Employees like sales personnel and field technicians have been working remotely for years now. They use Virtual Private Network (VPN) for accessing the information stored in their official servers. VPNs are good when you have a limited number of digital assets and remote workers. It is good for small businesses.
However, the remote workforce has increased due to the pandemic. Almost everyone is working from their home now. Thus, you need to make sure that you can meet their demands. Digital resources are also not stored in one centralized location now. Most data and applications are stored in the cloud. This ensures that the users can easily collaborate with each other. SDP or Software-defined perimeter technology will help you in securing your entire network. It is a must-have solution for enabling remote work. In this article, we are going to discuss VPN and SDP.
Definition of Software-defined Perimeter (SDP):
An SDP is an IT security solution that uses user authentication and segmentation for protecting your network. It doesn’t rely on your hardware for creating a safe environment. The infrastructure uses the least-privilege model to restrict assess of users. This will ensure that network admins can customize and create their own security policies. You can also automate your security policies by using SDP.
SDP technology will ensure that your users can access your network only. They can’t access the application level. Traditional methods were giving access to your user according to their privileges. Thus, admins have access to the entire network. The privileges were set according to the applications that your employees need. There were no restrictions at the network level. Thus, attackers could laterally move in your network. All they need to do is hack into one of your applications.
SDP solutions will authenticate both the device and the user. It is going to suspect every request. Thus, verification is required for every request. Users will be granted access once the request is verified at the network level. You will get access to applications and resources according to the permissions.
How does Software-defined Perimeter work?
The entire process of SDP is divided into two parts. First, the SDP is going to verify the identity of users. The device status will be checked then. After that, the user will be granted access to the digital assets.
SDP solutions will create a secure network connection after the authentication is done. The user device will get access to the digital resources that they need. This will help you in minimizing the chance of data breaches. SDP is going to follow these steps for granting access to your network:
- Verify user identity: These solutions are going to first check the user’s identity.
- Validate device: SDP solution will check the device that is requesting access.
- Authenticate both device and user: SDP solution is going to authenticate both user and device.
- Create connection: SDP solution will open a network connection between both users.
- Enable access: End-users will get access to the digital resources that they need.
SDP will help you in replacing the entire verification process with a simple and secure network connection. The network connection won’t depend on your user location.
Definition of a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN will act as an encrypted network. It will run on your unencrypted network. This will ensure that your network is secure. End-users will directly connect with the VPN client. The device will be verified first. After the authentication, the user will be connected to the VPN server. VPN will establish a secure tunnel between the resources and users. This will ensure that your network is secure.
VPN connections mostly used to reside on a single VPN server. You can use it to provide secure communication between your network resources and device. Businesses are using VPN for providing remote IT support of software. They are also using it for enabling remote work. Your remote workers can use VPN for securely accessing your resources from a remote location. There are hundreds of VPN services available on the internet. You can find the best VPN service for your business.
Users can access your network once the connection is made. Constraints will be applied at the application level.
VPN vs. SDP
Both VPNs and SDPs can be used to establish encrypted communication between the user and device. However, their methods are different. If you are using VPN, then your users will get access to all the network resources. However, SDP products won’t share connections. It will also restrict user access. Your users will only get access to the resources that they need.
Managing user connections
In a VPN environment, user connections will be segmented by using multiple VPNs. You can configure a different VPN for your marketing department and a different VPN for your IT department. End-users need to provide their user name and password for accessing your network. It will ensure that your marketing and IT services will be separated.
However, you need to put in a lot of effort for managing a wide VPN implementation. You will have different VPN servers for your IT, HR, Product management, and marketing team. Even a small change can result in some big errors. Enterprise-wide VPN networks are very complex. You need to test every connection for maintaining accuracy.
Your end-users might need access to multiple different VPNs. This simply means that your users need to log out from one VPN and login into another VPN. You can also establish a third VPN for solving this problem. The third VPN will have access to both VPN. However, you need a lot of resources for managing this.
SDPs will help you in solving this problem. It will help you in establishing a separate connection for every user. This will ensure that your VPN tunnels will stay isolated. All the connections will be software-defined. You can remove the link when it is not needed. Your IT team doesn’t need to waste their time managing a bunch of open ports and static connections. This will ensure that your IT team doesn’t need to waste their time in managing connections.
