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Secure Corporate Network Infrastructure Development

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VPN stands for…


VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” or “Virtual Private Networking.” A VPN is a private network in the sense that it carries controlled information, protected by various security mechanisms, between known parties. VPNs are only “virtually” private, however, because this data actually travels over shared public networks instead of fully dedicated private connections.


I have a strong point of view that MCC has been fostering is dear students from all computing courses since its establishment. With the intention of uplifting the education standard in Computer Technology, MCC has collaborated with NCC of Greenwich College in London to set up the Joint Program of International Diploma in Computer Studies (IDCS).

I have given my best effort and attention and I also obtained priceless knowledge and experience in developing and implementing the cost-effective VPN extranet infrastructure for National Bank for Rural Development.


The construction of the Rural National Development Bank brought great prosperity to an area where previously had tremendous hardship in making monetary transaction. Being in a rural area like this, we can’t have hefty load of budgets invest in for the normal operation of the bank. The bank has currently been using Microsoft Windows operating system as client machines and also the network is window-based. The bank wants to create a corporate network infrastructure to connect their agents and branches securely. The bank preferred to use NOS for Ubuntu Linux for they will reduce the overall cost dramatically when compared to Microsoft Server Version.

All of these multi-functioned organisations and personnel need to have a medium to communicate for the smooth flow of their work. As the new networking advisor for this project, I have thought out the plan to implement such medium on less costly basis.

The aim of this project is to investigate the currently favourable means for building a secure corporate network infrastructure that consists of servers, extranet, preferred form of internet connection and clients. This report will contain recommended methods and a sample of a network security design with a clearly labeled diagram. Also, the source and references of information and excerpts in this report will be acknowledged and can be found at the end of this documentation.

Prototype for the Extranet VPN for NBRD

There are altogether 500 computers and 100 peripheral devices in the main office bank. There are tens of departments and hundreds of staff ranging from front-office to auditor. VPN actually is a private network for delivering of important data and facts within the organisation via the secure use of the public network like Internet or Wide Area Network. The internet source is coming from ISP which provides high-speed Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line. The main office is a very sophisticated infrastructure and the daily normal operation of the bank is very much dependant on four servers-VPN Server which is a must in all VPN configured network, Print Server, File Server and Database Server. The computers and peripheral devices are connected from the four servers via multi-purpose switch (to regenerate signals). The outlet of the main office building has router in place for connecting separate logical networks to form an internetwork. And then comes the Gateway to convert Microsoft Mail to Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) for transmission over the Internet. Although routers work at the Network layer and can route packets of the same protocol (such as TCP/IP) over networks with dissimilar architectures (such as Ethernet to token ring), gateways can route packets over networks with different protocols. And then comes a firewall. A firewall is a hardware device or software program that inspects packets going into or out of a network or computer and then discards or forwards those packets based on a set of rules. The data then travels on the VPN tunnel by using IPSec Protocol. It is the most popular method for encrypting data as it travels through network media. IPSec works by establishing an association between two communicating devices. An association is formed by two devices authenticating their identities via a preshared key, Kerberos authentication, or digital certificates. Suburban branch has 300 computers and 50 peripheral devices and has varieties of departments and large numbers of staff for its daily normal operation and performs the same task mentioned above. National Bank for Rural Development has 50 computers and 5 peripheral devices. It also has departments and staffs but it depends on VPN server for its normal operation. Business partners and agents are connected to the VPN via remote access.

Brief biography of Ubuntu

is an open source (can change the source computer code at your desire) operating system

version is upgraded every six months

desktop, server and ultimate editions are available

Can be used wih wide ranges of computers and hardwares:-(Intel x86 (IBM-compatible PC), AMD64 (Hammer) and PowerPC (Apple iBook and Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures)

Supported by Canonical Ltd.

is GNU/Linux (comprises of many programs and most essential one is ‘kernel’ which is linux in (GNU/Linux) and it combines with other GNU programs to boot up the system) and if an error occurs and the Kernel becomes corrupted, a different copy can then be used instead.


Linux is the system descended from Unix

GNU/Linux was put into existence by Free Software Foundation in 1984

is free-of-charge and totally aimed at programmers and developers

The first Linux kernel was invented by Finland-national Computer Science student ‘Linus Torvalds’

Because of its alluring advantages such as being free of charge, compatible with many software programs, not easily hanged or freezed, multi-tasking, and more safer than other OS make Linux more popular among business partners and individual person

hide the user from browsing the registry keys that have important information

more effective in hindering the spread of viruses and executing of malicious programs and threats

Ubuntu can be downloaded from this site:

is compatible with ‘Intel and AMD’ and the compatibility with hardware parts can be checked in this site: (For laptops)

The minimum requirements for Ubuntu

700 MHz x86 processor

384 MB of system memory (RAM)

8 GB of disk space

Graphics card capable of 1024×768 resolution

Sound card

A network or Internet connection

CD/DVD Drive

For visual effects and graphic

1.2 GHz x86 processor

512 MB of system memory (RAM)

Supported graphics card

Note: the above descriptions are only minimum requirements and better processor and system memory will certainly enhance the performance of Ubuntu.

