The inconsistent connections and the constant feeling of insecurity cannot be forgiven or forgotten— it is time to move on and break up with your VPN.

In the 90s, the VPN was all the rage in cybersecurity. The creation of the ability for a private connection on the internet between a multitude of users and devices was a technological breakthrough. This new concept of authentication, paired with encryption, became an attractive security option. From businesses to individuals, users were now able to protect the information they shared without the fear of malicious actors exploiting it.

Although a VPN was the best option for remote access in the past that does not mean this applies to the present. We are living in a new era where IT is complex, and threats are prevalent. VPNs trust blindly, are cumbersome, unreliable, and when connected, provide access to sensitive information without limitation. The time has come to face the truth: the VPN is no longer compatible with modern needs.

It’s Not Me, It’s Absolutely You (VPN):

Still uncertain if you should say farewell to your old VPN flame?  Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Is your VPN invisible to unverified users and devices? (If not, then it can be attacked, compromised, or taken offline by a nefarious entity.)

2. Does your VPN permit all users access to the entire subnet(s) of resources without restrictions? (If so, then your attack surface is far too large, making you an incredibly susceptible target.)

3. Is your overall access based on static IP addresses? (If so, then what if IPs change? How are new resources added or deleted? This leads to vast amounts of security holes down the road and an immense amount of manual intervention.)

There’s a Better Match  

The VPN operates in a very black and white way, affirming and rejecting without considering any of the context. It simply does not listen to advanced requirements. For example, when asking if a specific user should be granted access to a production database server, the VPN will simply refuse or confirm.

In contrast, an active listener would respond with “it depends” based on the context. The active listener would ask: Is the user’s device patched or is malware detected? What are the user’s privileges? What time of day is it? Where is the user? What does the user really need to do their job?

Do not let this toxic relationship with the VPN hinder your future success; there is a better alternative for providing remote access that is truly secure. You deserve the active listener: the Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP).

Software-Defined Perimeters are a critical component to Zero Trust Security and provide the following:

  1. Due to their deployment of Single-Packet Authorization (SPA), SDPs can cloak the infrastructure and make themselves invisible. This prevents network reconnaissance and allows for attack vector removal.
  2. The Principle of Least Privilege is applied in SDP, which completely reduces the attack surface and makes everything that is not essential to the user both invisible and inaccessible.
  3. IPs and user context change regularly – a solid SDP can dynamically evaluate the infrastructure and identity of the user in real-time and adjust access permissions accordingly.

You no longer have to put up with VPNs that overpromise and underdeliver. Your network is complex and distributed, your organization is highly mobile, and your users demand a reliable and seamless experience. You are entitled to better. Kick your VPN to the curb and move on to a Software-Defined Perimeter.