Secure remote access to a company’s network is made possible via VPN solutions. They establish an encrypted link between the client, frequently implemented as computer software on an employee’s workstation, and a VPN gateway inside the company network.
VPNs secure communication between the client computer and the enterprise gateway by encrypting traffic to prevent spying. Additionally, VPNs offer a connection experience that resembles being directly linked to the company network, making it simple to access internal resources. Additionally, by doing this, the organization’s security stack filters all business traffic before it is permitted to proceed to locations outside the enterprise network.
Dependable Vpn Substitutes For Remote Working
Organizations must recognize and apply alternative security techniques better suited to safeguarding widespread remote working, whether they completely replace VPNs or augment them with alternative solutions. Depending on several variables, including posture and risk appetite, a corporation may choose to investigate some or all of these tactics. The following, however, are generally acknowledged by security professionals to be the most practical for businesses.
1. Zero Trust Network Access
In essence, brokered access to networked data and applications is what zero-trust network access (ZTNA) is all about. Before granting access, users and devices are verified and tested. You must develop a zero-trust mentality, believing that a device or an employee account may have been compromised.
Zero-trust methods can carry out the fundamental functions of a VPN, such as granting access to particular systems and networks, but with an additional layer of security in the form of least-privileged access down to the specific applications, identity authentication, employment verification, and credential storage.
This means that if an attacker manages to infect a system, the damage is restricted to the resources that this system may access. Implement network monitoring tools to spot unusual activity, such as a compromised machine performing a port scan, so you can create an alert automatically and take action to shut down the compromised system.
2. Secure Access Service Edge (Sase)
A ZTNA model will require each user and device to be validated and examined before access is granted, both at the network and application levels. Zero trust can only monitor some traffic from a single endpoint, which limits its effectiveness in solving the issue. That problem is resolved by SASE (secure access service edge). As a cloud-based paradigm, SASE combines the network and security operations into a single architecture service, enabling businesses to integrate their network from a single location and on a single screen.
SASE is a cutting-edge solution that meets modern organizations’ performance and security requirements. It provides easier management and operation, lowers costs, and increases visibility and security thanks to additional network function layers and the underlying cloud-native security architecture. Finally, SASE enables IT departments and an organization’s entire workforce to operate securely in the new norm of this work anywhere, cyber, everywhere COVID world.
3. Software-Defined Perimeter
A software-defined perimeter (SDP) is a network barrier based on software rather than hardware and is a useful alternative to traditional VPN systems. It is frequently deployed within larger zero-trust methods. Along with segregating your network and employing multi-factor authentication, this enables you to profile the user and the connecting device and set up rules that will only grant it access to what it needs in various instances.
Additionally, SDP makes it simpler to restrict access to resources when suspicious activity is noticed in your network. By doing this, you can isolate potential threats, lessen the harm done during an attack, and maintain productivity in the event of a false positive rather than completely disabling the device and rendering the user unable to perform any useful work.
4. Software-Defined Wide Area Networks
VPNs rely on a router-centric architecture, in which routers route traffic based on IP addresses and access-control lists to distribute the control function across the network (ACLs). Nevertheless, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) rely on a software and centralized control function that may direct traffic across the WAN more intelligently by managing traffic based on priority, privacy, and quality of the service requirements per the organization’s demands.
Products for SD-WAN are made to replace conventional physical routers with virtualized software that can manage application-level policies and provide a network overlay. SD-WAN can also automate the continuing configuration of WAN edge routers, and traffic can be routed through a mix of public broadband and private MPLS networks. As a result, a more flexible, secure, and cost-effective enterprise edge-level network is produced.
5. Identity And Access Management And Privileged Access Management
Greater security is offered by solutions utilizing a thorough authentication process as opposed to conventional VPNs, which often merely ask for a password. Twingate identity and access management offer the security feature of linking session activity and access privileges to specific users, allowing network administrators to verify that each user has permission to access resources and keep track of each network session. To ensure that users may only access the resources they are permitted to use, Twingate systems frequently offer extra degrees of access.
This VPN substitute or partnered option maintains identification protocols, enabling more detailed activity monitoring, but it doesn’t offer additional security for privileged credentials. To safely maintain the credentials for privileged accounts, privileged access management (PAM) is required. Identity management establishes each user’s identification and permits them. PAM technologies emphasized controlling privileged credentials that access crucial systems and applications in that circumstance.
These high-level accounts need to be carefully controlled and watched over since they pose the most security risk and are prime targets for criminals due to the administrative powers they grant. The main advantages of a PAM solution include enhanced credential security features, including regular complicated password rotation, password obfuscation, system access restriction, and user activity monitoring. These characteristics lessen the risk of improper use of privileged credentials and make it simpler for IT managers to identify shady or dangerous operations.
6. Unified Endpoint Management Tools
A VPN-free experience can be offered through conditional access using unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions. Before allowing someone to access a certain resource, an agent on the device will assess several factors. To establish whether a user may access company data, the solution might, for instance, assess device compliance, identification data, and user behavior. For enhanced security, UEM providers frequently connect with ZTNA providers.
7. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
In essence, computation is streamed from the cloud via virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or desktop-as-a-service solutions, meaning nothing is stored locally on the device. Businesses occasionally use this in place of VPNs, but to secure access, both user authentication and device checks are still required. This advantage over a typical VPN is that no data can be copied from the virtual session onto a local client.
The release of new technologies has necessitated the development of new approaches to network security. The traditional Virtual Private Network is no longer up to offering a safe and reliable user experience, so companies are searching for alternatives that can provide the same level of protection without the negatives associated with VPNs. This article has looked at seven of the most popular options for securing your network without using a VPN.
Each of these solutions has its advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the one that best fits your company’s needs is important. In general, these solutions offer a more secure and user-friendly experience than a traditional VPN.