Extranet review, features, use, advantages & disadvantages
The extranet is the private network that enterprises use to offer trusted third parties — such as suppliers, vendors, partners, customers, and other businesses — secure, controlled access to business information or operations. The extranet is a network that joins two intranets together, Using the extranet users can be benefited from accessing the internet to accomplish their daily tasks, But the resources can’t be accessed by the general public, and it is available only to authorized users.
The extranet is the controlled private network that permits access to partners, vendors and suppliers or an authorized set of customers – normally to a subset of the information accessible from an organization’s intranet, The extranet is similar to a DMZ in that it provides access to needed services for authorized parties, without granting access to an organization’s entire network.
Extranets can be viewed as part of or an extension of the organization’s intranet, as the information posted on the extranet is only accessible on internal networks, Although the information on the extranet is accessible to users outside the company, access is tightly controlled and only awarded to authorized users.
The extranet is a sort of Virtual Private Network, It includes internet access too and is especially useful for remote business associates when they want to communicate through computers or other devices. Historically, the term was used in the sense of two organizations sharing their internal networks over a virtual private network (VPN).
What is an extranet lockout?
Extranet lockout allows security teams to protect users from brute-force attacks when a threat is detected, Active Directory Federation Services, for example, can lock out malicious users from the extranet, and Administrators can retrieve lockout event details from the security audit log.
Where is the Extranet used?
The extranet is used in many fields such as educational institutes and medical faculties, extranet can add value to your business by making effective communication among partners, clients, and customers. The extranet is used for sharing a huge amount of data of the organization by using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), It is used to share product information with all the customers, vendors, and suppliers of the company.
The extranet is used by the company to share all the news with its partners of the company, It uses and develops programs for training with other organizations, It is used to share the company’s data in a secure location, and it is used to track all the project’s details.
An extranet can exchange large volumes of data using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), It can share product catalogs exclusively with trade partners, It can collaborate with other companies on joint development efforts, It can develop and use training programs with other companies.
An extranet can access services provided by one company to a group of other companies, such as an online banking application managed by one company on behalf of affiliated banks, It can share news of common interest exclusively with partner companies, It improves the efficiency when the customers are satisfied with the information provided it can be an advantage for the organization where they will get more customers which increases the efficiency.
Extranets offer benefits for enterprises, employees, and external partners, Enhanced engagement and communication, Extranets provide a platform for communicating important updates, making announcements or sharing important news relevant to all stakeholders, This approach can lead to increased participation and engagement from employees and external partners.
Extranet enhances efficiency, Businesses of all sizes, including startups, often work with multiple partners and external vendors to develop products and complete tasks, The extranet can manage these workflows. The extranet allows the customers to access their order histories so that they can verify payments and balances, it can process orders from suppliers and distributors, so, the margin of costly errors is reduced to a greater extent.
There is direct access to the information present on the network, and the company’s efficiency can be improvised using the extranet, The clients or the associates no longer have to wait for the responses, This kind of direct access makes customers update their information which can decrease the scope of errors.
The extranet comes with an extra level of security, It controls access to your data, Although there are many security breaches because of illegal entry to your system, firewalls, and proxies most times prevent these kinds of unauthorized access, and services such as emails, and authentications have been used as a security measure.
An extranet allows business organizations to conduct their transactions in a more secure and controlled environment, collaboration with clients and stakeholders wherever you are in the world, Extranet ensures that no information gets lost. the extranet allows the users to access business information 24 hours a day, This is especially useful for the remote and mobile staff who wants to avoid unnecessary costs.
As long as there is more automation, your company can enjoy more productivity as well, the extranet ensures that productivity never gets decreased by avoiding bottlenecks and preserving critical information, Information doesn’t get lost in the email or stay unread.
Disadvantages of Extranet
Extranets are expensive to implement and maintain within the organization (e.g., hardware, software, employee training costs), when hosted internally rather than by the application service provider, Security of extranets can be a problem when hosting valuable or proprietary information. Moreover repairing needs to be done at a separate expense, although once you implement the extranet other areas of expenses can be reduced or eliminated.
Extranets come with capital expenditure, Setting up and maintaining the extranet can be resource-intensive, as well as the costs associated with hiring information technology staff who must build and maintain it, so, the extranet may not the best option for companies that do not have the financial resources to set up and manage it, managed or cloud-hosted extranets, such as Microsoft SharePoint, can help mitigate some of these upfront expenses.
Although the extranet contains many security measures, it can go into the wrong hands if handled improperly, This can happen from both internal and outside of the organization, Especially sensitive information such as the ID and password can be misused illegally.
The extranet requires steps to mitigate risk, when security measures are lax, unauthorized users can potentially get in and access sensitive data, This may lead to the loss of proprietary or confidential data and competitive advantage, Extranets are best managed by in-house professionals who can help mitigate the risk of data leaks.
Both extranet implementation and maintenance are made expensive within an organization, especially when it is hosted internally, For fully acquiring the benefits of an extranet, it needs to be maintained by experienced employees, In addition to that it involves purchasing hardware and software.
When the employees of organizations depend on networks and fail to take work seriously, it can negatively impact the performance of the company, The performances can be clearly distinguished before and after the use of the extranet. The extranet is not preferred in real-time interactions such as video conferences and telephony, There is a delay in communication.
Extranet has features, integrations, and customizations that won’t be appealing to many, Too many of them can lead to more complications, so, many users prefer not to use extranet without proper training.
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