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Zero Trust VPN Replacement

 

With telecommuting now a requirement for businesses to operate in remote-first environments — and reliance on remote work solutions expanding as companies look for ways to maximize employee productivity no matter how they choose to connect — enhanced security is essential.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have historically formed the front lines of remote access defense. By creating an encrypted “tunnel” between approved users and corporate networks, VPNs offer a way to reduce the risk of common cyberattacks such as eavesdropping, malware infection and data exfiltration.

Widespread adoption, however, has highlighted potentially critical VPN security vulnerabilities that could put users and businesses at risk. Invisily offers an alternative: zero trust remote access solutions capable of replacing VPNs to deliver a seamless user experience that simplifies security without compromising protection.

Here’s how it works.

 
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Assessing VPN Vulnerabilities

While VPNs offer more security than remote desktop protocol (RDP) connections, they’re not foolproof. In fact, many VPNs contain significant vulnerabilities that could expose everything from user credentials to protected corporate assets.

The biggest problem with VPNs is all-or-nothing access. Once users gain entry to VPN environments, they have full access to all protected data. While this is fine for trusted, authenticated employees, it quickly becomes problematic when companies start adding third-party providers and vendors that need network access to fulfill specific obligations.

The security of VPNs is also tied to the security posture of your VPN provider. If hackers can compromise VPN operations and your provider is slow to issue a patch or upgrade, attackers could create persistent back doors that go unnoticed for months or years. Even more worrisome are malicious actors compromising VPN source code to create zero-day threats that hide in plain sight.

 

Examining Zero Trust Alternatives

Zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) offers a VPN replacement. In a zero trust model, access to specific data or services is authenticated rather than assumed. Users must prove their identity by authenticating on trusted devices and are only then granted access to role-defined IT resources.

The result is an abstracted network topology that is effectively invisible to cybercriminals, in turn, reducing your overall attack surface. Even if hackers gain access, the granular nature of a zero trust approach prevents lateral movement and makes it easier for cybersecurity teams to identify and eliminate threats.

 

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