For downloading software for disk partition by using disk management of windows:

Task 1- 50 Marks

Your Bank currently has network client machines based on the Microsoft Windows Operating System. The Bank decides to evaluate the benefits of the open source Linux operating system, preferably the latest Ubuntu Linux distribution version 9.10 server edition (freely downloadable from

Evaluate the benefit of Linux operating system as Interoperable and alternative NOS for the company in the form of a feasibility report to include the following:

1.1) The comparative Networking features of Windows and Linux. (10 Marks)

Comparative Networking Features of Windows and Linux

Windows Operating System

Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)

acts as a shield from unauthorized access to home networks and computers. It had come with the window installation package and it enables automatically in its default settings when the Network Setup Wizard is run and is compatible with most networks. ICF has manual switch on-off modes which can be done through the Network Connections folder.

Wireless LAN

provides Ethernet and Wireless Security with its improved standard IEEE 802.1X which has been developed with the combined effort of Microsoft, Wireless LAN dealers and PC dealers. Former version is highly inefficient in lacking security control with a key management system. The IEEE 802.1X is a port-based network access control and can be used with Windows XP via access points.

Network Setup Wizard

acts as a novice guideline in setting up the network

can be utilised to configure the Internet Connection in networked computers, and also network adapters (NIC Card)

can be used to enable Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), Network Bridge if appropriate, sharing resources such as files and printers and naming of computers.

Network Diagnostics Features

Diagnosing network features by using the following tools:

The Network Diagnostics Web Page and NetSh helper

Network Connections Support Tab

Network Connection Repair Link

Task Manager Networking Tab

Updated Command Line Network Diagnostics Tool

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

A single internet connection from the source computer can be shared to all the other computers in a home or small office network. ICS is enabled in the source computer and gives out all the physical and IP addresses and translates these for all the networked computers in the organisation.

Linux Operating System

acts as a forbidder for all incoming connections but opens up for outgoing connections. When in ‘high’ mode, it allows for all outgoing connections and restricts to limited number of high ports for point-to-point applications. When switch to ‘medium’ mode, still permits outgoing connections, selected applications for incoming ports plus point-to-point application. When change to ‘none’ mode (“get out of my face”), it denies all incoming and outgoing connections. Only in the ‘laptop’ mode, the firewall does activate without giving any alert to an Interface (GUI).


Linux supports IPv6 and SSH but Windows is not.

1.2) Interoperability features of Ubuntu with the existing Microsoft Windows Workstations. (10 Marks)


refers to the capability of the system ranging from hardware and OS to work in multi-platforms. Windows and Linux are both OS and of x386 architecture. Open Office in Linux which is similar to MS Office in Windows is java based application. All of us know java -based applications will work in any platform. can be used to open and save Microsoft Office formats, such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel documents.

Ubuntu can share files with Windows with ease, and can connect with current e-mail servers even Microsoft Exchange. Ubuntu support plug-n-play hardware, wireless networking, printing and other graphical and multimedia software.

Connecting from Linux to Windows

With the use of network, we can control Windows computer from Linux:

enable “remote administration” on the Windows host

make sure you reach the computer from your Linux box

ping windows_computer

connect to the computer

rdesktop windows_computer

Connecting from Windows to Linux

The following can be used to have control over Linux computer from a Windows box:




X-Servers for Windows

puTTy (command-line only)

Exchanging files between Linux and Windows

When having two hard disk partitions but running on one OS, in case want to access a Linux partition when running Windows and vice versa, the following can be done:

When on a Linux host and want to access a Windows drive

Winhost has been assumed as Windows computer’s hostname in this case (the hostname can be checked by right clicking on My Computer Icon and select Properties). Open the Explorer windows on Windows computer. Right-click on the folder and choose “Sharing and security” from the drop-down box. Name it “share1”. Then, on Linux computer, open the file explorer either Konqueror or Nautilus and type smb: //winhost/share1 in the address bar. All the files and folders can be seen in that share. With just double-click, you can open and view them.

