VPNs are insufficient to solve the security concerns of the future, despite the fact that many people are afraid to admit it. For many firms, the investments they have already made and will have to make to continue their transformation path may be the deciding factor.
During the pandemic, VPNs were exploited. VPNs are being utilized simultaneously by all employees, despite the fact that they were supposed to be used intermittently (for example, connecting to the office while on a business trip). This is not what they were designed for, both in terms of networking and security. If a VPN is too complicated for a user, they may decide not to use it.
According to a 2020 press release by Gartner CFO survey, 74% of companies expect to keep at least some of their staff permanently remote. That should have been enough to ensure a thriving VPN market in the future.
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Can virtual private networks (VPNs) protect future businesses?
Mobility, which includes on-site mobile devices and users working on the go, is one of the most significant organizational security concerns that VPNs fail to address. VPNs are naturally inflexible when it comes to protecting mobile devices, as the VPN connection is reset every time users change the network they’re connected to, as well as when they wake up their devices from sleep mode. All of these connections strain network resources, affecting work performance and staff productivity, which is something that modern organizations despise.
VPNs often clash with BYOD (bring your own device) policies since they frequently use authentication certificates that are stored on specific company-owned devices. When employees switch between various devices for work on a regular basis, VPNs are unable to keep up with them all. To add insult to injury, because of their basic, all-or-nothing approach to security, VPNs do not enable granular control over security policies. VPNs offer access to the complete network by default to independent contractors and other third-party vendors who just need access to a few internal resources.
Finally, the cloud is effectively putting VPNs out of business. Since data is no longer totally contained within the bounds of the company network, which is protected by corporate firewalls, VPN secure tunnels are not designed to offer security to all of the locations where data is dispersed. Since modern businesses have resources in the cloud and at the edge, they want a security ecosystem that is as extensive as their IT footprint.
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It’s time to take a security-first strategy
Businesses should be able to expand their security perimeter dynamically to virtually everywhere their essential assets and employees are. They will require a security-across-the-board mindset to accomplish so, which includes BYOD, third-party vendors, remote employees, cloud resources, and the network core. Businesses will need to abandon legacy VPNs in favor of cutting-edge solutions such as SWG (secure web gateway) for protecting internet-connected users and devices and implementing acceptable-use policies for the internet, CASB (cloud access security broker) for extending security and access policies to cloud-based applications, and ZTNA (zero-trust network access) for verifying all users before giving access to vital assets, even if they are already authorized.
Since each security control a company adds to its network basically increases its attack surface, making it more vulnerable, these services and controls necessitate a complicated security stack with numerous vendors and time-consuming monitoring. Since it blends networking with the aforementioned security constraints, SASE (secure access service edge) may be able to cover the gaps. Companies that have already invested extensively in traditional VPNs are understandably at the forefront of this opposition, but their stakes are likely much higher than their resistance.
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