Remote Access VPNs fall short: Here’s why 

February 23, 2023
Access Tech: With evolving technology and hacking strategies, VPNs fall short and may not guarantee the protection you need. Have you upgraded?

Historically, virtual private networks (VPNs) were the only available solution. VPNs are network solutions that were designed for corporate networks and security models that no longer exist, and cannot provide secure, high-performance network access to a workforce that requires a more modern remote access solution. Here is how remote access VPNs fall short.

1. Lack of built-in security/access management 

VPNs are designed to provide secure remote access by creating an encrypted tunnel between two endpoints for business traffic to travel over. While VPNs can protect against eavesdroppers, that is about all they can do. 

2. Geographic constraints 

VPNs’ lack of built-in security means that security solutions must be deployed behind each VPN server, making it difficult to link every traffic source and destination. Many organizations backhaul traffic to the headquarters network for inspection, degrading performance and increasing latency. 

3. Inefficient routing 

Corporate networks are increasingly distributed with infrastructure in on-prem data centers and scattered across multi-cloud environments. As a result, VPNs either force users to have VPNs configured for multiple locations or to accept inefficient network routing that passes through a single VPN terminus. 

4. Excessive trust in endpoint security 

VPNs only secure the connection over which two endpoints are communicating. They are overly trusting of the endpoints involved in the communication, which can result in malware infections or other threats to corporate assets. 

Some of the threats that VPNs provide no protection against include: 

  • Infected Devices: If a remote employee’s device is compromised with malware, the malware can send traffic over the device’s VPN connection as well.  
  • Compromised Accounts: VPNs only implement access control in the form of user authentication when setting up a VPN session. If an attacker has compromised a user’s authentication credentials (password, etc.), they can log in as that user and connect to corporate IT assets. 

Relying on legacy remote access VPNs forces companies to make choices between network performance and security. Organizations looking to modernize their IT infrastructure to better support remote and hybrid work schedules need to replace their VPNs. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) provides the capabilities they need, eliminating the limitations of VPNs and providing many additional benefits. Access Tech can help you improve your network security and reliability. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call where we can analyze your current security and help you begin or improve your SASE journey.  

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