Want to share

When on a Linux computer and want to make the folder accessible on Windows machines over the network, need to run SAMBA service on Linux computer. Right-click on a folder in favourite file explorer like Nautilus and choose “Sharing Options”. Click and name the share. Nautilus will require a password without prior enabling of the Windows folder sharing and after that install the service. It now requires you to log out and log in again. Windows computer should be available with the share.

When on a Windows host and want to access a Linux drive

WinSCP is used and SFTP protocol should be chosen. The login procedure and password are same as when log in locally. Firewall should be shut down and openssh service should be installed on Linux computer.

Want to share a folder

By using normal Windows sharing procedures can share files with Linux. By using samba, the Linux host can access these files.
NTFS (New Technology File System)
is the Microsoft Window default file system. It is readable as well with Linux and more than 2GB of files can be stored.

1.3) You need to install Ubuntu on a machine and configure network services for Windows and Linux mainly for file sharing and printing. Necessary screen shots have to be provided.

Installation of Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10

During the ongoing installation process of Ubuntu Server Edition, LAMP which is a combination of Linux, Apache, and MySQL and PHP servers can be used instead. It is excluded from the Ubuntu Server Installation Package and can easily be used during the time of installation. The LAMP option does not require individual installation and integration separately of each of these components which can take prolonged period of time and need a help from an expert who is skilled in this particular installation. The overall cost can be greatly reduced due to the enhanced security performance, requiring lesser amount of time to install and any possibility of misconfiguration can be reduced. Flexible installation can be carried out with the Ubuntu Server Cloud computing server as varieties of servers like Mail Server, Open SSH Server, Samba File Server, Print Server, Tomcat Java Server, Virtual Machine Host, Manual Package selection, LAMP and DNS options work jointly with cloud computing node and PostgreSQL Database options.

These versions can be installed by Ubuntu LAMP server.

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

Apache 2.2.12

Mysql 5.1.37

PHP 5.2.10

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) LAMP Server Installation is successfully completed and all applications installed will support apache, mysql and php.

Ubuntu server 9.10 edition static ip address configuration

The command [sudo apt-get install vim-full] can be used to install vim editor

TCP/IP utilisation in a corporate or enterprise network needs the devices to be configured in detail, assigned addresses and the destined machines they were assigned need to be kept track of. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used to make this process easier.

Through Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Ubuntu installer has arranged our system to acquire its network settings. But we need to switch it to static IP address by editing setup:

Edit/etc/network/interfaces and the detail data of your ip address needs to be entered. For instance, IP address is used in this case.

The command [sudo vi/etc/network/interfaces] is entered and the file is saved and exit by using the procedure “In vi, ESC, and then ZZ to save and exit”.

The chief network interface

auto eth0

iface eth0 inet static






Now the command [sudo/tec/init.d/networking restart] is used to restart network services

When DHCP is not in use, manual setting up of DNS servers in resolv.conf file is needed with command [sudo vi/etc/resolv.conf]

In resolv.conf file the one similar to below should be added.



File Sharing configuration in Ubuntu server 9.10 edition

Sharing File by using NFS which is the *nix systems default networking protocol inclusive of Ubuntu Linux.

File sharing by using Samba protocol

Samba File Sharing

Samba client

permits easy and smooth networking with Windows-based networks except firewall is in place at the ports. Ubuntu Jaunty comes originally installed with Samba client.

Samba server

When Samba server is not installed by default, the instructions below can be used to configure a Samba server. In this way, files can be shared seamlessly between windows Samba network computers to other Samba clients.

Install Samba with the command [sudo apt-get install samba samba-tools system-config-samba]

Samba-tools and system-config-samba are not compulsory

Samba settings can be altered by:-

Method 1


This method can only be performed only if system-config-samba is installed

Method 2

Needs User Authentication to connect to File Sharing Server and it is highly recommended because of its reliability

The instructions below should be carried out to share files on the machine.

Current user should be added to Samba by command [sudo smbpasswd- a username]

The login username should replace username.

Samba config file is opened by command [sudo nano/etc/samba/smb.conf]

The directories is to be added at the far end by using the format

Path=/home/username/ (The username is to be replaced with your own username and with the folder to be shared)

CTRL+ X is pressed and later Y to save

Samba is restarted by the command[sudo/etc/init.d/samba restart]

The format[192.168.x.x] is used to access the folder in Windows Explorer. In this instance, 192.168.x.x is used as a sample IP address and the actual IP address of the server in which folder exists should be replaced.

The format[smb://192.168.x.x] should be typed in Konqueror or Nautilus of Linux. In this instance also, 192.168.x.x should be replace with the actual IP address of the server in which the folder exists.

