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Virtual private networks (VPNs) are essential if your business is implementing a work-from-home or remote setup. VPN is a great way for your employees to remotely access on-premise private networks and connect your organization’s remote private networks into a wide area network (WAN). This is made possible by assigning users internal IP addresses.
You’ll have the capacity to log, filter, and monitor traffic as it is basically routed through the VPN. What’s more, you’ll be able to authorize and authenticate before giving users access to network assets. Put simply, virtual private networks enable you to expand visibility.
The problem comes in when the endpoint security VPN client is not as secure. Attackers may take advantage of your expanded visibility capabilities and seamlessly exploit your network.
Understanding VPNs Better
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are private networks created from a mixture of network tunneling and software control instead of dedicated connection lines. Its main goal is to allow a network to stretch beyond on-premises hardware.
When you are connected to a VPN, an internal IP address is assigned to you, which will allow you to access any network assets you need. Remote access to on-premises private networks is made possible as if you are physically connected. You can also use VPNs to connect two remote private networks into a wide area network (WAN).
While virtual private networks alone is a great approach to protect your IT networks, implementing an endpoint security VPN client is also just as important.
Relationship Between VPNs and Endpoint Security
VPN capabilities, such as allowing you to log, monitor, and filter traffic are highly beneficial for maintaining the visibility of your company endpoints. This is particularly true when your network perimeter scales up due to more remote connections and cloud resources used. Virtual private networks can scale with these endpoints, guaranteeing that security is sufficiently applied to every connection.
Since VPNs enable you to execute authorization and authentication before an employee connects to your assets, you no longer have to worry about the security of an employee’s Internet connection to verify identity. Should a staff’s device get stolen, this minimizes the chance of cybercriminals getting access to your IT networks.
While VPNs can provide you with greater security and visibility into remote connections, these tools are not totally free from vulnerabilities. Just like any other software out there, virtual private networks have loopholes that attackers can use to breach your network and exploit sensitive data and systems.
Here are some vulnerabilities to keep an eye on:
Network architecture and topology
Remote workforces typically call for hundreds or even thousands of addresses, where some may be reused. This can be a source of serious security issues if you fail to audit and reconfigure access controls assigned to those IPs.
Network latency is another issue. Keep in mind that VPN connection points can only handle a specific amount of traffic. Connecting too many users to a single point can overextend these limitations. This may result in slow connections or complete disconnection.
Once a user surpasses authentication, they automatically gain access as if they are physically connected to your network on-site. As such, strong authentication measures are crucial to successful VPN security. Create restrictions for short, simple passwords and require your employees to change their passwords from time to time.
Accessibility of your login portals can also be a vulnerability. Remind your staff to refrain from logging in using public Internet sites as it provides cyber criminals easy access to try credentials and passwords.
If you are implementing bring your own device (BYOD) policies, there’s a chance that your employees may be using devices that are not up to date, have no appropriate security tooling installed, and have unrestricted permissions and access. This would create a problem in securing device traffic and operations to operations inside your network.
Deploying VPN Through Endpoint Security
Taking advantage of your existing endpoint security measures can help strengthen your VPNs’ security. A reliable endpoint protection platform (EPP) would be a great example.
EPPs allow you to secure endpoints with protective features, such as:
- Access controls
- Next-generation antivirus (NGAV)
- Intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPS/IDS)
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR)
VPNs can be deployed through these platforms to add a layer of monitoring and proactive capabilities on endpoint connections. Doing so provides you unlimited benefits, especially in the following areas:
Data loss prevention (DLP)
DLP tools are the backbone of your endpoint and network protection. When used alongside VPNs, you can expand your data protection beyond encryption into active traffic control.
Utilizing EPPs helps keep your security measures centralized, which further boosts visibility and streamlines management for your IT and security teams.
VPNs deployed through EPPs can help you establish strong authentication measures.
Using EPPs to deploy your VPN can also help you during times of incident response. Secure, remote management of systems is guaranteed, and authorized access to assets remains available.
If you’re looking to fortify your endpoint security VPN client, Comodo can help. We have a wide range of industry-leading EDR solutions that can safeguard your endpoints and ultimately, your entire network. From an exceptional endpoint protection platform to a 24-hour managed detection and response, we got you covered.