For the past few decades, a corporate virtual private network (VPN) was the go-to answer for connecting to work when away from the office. It was simple, affordable and relatively secure. But debate has been brewing for several years regarding whether or not the corporate VPN security is dead — or at least not the easy answer anymore. However, the discussion now has a new wrinkle (or cavern, to be honest), with remote work or hybrid work likely to remain for many companies even after the pandemic. And as the zero trust model gains support, many companies are wondering which option is better.
When everyone headed to their respective remote offices last spring, VPNs were the quick and easy answer. By using a corporate VPN, employees had a secure way to connect to the company networks and access systems, data and files remotely. But now that remote work is still the near-future answer for most companies and likely a permanent solution, it’s time to take a hard and honest look at building a secure remote workforce that works as a long-term solution. The first step is deciding if VPNs or zero trust should be the cornerstone of your company’s remote work policy.
How Effective Is a VPN?
VPNs were designed nearly two decades ago for connecting devices with on-premises networks. However, with today’s cloud-based infrastructure (public, private and hybrid), VPNs are attempting to protect an environment they weren’t built for, which can be inefficient and open doors for attackers. Instead of protecting a flat network with linear access, VPNs are now trying to protect the perimeter network.
Ask your employees about using a VPN, and you’re likely to hear that VPNs are slow ..