s HIPAA covered components, and for credit card payment authorizations.