The Benefits of Private APN for IoT M2M Security

Security for IoT/M2M End User Devices using a Private APN

A private APN (Access Point Name), is a point of entry onto an IP network for a mobile device.  Private APNs enables you and your staff to connect to the corporate network simply and securely through a range of devices, which are used to capture all 2G/3G/4G mobile data leaving a device, and route the traffic back to an IP endpoint at a corporate network.

There are several benefits to using a private APN with IoT/M2M mobile cellular devices:

  • External corporate infrastructure (e.g. VPN gateway) is exposed only to provisioned devices, and not to the whole Internet
  • Devices whose VPN allows split tunnelling, or do not offer an always-on VPN can be forced to traverse the corporate network regardless of the VPN deficiencies
  • The device itself is protected from attacks from other users on the cellular network as only other devices on the APN can route traffic to that device
  • Low-level malware such as rootkits which can bypass the VPN enforcement cannot bypass the APN and so will be easier to detect with corporate monitoring services

SOURCE: Gov.uk

The Private APN Value proposition

  • Security –  IoT/M2M Subscriber Devices have to be configure to use the Private APN.  Subscribers that are connected via a private APN are only visible to other devices on the same APN. This makes APNs a superior solution in terms of data security when compared to using the public APN.  When used in conjunction with Fixed Private IP VPN solution terminating at a customer’s data centre, the organizations data remains on the customer’s private data network between the remote terminal and the data centre. The Private APN solution offering with secure mobile VPN (IPSEC) is considerably more security than the typical VPN solution that uses a VPN server in conjunction with a software VPN client since the VPN session data traverses the public internet and it is hence more vulnerabl
  • Configurability – Private APNs offer customers the ability to configure various settings such as IP address ranges, static or dynamic addressing as well as authentication techniques.
  • Cost Effectiveness – Private APNs offers a cost effective mobile VPN solution and benefit from having mobile users conform to security and usage policies – this feature limits abuse and improves cost effectiveness. VPN capability to replace costly leased and fixed line systems.
  • Global Coverage – With access to over 500 Global Roaming Operator Agreements using open roaming data SIMs that are designed to reduce risk of failure. Multiple networks are available in all major geographic locations.  For VPN applications it translates into seamless access to all the organization’s applications and data, conveniently and securely virtually anywhere in the world.
  • Complementary products – M2M Security SIMs offers extensive products to complement the Private APN solution, these include Fixed Public IP SIMs, Fixed Private IP SIMs and VPN IP Sec 3DES
  • Design Support – Our M2M Security SIMs sales team include dedicated solutions specialists to advise and assist customers with a complete solution design.

The benefit of Private APN include

  • Device specific IP addressability
  • Simple SIM based network management and control
  • VPN capability to replace leased and fixed line systems
  • Peer to Peer (P2P), two way connectivity
  • Faster and easier development, operation and maintenance of M2M solutions
  • Authentication mechanisms
  • Same infrastructure for multiple applications and customers
  • Convenient integration to many different back-end systems

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