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Stop using VPN! Why Zero Trust Is A Better Solution

By Matt November 8, 2021

Though Virtual Private Networking (VPN) has been used for many years by businesses to keep proprietary information and sensitive communications secure, it’s more used in 2021 than ever before with the new-age of remote work. 

Once the de facto standard solution for allowing end-users to access internal network resources from remote locations securely, they can no longer keep up with modern security needs. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 60% of enterprises will phase out VPNs in favor of Zero Trust Network Access. Driving this change is the rise of internal threats and the fact that 37% of all breaches are credential theft. 

Organizations need to take control of what resources are accessible via remote access. An essential part of doing this is to narrow the scope of access to the least privileges. Applying least privilege is a double win because it reduces the attack surface and meets compliance mandates like HIPAA, PCI, and SoX. Then even if attackers do happen to get in, the overall 

In this article we take a look at the weaknesses of a VPN and why companies should switch to a Zero Trust model of security.

The Problem With VPN

Hacker

With an increasingly global market and widespread remote work still being the norm, more traffic than ever is going over VPN. This added traffic makes it harder to detect malicious actions of bad actors. Attackers use credential stuffing and stolen credentials to access internal networks because the controls are often weaker once they’ve gotten inside the secure perimeter. 

A VPN provides only basic protection for an organization. It allows access from a remote location while masking a user’s IP address by tunneling traffic through a 3rd party data center. This creates multiple points of failure: 

Failure #1: VPN Data Center

When you connect to a VPN, all of your data goes through a 3rd party data center. VPN providers claim they do not keep user logs or data, however there are little to no laws or regulations in place to protect your data. 

Failure #2: One key to access everything

Once you log into a VPN, you can access everything. It assumes everything inside the network is secure and everyone accessing it should have the same level of access as if they were physically in an office building. If a hacker gains credentials to the network, there’s no additional protection for your data once they are inside the network. 

Failure #3: Assuming hackers aren’t inside your organization

We’d like to assume our employees aren’t out to harm us – but it’s not safe to assume. When using a VPN, there is no way to limit access. Your data may be at risk even inside your organization and your network should be completely secure and monitored. 

What is Zero Trust?

A Zero Trust Network does exactly what its name suggests – never trust. Instead of one authentication method to access everything, zero trust offers multiple authentication requirements for every operating system no matter where the request comes from. 

Let’s look at the problems with VPN listed above, and how a Zero Trust Network solves those problems. 

Failure #1: VPN Data Center – no data center used here. All data is authenticated, authorized and encrypted without the use of a 3rd party data center. 

Failure #2: One key to access everything – even if a hacker gains access to a network they will not have access to other data without further authorization. Everything is also constantly monitored for potential breaches. 

Failure #3: Assuming hackers aren’t inside your organization – users can be assigned different levels of access. A CFO and an account executive don’t need the same level of access to your organization’s data. 

Ananda Networks – The Best Zero Trust Network 

Ananda Networks

There are many Zero Trust Network providers – the majority of which will come with additional hardware, hidden fees, no integration capabilities and complex deployment processes. That’s where Ananda Networks is different.

Unlike other solutions, Ananda is 100% software based. There’s no additional hardware you need to purchase, and no complicated setup. This keeps your overhead low and lets you transition from your VPN in just 15 minutes. 

Integration with your SaaS applications and identity provider is easier than ever using SAML and cloud connectors to set up a direct connection. This makes it even easier to deploy a zero trust network. 

Ananda also uses machine learning to bypass cloud protocols and offer bandwidth optimization by continuously searching for the fastest connection route. No bandwidth or protocol limitations means up to 25x faster than what you’re experiencing with a VPN.

If you’d like to learn more about what Ananda Networks can do for you, click here to schedule a demo with us today.