In case of bug when sharing in KDE’s System Settings panel, erase out any situations concerning with these two lines (“case sensitive” and “msdfs proxy”) in /etc/smb.conf.

Workgroup changing in Windows network workgroup

Change your Windows network Samba workgroup by the command [sudo nano/etc/samba/smb.conf]

and search out for this line “workgroup= WORKGROUP”

change the setting according to your LAN workgroup’s name.

Print sharing configuration in Ubuntu server 9.10 edition


Many printers can be recognized by the new CUPS interface. The Linux Foundation OpenPrinting database provides instructions to install particular types of unrecognized printers.

Printer configuration

System>Administration>Printing>New Printer>New Printer

Usually the printer connected and switched on will be detected automatically.

My network printer was configured with IP address at and it was correctly installed at socker://

Through Samba printers on a Windows system and on other networks can be chosen plus directly connected printers.

1.4) Enumerate the various costs associated with the performance, security, support and maintenance of the Ubuntu within the bank.

Cost associated with security of the Ubuntu within the bank

A Linux-based operating system, Unix-like and open source make the Ubuntu more secure than any other OS. Translation into higher quality code makes it less prone to spyware and viruses than other OS. Rather strict and hyperactive security policy prevents the effects as a result of open ports or misconfigured software. It is truly multiuser operating system with it allowance in users to accomplish their tasks without giving any harm to the system. In Ubuntu, the user never logged in with an administrator account instead log in as a simple user and can change settings concern only with the user but for modifying settings that can somehow affect the system, the user required to type in administrator password.

Cost associated with maintenance of the Ubuntu within the bank

LTSP thin client technology makes Ubuntu deployment and management simpler and easier. With only a single server, over 50 workstations can be setup, manage and administrate. Ubuntu can therefore reduce the amount of time spend in administrating computers. Ubuntu is and will always be free to obtain, use and upgrade. No license fees or upgrades expenses are cost even if 100 or more machines are to be installed or can install on computers only having specific programs. Ubuntu also assist in saving hardware costs by allowing redeploying older machines as thin clients using LTSP technology.

Cost associated with support of Ubuntu within the bank

Ubuntu support can be getting from Ubuntu communities. Authors of the Ubuntu can get in touch directly through mailing lists and IRC channels including Ubuntu developers. Wide varieties are support are available, on mailing lists, wiki websites, IRC channels and bug trackers. Canonical who finances Ubuntu development can give help in any paid work. The community at the back of Ubuntu attracts people to the use of operating system. Linux community people are largely ex-Windows users and they have exact feelings the newness of an operating system and they are willing to help. In the Linux environment the best community support is offered by Ubuntu.

Cost associated with performance of Ubuntu within the bank

Program calls Synaptic offers access to most applications available to Ubuntu and by clicking the program wanted and it will install without needing to accept agreements several times pre-installation. Just select the program and click OK and it is finished. Ubuntu will download the installation files, install them and start the application on its own. That makes Ubuntu easier to install new programs. Ubuntu is fast and does not take up a lot of resources. Performance will not even slow down in prolonged use. Everything will be opened in a short time after clicking the icon and closes immediately when click the icon X. Ubuntu gets update every six months.

Everything about Ubuntu is free. Even they will dig their pockets to pay postal charges if you ask them a free copy of the operating system. The software installed is free including all the software that can be downloaded, any help and support is free.

Research and produce a comprehensive project plan for the implementation of a VPN within the company. This should include the following:

Performance of VPN within the bank

VPN has other indirect cost savings advantages over other communications methods such as lesser requirements in training and staff, flexibility and scalability has been greatly increased.

The largest benefit to utilising VPNs is money savings. The amount spent will be significantly reduced when compared to dedicated leased line options. Remote users can connect locally to an ISP and tunneling that connection to a VPN device on the destined network. Therefore, reduced technical help is required to install, configure, and manage networking equipment.

With the use of a single WAN interface, it can carry out multiple functions so the expenses on WAN equipment installation and maintenance is no longer needed.

Organisations can extend their network and capacitate their performance by setting up more accounts to control the increased demand. This will facilitate the answers to market demands or organizational challenges and is also time-saving. Therefore enterprises and corporate organisations can be linked from different locations into the network without the need of complex infrastructure, delays and tremendous expenses in joint with connection across borders. The wide area networking costs are cut down via telecommunication costs.

Support of Ubuntu within the bank

Technical help resources are sharply reduced with the emergence of VPNs. This is as a result of dependability on one type of Internet protocol (IP) from mobile users to an ISP’s POP and security needs are standardised. If taking the help of the service providers to set up VPNs, they will take most of the support tasks for the network.

