While a VPN gives you a private tunnel to access your business network, it can never be guaranteed to be 100% safe or anonymous. If your employees access third-party websites like Google and Facebook, their activities can and will most likely still be tracked. We all know about VPN importance for remote work, and we know that VPN can not stop web trackers and cookies. VPNs can be an insecure solution if successfully breached by malware, ID spoofing, or a DDOS attack. Successful intrusions put the entire network at risk. A complete network can be attacked and brought down by compromising the VPN connection of a single device.
- • It’s important to choose the correct type VPN. Always consider their logging policy. Your online security is only as good as the service they provide. VPNs are often used to facilitate cyberattacks and gain unauthorized access to networks and connected systems. Businesses with remote employees or contractors that use VPNs to access their networks have inadvertently created multiple paths hackers can utilize to attack your network and access valuable data resources.
- • When working for global organizations, there are geographical restrictions to using VPNs. In some countries, VPN usage is limited or even outright illegal. A common problem faced by international remote workers is that limited permission has been granted and the user is restricted from certain segments of the network. Routing issues can also cause problems with VPN connectivity. Configuring a static route between client and server can streamline dialing into the VPN server.
- • The employee experience when connected to a VPN is dependent on bandwidth. Overall connection speeds can drop, and data usage will increase although not astronomically. VPNs offer enhanced security compared to unencrypted networks, but this security can result in slower connection speeds and degraded application performance. Implementing a VPN solution requires installation and testing, tying up resources from other IT support departments.
- • VPN support costs result in an increased cost of doing business.
VPNs do not allow for efficient, centralized remote management. This puts additional stress on an IT support team. User issues with VPNs must be addressed individually, expending valuable and costly support team time to maintain remote connectivity.
It’s also important for end-users to remember that a VPN does not replace traditional online security and anti-virus software. A VPN does not prevent phishing or malware attacks. Caution must always be exercised.
How organizations can improve VPN experience for remote workers
There are a number of things the organization can do to improve the user experience when connecting via a VPN:
Increase network bandwidth
By increasing the available bandwidth between the VPN server and the internet, the overall latency experienced is much less.
Run additional VPN servers
It makes sense that having additional VPN servers increases capacity, but implementing load balancing across the servers will result in a more robust and reliable experience for your employees, where they can be routed to the server that can serve them best at any given time based on load and capacity.
Be proactive with server management
Server maintenance must be an integral part of your organization’s network strategy. All upgrades and patches must be applied timeously to ensure your servers are protected against ever-changing security threats.
Separate traffic flows
Split tunneling allows you to route some data through the VPN while other data is routed through normal public unsecured lines. The benefit of this is a reduction in bandwidth usage and connectivity speed.
Actions that would normally not need to be secured, like simple internet browsing, do not require encryption, whereas confidential business emails and documents will require a secure tunnel.
Change work patterns for remote employees
Another simple way to make a VPN work more efficiently is to change how your employees work. It’s not always necessary to edit a document or view a resource online on the remote server. Rather download the required resource, make the required changes, and then upload it. This uses a lot fewer VPN resources.
Companies can also introduce staggered working hours or shifts to reduce the number of concurrent connections to the VPN, thereby reducing the load and improving the performance.