Why IT Pros Rely on VPN Security For Remote Employees – And Why It’s Not Enough

With more workers telecommuting to combat the spread of Covid-19, and to keep up with changing work trends, companies rely on VPN security to face new technology security challenges. To protect against cybersecurity risks, IT teams are establishing Virtual Private Networks (VPN). VPN’s create a secure tunnel between a users’ computer and office servers, making it nearly impossible to hack that tunnel. But that doesn’t mean the endpoints themselves are secure. Hackers have started targeting VPN services used over home networks to gain access to business networks.

While traffic running through a VPN is encrypted, if one of the two networks has been compromised, it immediately becomes a security concern for the other connected location. Home networks are typically less secure than business networks, putting them at higher risk of being attacked and compromising company security. And that risk grows with every separate home network that is used to access company data. In other words, the more teleworkers you employ, the greater your cybersecurity risk.

So why exactly are home networks at greater risk of being breached?

One reason is that 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. When workers are remote, an IT team no longer has the ability to manage the employee’s network. Understandably, they can’t be responsible for every employee’s home network. Double that risk if employees are using personal networks and personal computers to access a business VPN. Additionally, home networks have lower Malware defense, and risk doubles again for every user and connected device relying on that home network such as a spouse’s corporate connection, or children’s’ remote learning devices.

In fact, 98 percent of all IoT device traffic is unencrypted, exposing personal and confidential data on the network. So, when remote employees use their home networks for work, all of their networked IoT devices put your business’s VPN security at risk. These devices can range from from security cameras and baby monitors, to smart doorbells and even wireless printers. This kind of lateral attack works because a hacker can gain access to a less sensitive network, and then jump to a more critical network through the VPN. An attacker could even send malware from an infected machine on their home network, through the VPN connection, and then onto your business network.

Implement Zero Trust Architecture

SimpleWAN @Home is built with a Zero Trust architecture in mind. This provides an edge device that separates corporate connected devices away from the unsecured devices that run over the home network.

Normally, this can be done in one of two ways. One is by creating VLANs within the home network, the second – and more secure option – is to physically separate the corporate connected device away from the home network completely. SimpleWAN @Home does both.

First leveraging the end-users internet connection, SimpleWAN @Home empowers IT Teams to create VLANs virtually segmenting the “home traffic” from the “work traffic”, and then creates network-level firewall rules to enable security posturing within the home environment. AKA, giving you the ability to manage your defenses and protect your enterprise from cyber-attacks even from within your remote employees’ homes.

The second way we provide a Zero Trust Architecture is by providing a SimpleWAN @Home device LTE connection. This solution connects via wireless 4G connection instead of the home network while prioritizing traffic over the cellular connection. This solution physically removes any connection to the home network providing a more secure way to connect the remote workforce.

SimpleWAN @Home provides everything you need to extend telework security to the home office, bundled into one simple plug-and-play. Within minutes, your remote workforce can isolate work traffic from the home network, improving application performance, and addressing security gaps. All of the tools you are already paying for and managing, bundled as the most comprehensive enterprise telework security network management solution. What’s not to love?

Click here if you’re interested in learning more about VPN security risks, click here to download our infographic on VPN security, or contact us to secure your remote workforce today!

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/01/17/the-dangers-of-using-vpn-on-home-computers-for-work-and-what-to-do-instead/#7a516bc86349
2 https://www.cybintsolutions.com/cyber-security-facts-stats/

3 https://threatpost.com/half-iot-devices-vulnerable-severe-attacks/153609/
4 https://threatpost.com/iot-devices-vulnerable-takeover/144167/

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