Virtual Private Network (VPN) Pitfalls to Consider While Securing Business Networks


VPN is one of the most effective tools that enterprises can leverage in their cybersecurity strategy to enable seamless access for authorized users outside the network premises. However, it exposes businesses to various threats like malware, DDoS attacks, and spooking attacks.

VPN is one of the most effective ways to optimize the connections between the applications and ensure seamless connectivity throughout the enterprise. Attackers are looking for a network that can be easily comprised and disrupt the entire business operations. Irrespective of the immense benefits of implementing VPNs in companies, it exposes businesses to various threats like malware, DDoS attacks, and spooking attacks.

Here are a few pitfalls of Virtual Private Networks that organizations might face while securing their business networks:

Third-party VPNs are not able to enforce policies to secure credentials

Different vendors have different policies in place to secure the client’s business network. However, these policies might not be optimal, and taking the control away from the enterprise might create a potential attack surface area that cybercriminals can leverage to infiltrate the business network and move laterally. Organizations without stringent password governance policies have significant risks because they have poor password management policies that allow users to reuse passwords and set easy-to-guess credentials.

Also Read: Strategies to Reduce Attack Surface Areas

Integrating a VPN might hamper productivity

Implementing Virtual Private Networks into the IT infrastructure will help organizations to strengthen their security posture by ensuring an encrypted connection. However, this encrypted connection might impact the connection speeds and application performance due to multiple factors like the time required to provision and evaluate the VPN that needs other departments like IT support to be involved in the process. Moreover, it is crucial to accomplish this before all the application and server access are evaluated. This two-step process creates lags in the operations and will hinder the overall efficiency and productivity of the entire business operations. Long lag times to get support from the backend teams will have a disastrous impact on the productivity of the workforce and customer service quality.

VPN creates a security mirage

Many enterprises have a misconception that their business network is secure because they have integrated a robust VPN in their cybersecurity tech task because the ‘P’ in the VPN stands for “private”. There have been multiple security incidents in the past wherein malicious actors have exploited weak VPN protocols and less secure internet connections to infiltrate the IT infrastructure to execute a successful data breach.

Exposes the business network to higher-risk

Enterprises that leverage Virtual Private Networks offer third-party vendors or remote users access to the business network. They are also providing complete access to the business network, which might expose the IT infrastructure to various advanced threats.

It is crucial for organizations to grant and restrict access to the business network at the start and continuously evaluate them to ensure they only have the necessary access they need to accomplish their tasks.

Organizations can even enforce policies based on strict network segmentation with robust tools integrated like firewalls to secure the business network. However, this approach increases the complexity of the SecOps teams to secure the IT infrastructure from various threats. Even if enterprises offer least privileged access to third-party vendors for accessing their business network, the attack surface area can be vast.

Also Read: Strategies to Develop a Robust Cybersecurity Tech Stack

Increases the cost of the operations

VPNs do not allow SecOps teams to centrally manage everything remotely. It is one of the most significant pitfalls of Virtual Private Networks because organizations lack the capabilities to deploy, track and manage all the connections from a central device. The support resources will have to spend the majority of their time and effort managing all the applications through multiple systems.

These are a few potential pitfalls of Virtual Private Networks that CISOs need to be aware of before integrating them into the cybersecurity tech stack.

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