In today's digital workplace, organizations increasingly rely on remote access and cloud-based infrastructures. An effective Privileged Access Management (PAM) is critical to securely manage privileged access. Traditionally, VPNs have been used as the default method for secure remote connections. However, in this technical thought leadership article, we will explore why VPNs should no longer be the preferred technology for modern enterprises and a VPN-free solution should be considered instead.
Virtual Private Networks - Blessing and Curse at the Same Time
The Challenges of VPNs for Remote Privileged Access Although VPNs have historically been considered the secure standard for remote connections, they have some challenges that modern organizations should consider:
- Complexity and architecture: VPNs require extensive infrastructure and complex configurations, especially as the number of remote users and remote sites grows. This can lead to inefficiencies and increased management overhead.
- Limited speed and performance: VPNs can affect network speed and performance, especially for large amounts of data or connections over long geographic distances.
- Security risks: VPNs can be vulnerable to security holes, vulnerabilities, and attacks. They also require regular updates and patching to minimize potential risks.
- Scalability limitations: With a sudden increase in remote work or the need for flexible collaboration with external partners or service providers, VPNs can struggle to keep up with scaling and demands.
VPN-free solutions mitigate risks without sacrificing performance
A VPN-free solution for remote Privileged Access Management A VPN-free solution offers modern alternatives for secure remote management of privileged access:
- Cloud-based PAM platforms: By using cloud-based PAM platforms, organizations can enable privileged access without the need for a VPN. These platforms provide secure authentication, encryption, and access controls over the Internet.
- Zero Trust Security: Rather than relying on a secure connection on an enterprise network, Zero Trust Security is based on the premise that all access to privileged accounts and resources must be verified and authorized, regardless of location or network environment.
- Software-defined perimeter (SDP): SDP solutions provide granular access control and authentication at the application level. By providing privileged access only to authorized applications, they offer a more secure alternative to traditional VPNs.
- Privileged Access Management via encrypted channels: Instead of a VPN, encrypted channels such as Secure Shell (SSH) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) can be used for remote access to privileged accounts. These channels provide secure transmission of data and protect against potential threats.
Advantages of VPN-free remote maintenance solutions
Advantages of a VPN-free solution for RPAM Moving to a VPN-free solution for remote Privileged Access Management offers a number of benefits:
- Easier to manage: VPN-free solutions are often easier to set up, scale, and manage because they do not require extensive infrastructure or complex configurations.
- Better performance: A VPN-free solution can provide faster network speeds and improved performance because it does not have the limitations of a VPN.
- Enhanced security: Modern VPN-free solutions, such as cloud-based PAM platforms and Zero Trust Security, provide advanced security features and robust access control to minimize potential security risks.
- Flexibility and scalability: A VPN-free solution enables greater flexibility for remote work and collaboration with external partners or service providers. It can be more easily adapted to changing requirements and growing numbers of users.
While VPNs have historically been considered a best practice for secure remote connections, they often pose a challenge for modern enterprises. A VPN-free solution for remote Privileged Access Management offers an attractive alternative that is easier to manage, more secure and more scalable. Enterprises should consider moving to cloud-based PAM platforms, zero trust security, software-defined perimeters, or encrypted channels to improve security and efficiency for remote management of privileged accounts and meet the demands of today's digital workplace.