SDPs will help you in creating a zero-trust network. This will increase the security of your network. SDP will treat all the requests as a potential threat. Access will be granted only after both the device and the user is verified. You can also use it for continuous verification.
The best thing about SDPs is that they are not associated with the hardware. You can deploy them on the cloud or on-premise.
Benefits of SDP
SDP provides almost all the features of VPN. It also helps us in solving the disadvantages of VPN. Some of the main benefits of SDP are:
The main problem with VPNs is that they are open. Thus, attackers can attack them. SDP will help you in eliminating this problem. It will block all the leaving ports and encrypt all the traffic. This will ensure that your network is secure.
Easier to manage:
VPNs are using user-based access for providing a similar experience to users. However, this reduces user flexibility. You need to do a lot of work in maintaining the VPN. If you are using SDP, then you integrate your tool with Active Directory, SAML, and LDAP. This will ensure that you can make changes to members directly. It will impact the user access policies. Also, it will easily integrate with the existing IAM solution.
Better User Experience:
The best thing about SDP is that it is designed for all types of users. Both your remote and on-site employees can use it. It will provide a good and consistent user experience. The log-on procedure is very simple. Thus, your end-users can easily use it.
SDP will help you in enforcing all the security policies. It will ensure that all the devices have installed antivirus and it will ensure that the device is up to date. SDP will also help you in encrypting your media. It will upgrade your operating system. This will ensure that you are following all the compliance policies. If the device is not following the security policies, then it will be disconnected from your network. This will increase the security of your network. Also, it will help you in avoiding unnecessary fines.
SDP bandwidth performance is better when compared with VPN. There are various reasons behind this. SDP uses UDP or User datagram protocol as its transport layer protocol. UDP is faster when compared with the standard TCP or Transmission Control protocol. You can use SDP to route traffic. It will ensure that users will get access to the resources that they need.
VPNs are generally using dedicated hardware for running. This can be very costly. You need to first buy the hardware and license. After that, you need to maintain it. This problem is solved by SDP. SDP is similar to a virtual appliance. You can easily scale it horizontally. This will ensure that your SDP is always available. It will also provide scalability to your network.
This is another very important benefit of SDP. VPNs can’t deal with the granular application. Also, it can’t help you with resource security. If you have remote access, then you need broad access to your resources. This can be a big issue for your business. Attackers will try to steal your user’s password. If they get access to your user account, then they will get access to your entire network.
SDP will help you in protecting your data and applications from attacks. Hackers won’t get lateral access to your network. They can’t access all your resources even after getting access to your user account. Your users will have access to limited resources only. This will ensure that your users can access few resources only. SDPs will communicate with MFA first. This will ensure that attackers can’t access your network even after stealing your user’s password. There are multiple levels of protection that will protect your network. This will result in better data and application security.
Who should use SDP?
You should move to the SDP when your infrastructure is struggling to cope up with VPN technology. SDP will provide continuous authentication to your users. Your IT team will have more visibility of your network activity and traffic. This is very important as remote traffic is growing very fast due to the pandemic.
Remote workers have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has created an IT security crisis for most companies. You need to deal with unsecured home networks and access points. Hackers have access to a larger attack surface. They can easily identify and exploit vulnerabilities if you are not protecting your network. SDP will help you in strengthening your authentication procedures.
It will also help you in eliminating the vulnerability targets like RDPs and VPNs. You can protect your network from cloud vulnerabilities by using SDP. It will provide a lot of flexibility to your users.
Who should use VPN?
If you don’t need access to the robust security features, then VPN is good for you. There are various VPN providers available in the market. Thus, you should look for the best VPN solution in the market.
Make sure that your VPN solution is offering robust security. It should provide services dedicated to your business. The speed should be good. It should maintain multiple connections. Also, the user interface should be simple.
How Bleuwire can help your business?
You need to think about a lot of things when you are looking for a security solution. It is important to protect your business from hacking attacks. Bleuwire will help you in finding the right security tool for your business. They will also help you in implementing these tools. You will get access to a large team of IT professionals. Thus, you don’t need to worry about hiring your in-house IT security team. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.