VPN – short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN gives users the ability to securely send and receive data across a network. This network can be remote access, connecting a computer to a network, or site to site, connecting two networks directly. The IT departments in many companies require VPNs for employees to access email and other files from an office network while those employees are out of the office. This same concept is applied in building automation for secure communication between building devices or from person to building device.
Building automation networks are set up behind firewalls and to access them, a port is enabled with a VPN attached. The authorized user signs in through the VPN and is able to operate within the network remotely. To open the tunnel endpoints of the VPN, authentication is built in. For anyone working on building automation or operational technology networks, Controlco recommends you use two-factor authentication for these VPN access points along with network routers that have built-in firewalls.