For the last three decades, VPNs have been deployed to provide remote users with access to resources on corporate networks. However, the increased demand for remote work solutions, a shift to the cloud, and advancements in digital transformation have uncovered increased incompatibility between VPNs and true zero-trust security architectures. These incompatibilities, largely due to VPNs inherent need for access to the network, and need to be exposed to the Internet, have increased the enterprise attack surface allowing threat actors to exploit these legacy models based on their inherent trust of users.
The 2021 Zscaler VPN Risk Report highlights the current VPN usage by enterprises and uncovered the list of top challenges faced by IT administrators who manage VPNs. It recommends security alternatives that exist for network and security leaders wanting to provide fast, seamless and secure access to business apps without compromising their existing zero trust security strategies, and includes data that provides a glimpse into the role that zero trust will play in the future of remote access. The survey findings show:
“It’s encouraging to see that enterprises understand that zero-trust architectures present one of the most effective ways of providing secure access to business resources,” said Chris Hines, Director, Zero Trust Solutions, Zscaler. “As organisations continue on their journey to cloud and look to support a new hybrid workforce, they should rethink their security strategy and evaluate the rising cybersecurity threats that are actively exploiting legacy remote access solutions, like VPN. The more secure approach is to completely leave network access out of the equation by taking the users securely and directly to the applications by brokering all user to app connections using a cloud-delivered zero trust access service instead.”