How VPN as a Service (VPNaaS) works?
VPNs are designed to provide secure connectivity between two endpoints. Enterprise networks will host a VPN endpoint, which terminates all connections and provides an experience similar to a direct connection to the corporate network. At the other end of the VPN tunnel is either another enterprise network and endpoint or a remote worker using a VPN client.
The two endpoints of a VPN tunnel will go through an authentication process where the client and server prove their identities to one another and define the parameters of their communication. This enables them to set up an encrypted channel over which all communications between the two parties flow. This use of encryption protects these communications against eavesdropping or modification.
Enterprises use VPNs widely to secure traffic between sites and from remote workers to corporate networks. VPN as a Service (VPNaaS) solutions integrate VPN endpoints into an organization’s cloud infrastructure.
Types of VPN Services
VPNs come in a few different forms, including:
- Consumer VPN: Some companies offer VPN services to consumers where the VPN connection is terminated at an endpoint managed by the VPN provider. This can allow customers to bypass geographic content restrictions and to conceal their web browsing from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- Enterprise VPN: Companies can deploy enterprise VPN endpoints on their networks to provide secure access to remote users or satellite sites. These VPN endpoints can be deployed as physical appliances, virtualized servers, or a part of other solutions such as a next-generation firewall (NGFW).
- VPNaaS: VPNaaS solutions are integrated into an organization’s cloud-based infrastructure. This provides secure, scalable, and flexible access to an organization’s cloud-based resources.
VPNaas vs traditional VPN
VPNaaS implements the functionality of a VPN endpoint within a cloud provider’s infrastructure. Rather than deploying a virtualized VPN endpoint within their cloud deployment, organizations can take advantage of VPN functionality under a service-based model.
For users, VPNaaS works identically to a traditional VPN. Client software installed on their computer sets up an encrypted tunnel between them and the corporate VPN endpoint. This provides secure remote access to corporate resources, the company’s cloud deployment in this case.
Challenges of connecting the remote workforce
Many organizations attempted to transition to remote work using their existing VPN infrastructure. However, these efforts faced significant challenges, including:
- Vulnerable Remote Workers: Remote workers share the security challenges of on-site employees but are also located outside the corporate network and its perimeter-based defenses. As a result, remote workers are more vulnerable to cyber threats than on-site employees.
- Overloaded Infrastructure: Many organizations’ VPN infrastructure was scaled for use by a small fraction of their workforce. The switch to widespread remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic overloaded this infrastructure, creating significant performance and productivity issues.
- Inefficient Routing: Traditional VPNs are often designed to provide secure connectivity to the enterprise network, while workers only need access to a few servers on that network. As a result, remote workers get access beyond what they need.
- Need for Agility: The pandemic demonstrated that companies need the ability to rapidly ramp up or scale down remote work infrastructure like VPNs. Traditional VPNs, which are implemented using physical appliances, lack the necessary agility.
Why You Need to Switch from a VPN to a VPNaaS
Remote workers need remote secure access VPNs or a VPN alternative to do their jobs. Making the switch from a traditional VPN to a VPNaaS solution provides several benefits, including:
- Cloud Access: VPNaaS solutions are natively integrated into cloud platforms. This enables remote workers to have secure, direct access to an organization’s cloud-based resources.
- Global Footprint: VPNs deployed as physical appliances are limited to the locations where an organization can host these appliances. VPNaaS solutions are implemented in the cloud, providing them with a global footprint.
- Flexibility: Configuring a traditional VPN can be a complex process, making it slow to react to evolving business needs. VPNaaS solutions are managed by the cloud services provider, enabling them to quickly adapt to changes in cloud environments.
- Scalability: The capabilities of a physical VPN endpoint are limited by the hardware that an organization deploys in their environment. VPNaaS solutions operate under a service-based model that enables organizations to scale capacity up and down as needed.
- Mobile Support: Traditional VPNs are often clunky and difficult to use on mobile devices. Many VPNaaS solutions have explicit mobile support that provides improved usability for the remote workforce.
What a VPN as a Service Can Do for Your Business
Secure remote access to enterprise cloud resources is essential for the modern business. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become commonplace and corporate infrastructure is increasingly hosted in the cloud.
Check Point provides solutions that enable remote workers to access corporate resources regardless of their deployment locations. To learn more about Check Point’s remote access solutions,you’re welcome to request a free demo of Check Point Harmony Connect.