Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate loving relationships filled with joy and happiness. But, as we all know, not all relationships work out. Even those that seemed like a perfect fit at the start can eventually sour.
Can’t relate? If your organization has a remote access VPN, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Back when the VPN was first introduced in 1996, it worked as advertised, providing secure connectivity for your remote users trying to access data center applications without allowing their secrets to escape. These were the golden years of VPN and they helped to forge a solid relationship with enterprises around the world.
But, times have changed, and so has the organization. Businesses are now modern and digital, as many have embraced cloud and mobility; unfortunately, the other partner in the relationship—the VPN—has not. It’s remained stuck in the past, and the love and affection you might once have shared has grown stale.
It’s not you...it’s VPN
No wonder your love for the VPN isn’t as sweet as it once was. VPN technology was not built for the cloud. It was designed at a time when all of an organization’s data and applications were stored in the corporate data center. But, as more organizations embrace the cloud, VPNs seem to be introducing more problems than they are solving.
- VPNs treat your users badly – With VPNs, traffic is backhauled to the data center, making access painfully slow for the user. Even with cloud as the new reality, traffic is still being backhauled, feeding into the ongoing performance issue.
- VPNs make you feel vulnerable – Remote-access VPNs are like a beacon calling out to the internet. VPN servers must be exposed so remote users can “find” them and then access the corporate network through static tunnels that drive holes through firewalls. Now the same technology built to protect businesses has left them vulnerable to modern malware and ransomware attacks.
- VPNs are too needy – VPNs need a lot of attention and require a lot of energy. As your organization has grown, so must your VPN, which is a tiresome process that can often be a time-sink. However, once your VPN and inbound gateway are properly scaled, there is the matter of patching VPN servers—a task that is often slow or even forgotten. Today, teams are asked to do more with less, often creating a human challenge that leads to security vulnerabilities.
All in all, it doesn’t seem that VPNs are providing modern organizations what they need or expect from the relationship.
You deserve something better
It’s only natural to want to hold onto your VPN since you’ve likely invested both time and money into it. It’s especially hard to walk away from VPN if you aren’t sure if there is a better alternative out there.
But, when it comes to VPN technology, there is definitely a better alternative.
Zero trust network access (ZTNA), provides secure access to your private enterprise applications without the need for VPN. ZTNA is a 100 percent software-defined solution requiring no physical appliances while having the ability to be deployed in any environment for all your users.
ZTNA loves your organization better than VPN because:
- ZTNA treats your users right! ZTNA requires no backhauling of traffic, which gives your users fast, seamless access to internal applications wherever they are located.
- ZTNA keeps your secrets. Unlike a VPN, ZTNA receives no inbound connections. By responding with outbound-only connections, application infrastructure is kept invisible and, therefore, impossible to find.
- ZTNA makes your life easy. ZTNA is the definition of low maintenance. Being a software-defined solution means scaling is easy, and its cloud architecture means that patching is done automatically and globally.
A healthy relationship
Life is too short (and business moves too fast) to stay in an unfulfilling relationship. Don’t settle for legacy technology that no longer meets the needs of your organization. While most breakups are difficult, this one is easy—and, like all breakups, it’s necessary to move forward.
This Valentine’s Day, take an honest look at how your VPN is treating you. You, like so many others who have been where you are, may find it’s time to move on.
P.S. ZTNA is about much more than just VPN replacement. To learn more, register for our upcoming webinar, “Three ways ZTNA protects against Ransomware in 2020…and Beyond.”
Camilla Ahlquist is a product marketing specialist for Zscaler Private Access