The workplace has undergone massive changes during the past months. The mass scale remote work, triggered by the pandemic, added a whole new dimension of security challenges for organizations and their IT managers.
Given the present day security challenges and constantly evolving threat vectors, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are proving in-adequate to protect enterprise data and applications from breaches or un-authorized access.
How Do VPNs Work?
In the very basic sense, VPNs bridge the connectivity gap between remote users and enterprise resources such as data or applications. VPNs are essentially hauling network traffic between remote users and enterprise resources.
Related: Why Zero Trust Security Strategy is Future for Businesses
Limitations of VPNs
Back in the time when VPNs came into being, they were a potent solution. However, additional aspects such as mass scale remote work, cloud infrastructures and present day security challenges did not exist at that time.
Here are a few notable limitations of VPNs, which enterprises need to consider when moving on to a better security model like Zero Trust.
- VPNs tend to grant way too much trust to the pre-authenticated users, without taking into account the possibility of a breach or credential theft.
- Access that is given to remote users via VPN is across the board, which implies that once access is awarded, the user can move all across the network.
- Due to hauling too much traffic between remote users and the enterprise network, performance issues are a common occurrence.
- This also tends to decline the end user experience, as a lag in performance adversely affects the user experience.
- VPNs and cloud based applications do not blend together all that well. This issue becomes even more pronounced in the case of bandwidth extensive apps.
- If a remote user’s VPN credentials are stolen, they can be used to access the entire network, and such a breach can spread to the whole network.
The above factors, when combined, make VPNs a weak security solution to the present day remote work needs.
Related: Zero Trust Security – An Effective Risk Mitigation Model
Zero Trust Security Model – A Better Alternative
The zero trust security model completely negates the concept of a trusted user. This model is based on the presumption that there is no such thing as a trusted user. Secondly, trust is not a perpetual element that can be associated to any remote end user.
Each time a user attempts to gain access to network resources, the authentication is performed afresh. End users can also opt to avoid repeated authentication on their trusted devices, but this runs contrary to the very spirit of Zero Trust Security.
The other great aspect of Zero Trust Security is that after successful authentication, the access to enterprise data and apps is limited only to the pre-authorized areas, not the whole network. This is one of the major advantages of Zero Trust compared to VPNs.
High quality Zero Trust Security solutions go a step further and mask sensitive corporate URLs, thus keeping them away from the prying eyes of malicious cyber elements. Further, sensitive data can also be hidden from the public at large.
Related: Zero Trust Security – Today’s Inevitable Necessity
The capabilities of Zero Trust Security models do not end here. Even the authenticated users are constantly monitored in real time, to highlight any unusual patterns. This feature, coupled with event logs, can detect imminent security threats beforehand.
The benefits of VPNs deserve due credit, but for the time they were created. Due to the broad spectrum of cyber threats out there, Zero Trust Security is emerging as a far more potent model as compared to legacy solutions like VPNs, which are becoming irrelevant.
Contact dinCloud for highly secure cloud solutions for your enterprise needs.