Virtual private networks (VPNs) are one of the most commonly used solutions for secure remote network connectivity. However, they have a number of limitations that negatively impact network performance and security. Deploying a VPN alternative can enable an organization to improve visibility and security of their wide area network (WAN) while also increasing performance and teleworker productivity.
VPN solutions are designed to provide secure, remote access to an organization’s network. They create an encrypted connection between the client – typically implemented as software on an employee’s computer – and a VPN gateway within the enterprise network.
VPNs encrypt traffic flow between the client computer and the enterprise gateway, protecting against eavesdropping. Additionally, VPNs provide an experience similar to being directly connected to the enterprise network, enabling easy access to internal resources. This also ensures that all business traffic flows through the organization’s security stack before being allowed to continue on to destinations outside the enterprise network.
VPNs create an encrypted connection between two points. However, they have various limitations that create potential security risks to the organization:
VPNs are an effective remote access solution for legacy networks, where most of an organization’s IT infrastructure was located on the enterprise network. As users, storage, and data processing move away from the local network, many organizations are seeking virtual private network alternatives. Two of the most common choices are software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
SD-WAN is designed to be a more efficient alternative to the VPN. Instead of implementing point-to-point connectivity, SD-WAN provides optimal routing of encrypted traffic between a network of SD-WAN appliances. Secure SD-WAN solutions are designed to add the required security as well by integrating a full security stack into an SD-WAN appliance.
The main limitation of SD-WAN is that it can only provide secure, optimized connectivity to points where an SD-WAN appliance is deployed. SASE solves this problem by deploying security services in the cloud. Security services can be deployed near cloud-based resources or geographically-distributed remote workers, minimizing the network performance impacts associated with routing traffic through the SASE network.
As organization’s IT infrastructure increasingly moves off of the corporate LAN, VPN solutions are growing less effective as a secure remote access solution (especially for teleworkers working from mobile devices). Secure SD-WAN and SASE provide a secure, high-performance alternative to legacy remote access solutions.
Check Point offers Secure SD-WAN and SASE solutions that enable organizations to implement secure, optimized remote access to their employees. Contact us for more information and check out a demo to see our solutions in action. You’re also welcome to request a trial license to see how an upgrade to a modern secure remote access solution can simplify and optimize your organization’s WAN.