The Cisco name is synonymous with networking and telecommunications equipment globally. It is one of the most recognizable names for most corporate routers and a significant portion of the Internet backbone routers in use today.
The company also provides the Cisco AnyConnect application, which is used by many colleges and universities, as well as various enterprises around the world.
Cisco AnyConnect is an application that provides users with highly secure access to the corporate network from any device, anytime, anywhere. The app includes a basic client to install on all your devices and an Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA).
These Cisco ASA appliances include a firewall, antivirus, spam filter, VPN server, SSL certificate appliance, and many additional built-in features.
With everything encapsulated in one device, this is a great way to protect your business without causing IT headaches. It is because of this “one device protects all” solution that the use of ASA has become so popular.
Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) will greatly enhance the ability of your business to support telecommuting and secure access to your network from any client over the Internet.
This article will walk you through the basics of setting up a VPN for your organization and connecting to it using Cisco AnyConnect
Setting up your own Cisco VPN server
Set up your Cisco VPN Server
Since we will be using an ASA security appliance, you can use the Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) to configure VPN settings as well as other features such as firewall rules and network address translation (NAT) settings.
There are three key aspects of a VPN connection: authentication, encryption, and tunneling. Each has its own set of standards to make it all work together.
First, you need a way to identify and verify the remote user. This means that your users will need to authenticate with the authorized user database and have all the necessary access rights. You can use certificates to establish an identity or create a set of authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) policies locally or on a separate server.
Then you need to encrypt all traffic between the server and client and set the encryption level. The higher the level of encryption, the more difficult it will be to access, but it will also lead to an increase in decryption overhead.
Finally, a tunnel will need to be built. You can configure the server to configure policies that point users to specific networks in your organization.
Perhaps your Cisco VPN might have a default setting called Easy VPN, which will allow you to create one group with common characteristics. This feature will make it so that all users wishing to access the server only need a pre-shared key and a username and password to authenticate.
How to Configure Cisco AnyConnect VPN
How to set up Cisco AnyConnect VPN
When it comes to configuring Cisco AnyConnect VPN, the choice depends on the device you are installing it on. Once installed, however, setup becomes very simple.
Obtaining Cisco AnyConnect is as easy as going to the Cisco website and downloading it. However, if you are using the app to connect to your employer’s college or network, they should provide you with a link. The same can be said if you are an employer as you will need to provide a link.
You will need a login to connect to your VPN through Cisco AnyConnect Connecting to a college or company network? The HR or IT support team should have provided this information in advance. Without logging in, you won’t be able to connect to the VPN.
If you are setting up your own Cisco VPN, the first thing you need to do is download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client and install it on your device using the InstallAnyConnect.exe file.
Follow the instructions in the setup wizard and click OK when you reach the end. Confirm the installation if required, and then select Finish when finished.
This installation method is for Windows OS. Other operating systems will likely use a different installer.
Make a connection
Now that Cisco AnyConnect VPN is installed, you and other users can connect to the VPN at any time as long as you have login information.
Establishing a connection is easy. All you need to do is launch the application from your device, log on to the network, enter your login information, click the Connect button, and the connection will be established.
Setting up 2FA on your VPN is another day’s article. However, some other networks you want to connect to may require two-factor authentication. You will need to get a code, which is probably provided by your HR or IT support person, and enter it in the new two-factor authentication window when prompted.