Rethinking VPNs at the Edge: Why Proxy Services Offer a More Secure and Usable Solution

VPNs have long been the standard for remote access, but their deployment at the network edge leaves businesses vulnerable. That's why evolving cybersecurity regulations and insurance providers are increasingly calling out VPNs as a significant risk. In this week's blog, we'll examine why proxy services offer a better path forward.

Consider Using a Proxy Service Instead of a VPN

The VPN Dilemma: Under Scrutiny

  • Regulatory Risk:
    Industry regulators recognize VPNs' inherent vulnerabilities. They're stepping up guidance to steer businesses towards more secure remote access solutions. Failure to adapt could lead to compliance issues and potential fines. For example, Regulators in the healthcare or financial sectors might release specific directives favoring proxy solutions for compliance with data security standards like HIPAA or PCI-DSS.

  • Insurance Implications:
    Cybersecurity insurance companies are acutely aware of VPN-related claims. They might increase premiums or deny coverage to businesses reliant on edge-based VPNs, making them a financial liability. For example, an insurance provider might require organizations to prove they have implemented a zero-trust security model, including replacing traditional VPNs, to qualify for affordable coverage.

  • The Vulnerability Spotlight:
    VPN flaws and breaches make headlines. Attackers know to focus on this weakness, increasing the chances of exploitation and subsequent regulatory scrutiny.

Proxy Power: Mitigation and Compliance

Proxy services like Microsoft and P81 offer enhanced security and better alignment with regulatory and insurance requirements:

  • Reducing the Attack Surface:
    Proxy services disguise themselves in regular web traffic, making them less apparent targets than exposed VPN endpoints.

  • Simplified Management:
    Cloud-based proxy services ease the burden of VPN configuration and maintenance, reducing the risk of errors that lead to breaches.

  • Zero-Trust Alignment:
    Proxy services enforce granular access controls and continuous authentication – essential components of the zero-trust framework favored by regulators.

Usability Matters: Streamlining the User Experience

In addition to security advantages, proxy services deliver a superior user experience for your remote workforce:

  • Smooth Application Access:
    Proxy services integrate seamlessly with most business applications, unlike VPNs, which can create compatibility conflicts.

  • Performance Boost:
    Using proxy services can improve internet traffic and lead to faster connections, ultimately enhancing productivity.

  • Ease of Use:
    Simpler login procedures and configurations reduce user frustration and support requests for your IT team.

Considering the Trade-offs

While proxy services offer compelling advantages, careful planning is key:

  • Data Sensitivity:
    Susceptible data may require a layered approach, which could still include VPNs alongside proxy services.

  • Application Compatibility:
    It is crucial to conduct comprehensive testing of legacy applications before implementing a proxy on a large scale. This will ensure a smooth rollout and prevent any potential issues.

  • Bandwidth Requirements:
    Make sure that the proxy service you choose is capable of handling your organization's traffic demands.

Protect Your Business

Re-evaluating your reliance on traditional VPNs at the edge is a smart business move in today's evolving landscape of threats and regulations. For tailored guidance on enhancing your security posture and reducing risk, consider consulting a reputable cybersecurity firm like iCorps Technologies.

The dedicated team of US-based experts at iCorps Technologies is here to help your SMB optimize, scale, secure, and succeed in business. Contact us to get started today.