Security Issues For Remote Access And Virtual Private Networks Involving Cable Modems (1999)

By Daniel Howard, Digital Furnace Corporation

The use of cable modems in the small office/home office (SOHO) market may appear to create special considerations when setting up remote access for employees who are telecommuting and virtual private networks (VPNs) for branch offices or small businesses with distributed employees. Shared access of the medium, multiple users and applications of home PC's, inability of telecommuters to properly administer their home networks, and the potential for multiple cable modems in a premise are all issues which impact the threats, policies, architectures, and solutions for secure networking using cable modems. In this paper, the key security issues, sample architectures for VPNs involving cable modems, cable modem security mechanisms (such as Baseline Privacy Plus), and approaches for providing secure remote access and VPNs involving cable modems will be discussed. While the suspected challenges have to do with privacy over the cable network, it will be shown that with the advent of Baseline Privacy in DOCSIS cable modems, the most likely problems have to do with developing and implementing the security policy as it relates to home networks.

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