A virtual private network (VPN) is ideal for in-house employees who need to access the server (or server area) from anywhere other than the office. In fact, at SecureLink, we use VPN client software on our laptops to do just that. If you work remotely and need to update something on the server, just use your VPN and you can easily do it. In general, this type of network provides high-speed connections that businesses can use to operate efficiently. VPN connections not only allow employees to work from home or on the go, but also give providers access to the internal resources they need to support business operations.
However, there are various problems, concerns, and weaknesses in implementing VPN services. Understanding these common VPN problems is critical to protecting the security of your corporate network. Because of this, we've classified these common problems as bad, bad, and ugly so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not your business should implement a VPN.
Read More: Managed VPN Services
The not-so-good VPN problems
- You cannot create or enforce policies that protect credentials
Third party vendors can sometimes follow a number of practices that are not optimal but are beyond your control. These practices allow hackers to break into your network.
Example: sharing credentials with coworkers or reusing weak passwords for personal accounts that can be easily exploited. According to a Verizon report, 76% of network breaches involved compromised user credentials.
- Safer VPN = less productive workforce
While using VPN software increases security over an unencrypted connection, connection speed and application performance can decrease due to various factors, such as: B. the time it takes to deploy and test the VPN, which generally involves other departments. like IT support.
This must be done before application or server access can be tested. This two-step process slows down the workload and often requires staff unfamiliar with the vendor's application or use case to even gain access.
The result: Long delay times for supplier support technicians, which also affects the productivity of your employees and the quality of customer service.
- High VPN support costs = higher business costs
There is no central remote management with VPNs. Without the ability to provision, monitor, and manage all of your connections from one place, your support staff will have to spend a lot of time assisting the VPN client and associated applications.
Additionally, third party vendors may not have internal internal support to help with initial setup, troubleshooting VPN connections, and daily troubleshooting. You may need more resources on their help desk to help users, which increases their cost to do business.
- All or nothing = risky business
When a company uses VPN to give outside providers access to their network, those providers either have full access to your network (e.g. at the beginning of a job) or not (if you revoke access after the job is completed). ) - unless companies implement strict network segmentation with firewalls and switches, which increases complexity.
There are no shades of gray, there is no way to only partially access the required resources. The more servers, applications, and network devices your providers have access to, the greater your risk.
VPN servers and client software grant a provider access to everything on their network unless the lowest-level access is implemented. Even if you segment your networks using Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), access may be too wide or even too narrow, requiring more time for technicians and VPN troubleshooting.
- No third party liability
VPNs typically offer few or no detailed audit trails, so you cannot monitor or record the actions of any third party using the VPN. Usually all of this is logged in connection times, and even then this data is in another log that needs to be monitored and viewed.
Without simple and centralized access to all historical information on a connection (users, applications called, reason for access, etc.
The ugly one
- A false sense of security
If your third-party providers and VPN users have access to your network, you may believe that your company network and data are safe. After all, the "P" in VPN stands for "private."
However, history has shown otherwise. The reality is that malicious hackers have taken advantage of weak VPN protocols and unsecured Internet connections to lead to data breaches at large companies like Home Depot and Target.
- VPNs are a hacker's paradise
Hackers often use VPNs to access networks. If your company has many third-party providers and each provider has full access to your network, a hacker now has multiple potential routes to enter and take advantage of your network via VPN traffic.