For many years, corporations have relied on VPNs for connecting remote workers with office resources. The approach of using VPNs in organizations has always been an affordable, secure, and easy solution.
While VPNs have proven their viability, you’d often come across people debating whether there is still a need for corporate VPNs or they’re just becoming obsolete.
With zero trust models gaining widespread acceptance, companies that previously relied on VPNs are now confused about either switching to zero trust or sticking with VPNs.
Ever since offices started moving employees to remote environments, VPNs, as usual, became their best option for securely carrying out work processes.
By relying on a corporate VPN, employees had a secure way of connecting to company networks and accessing data remotely.
Since remote working is surely the future, it is high time companies start looking at sustainable options for maintaining secure work environments.
To start, companies must decide between VPNs and zero trust. Moving forward, which one should become a permanent part of any company’s remote work policy.
In this article, we will answer whether VPNs are still the best option to stick to or is it about time companies adopt zero trust.
Is a VPN Effective for Remote Working?
Yes, a VPN is still an effective option for remote working and is highly recommended for small businesses. So, entrepreneurs owning a small-scale business can always go through the best VPN reviews by VPNRanks and get a reliable VPN service for their companies.
While VPNs were effective for remote working in the last few years, they still revealed a few shortcomings in today’s ecosystem during the pandemic. One of them being slow speeds. Since employees all across the globe adopted remote working in the past two years, the performance of VPNs became quite slow.
With millions of employees enjoying flexible working while connected to a VPN from different countries and locations, the traffic overload and distance made the servers work slower than ever, resulting in frustration. This became more annoying during conference calls and online meetings on Skype, Zoom, and other platforms.
VPNs were also considered a bit unsafe at some point as cyber threats could be seen getting more and more advanced each day.
The Zero Trust Model for Remote Working
The name of this model speaks for itself.
While conventional VPN services assume that any connection that passes through the network’s boundaries is trustable, the zero trust model operates assuming that no user or device is authorized to access anything and then verifies every connection request.
Zero Trust also offers visibility into every device and user, which results in a higher level of security and protection that VPN services lack.
The cybersecurity experts also accumulate performance analytics and combine them with Artificial Intelligence. This can effectively help in preventing cyberattacks in the future.
Due to these advantages, multiple organizations adopted the zero trust model for remote working in 2021. According to a global survey, 42% of respondents are planning to adopt the zero trust model.
Zero trust requires proper authentication of users instead of using credentials containing just the name and password. Due to this, they can easily identify malware creators that try to portray as authorized users.
Challenges of the Zero Trust technology
All these benefits don’t mean that the zero trust model has no challenges. On the contrary, zero Trust has its complexities as it’s a methodology that requires various technologies to work with each other.
A survey by Pulse Secure revealed that 33% of the survey respondents who were a part of the zero trust task crew struggled quite a bit with skill gaps of cross-teams.
The other challenges of this model included:
- Multiple kinds of users, with both remote and in-house workspaces.
- Incompatibility in the legacy system.
- Various services and devices for data storage.
- A variety of devices and applications.
- Distributed and P2P systems.
Should you use a VPN and Zero Trust Together?
Which security method companies should opt for is still a debate. However, instead of choosing between the two robust security methods, you can always combine both and use them for your organization.
Instead of taking a 360-degree shift from VPN services to zero trust technology without thinking about how complex that can be, you can just use both for the time being.
VPNs are popularly known to offer access to all remote users, while the zero trust model is an authentication method. Therefore, one can easily use a virtual private network for remote access while being part of zero trust.
Once the zero trust model fully rolls out, it will become relatively easier for you to scale the method throughout your organization.
The pandemic altered the working lifestyle for the better. And by using the zero trust method, which is specifically built to cater to the on-premise infrastructure, organizations can increase their productivity and reduce the risks of cyberattacks.