The Security Challenges solved by a VPN cloud-based alternative

The proliferation of the internet has changed computing and data storage significantly over the last few years, creating a wide range of options for individuals and businesses. With data storage becoming increasingly cloud-based, the challenges of keeping data secure need new solutions and more effective methods of managing the potential risks.

Cloud storage has become a huge industry since wifi became more reliable as it provides the means to access information over a private network from anywhere that has internet access. Companies are increasingly choosing to use cloud storage for their data in order to maximise their data management potential with high-security systems, scalable solutions and all the benefits that come with having sensitive information stored off-site. 

However, any advances in technology open up the potential for new types of security, and although there are many benefits to cloud storage, those using it need to know how to protect themselves against potential threats. While users can access cloud services without needing a virtual private network, businesses still need the same level of security which is where enterprise VPN alternatives come into play.

How does a VPN work?

When users access the internet over a connection that is not secure, they leave a digital trail of their actions which can be followed by hackers and cyber criminals. This means that data transmitted over those connections can be collected and exploited, or sold on by relatively benign organisations to those that might use it for criminal activity.

A VPN prevents this kind of data leakage by giving users access to a private network that creates a secure connection via a VPN tunnel which effectively creates a safe space between the device and the network they are connecting to. Any data transmitted is then encrypted to protect it from being harvested regardless of how secure the connection is. 

This means that mobile devices can still be protected when using public wifi networks or unsecured connections and it can also hide their location and maintain their anonymity in situations where this might otherwise be compromised. Hackers often target regular network connections in order to try and find data that can be used or sold on, and a VPN prevents that. 

VPNs have been an important part of remote working, allowing users to log on to office-based systems via a secure connection and protecting all the data that is transferred between the two. While they provide a simple and effective solution to many of the potential problems encountered when accessing data remotely, there are some downsides to VPNs:

  • Slower connections 
  • Additional time needed to log on
  • Lack of capacity
  • The need to verify each individual device
  • The time involved in setting up secure connections 
  • Scalability problems

Although VPNs provided an ideal solution to the problem of connecting to networks remotely, the above issues mean that the next generation of technology is needed to support the latest push towards decentralised office work.

What happens when you connect to the cloud?

Businesses are increasingly encouraging their employees to work remotely, either to make them more agile in terms of their ability to work from wherever they happen to be, or to improve their work-life balance by cutting down on commuting time. While this is often welcomed by staff, the problems caused by using VPNs can hinder productivity and a move towards newer and more efficient technology is inevitable.

With a huge increase in the number of people working remotely in industries that use a lot of bespoke software, the need for a more effective solution that can accommodate a higher number of users. Companies are now building systems with the capacity for remote access included as a feature of the infrastructure.

This is an easier and more practical approach for both the workers and the network administrators and solves many of the problems experienced with VPNs, particularly for businesses that have seen a huge surge in the number of remote workers. Cloud-based security services can extend a business’s secure network to include hundreds of different access points for workers all over the world, allowing global operations to run smoothly and safely.

VPNs have a maximum capacity, meaning that only a certain number of users can log on at once, which can cause significant problems. Businesses that have encountered unexpected interruptions to their staff’s access to their offices, such as extreme weather conditions or natural disasters, often struggle with issues of capacity.

The future of network security

As more businesses are using online meeting software such as Zoom, and collaborative programmes such as Slack, it is becoming increasingly important for staff to be able to log on without interruptions or security concerns. By preparing for such eventualities, businesses can implement protocols that provide the same level of security through cloud-based solutions.

Although the demand for VPNs won’t die out immediately, as cloud storage becomes more widespread, the need for practical solutions to secure remote connections is increasing. Technology providers are working towards more flexible and agile solutions to the problem of secure access and the need for options with more capacity than VPNs. 

Current security systems have been designed to accommodate laptops, phones, and other devices, innovators are aiming to predict what technology will need to be accommodated in years to come. In this way, it is possible to ensure that the next generation of security systems will be ready for the needs of the workforce of the future.

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