Security of Ubuntu within the bank

Fewer networking experts are required to control security features of the VPN as the ISP manages the WAN equipment.

Hidden costs associated with distribution of VPN client software.

Some adopters are finding that simple tasks not unique to VPNs, such as distributing and installing client software to remote users, pose a bigger challenge than ever imagined.

Managing security and authentication systems require realising that complex skill sets not available in-house.

Cost-VPN often requires a substantial up-front effort for configuration and software deployment.

2.1) A brief overview of current VPN technologies (both hardware and software).

Components needed with VPNs

With the effect of high security performance, VPNs are originally complicated.

Typical components needed for an effective VPN include:

Gateway devices


Dedicated servers


Client software

Public-Key infrastructures (PKI) and associated key-management strategies

Hardware-based encryption accelerators

X.509 digital certificates

Certificate Authority (ies)

Directory services

Servers with these features:

Load balancing



Network-transport communication mechanisms

Typically, VPN components connected to the Internet include these:

-Certificate Authority (CA) system

-Managed ISP to support remote employees

Corporate VPN gateway with these indispensables:

-LDAP server

-Registration Authority (RA) system

Firewalls help in accomplishing three goals:

Restrict accessing to certain segment of a network

Block services requests that are thought to be insecure or unnecessary

Interpret network addresses to conceal real device addresses from other segment of a network and is called Network Address Translation, or NAT

VPN evaluation

Certificate Authority (CA) support: If you’ll be handling more than a handful of users who possess digital certificates for authentication, you’ll need robust support for an external provider of CA services.

Logging: If you’re requiring information logs from the VPN, can they integrate into your existing logging mechanisms and reporting systems?

Selective encryption: If you’re thinking about adding a VPN to an existing firewall, you may want to encrypt only certain traffic- or risk bringing your firewall to its knees with an overload of overkill.

VPN-management modules: Can you integrate your VPN into your existing enterprise network’s monitoring system? If you can’t, then how will you monitor its uptime?

In your evaluation of VPN gateway products, look for these features:

X.509 digital-certificate support

LDAP support


Encryption types supported

Performance (Mbps)

Maximum number of interfaces

Maximum number of connections

Quality of Service support

Clustering (SMP) support

Custom-application support

Support for High-Availability (HA) features


In evaluation of VPN client products, look for these essentials:

Thin-client support

Fat-client support

Network-mapping support

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) support

NT Domain logon support

2.2) Design a suitable VPN using appropriate Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the requirements of the bank.

2.3) Identify and list the hardware and software required to implement the bank’s VPN.

The infrastructure of existing network should be supported by a server. A server should serve as a domain controller, DNS server, Certificate authority and DHCP – (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. The next step is to set up a certificate authority.

A VPN server should be kept separate for the sole purposes of security threats. A firewall should be placed at the outlet of VPN server to only permit flow of VPN traffic into this server. Two NICs cards are needed to connect to the internet and the private corporate network.

Identification of the remote users’ identity when trying to access the private corporate network is also necessary. The Server operating system comes with RADIUS- Remote Authentication Dial In User Service and IAS- Internet Authentication Service to do authentication process. VPN hardware products also do the authentication process.

The Web Server (HTTP server) responds to HTTP requests for HTML pages that it delivers to customer browsers over the Internet. It’s the only server that sits in front of the firewall and allows direct controlled access to the public internet. It’s on this server you may want to store static Web page content and graphic images. All information processing that the Web server needs from applications or Database servers can only be accessed through the Firewall.

Application Servers store, manage, and operate those software components relevant to the business, including Merchant server software, back-office accounting systems, customer information systems, order entry and fulfillment systems. You many opt for multiple application servers as your needs dictate. Any links to other legacy systems (such as mainframe-based systems0 may be made through the application servers as well.

Database Servers store your product, purchase, and customer data in addition to all other distributed processing data already in place. They may use Object-Oriented Database Management products, traditional relational database products, or hybrids of the two. Choices of Database Server software include these:


MS SQL Server




Firewalls control the access to the internal (back-office) corporate networks. They serve as the mechanism under which the Web server accesses applications and data that is found behind them. These Firewalls will typically run monitoring software to detect and thwart external attacks on the site, and are needed to protect internal corporate networks.

Common Firewall services are implemented as routers that sit in between two domains (subnets), and are selective about IP addresses from which it receives packets before it permits their routing to the other domain (subnet). These select IP addresses are considered as trusted hosts.

Mainframe systems, If you’ve got them, can a

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