VPN and the Remote Employee Model – A Cost/Benefit Analysis

It’s an old adage in business that there’s no such thing as a true win-win situation. In every model, there are always positives and negatives, and the goal is to maximize the one and minimize the other. VPN technology is no different. While there are many very useful things in VPN models, there are also potential threats and loopholes that might mitigate some of the positives. The cutting edge of this technology is seeking to manage the negatives in order to fill some of the potential loopholes.

The drawbacks on the standard VPN model can be complex. For starters, VPNs for small to mid-range companies can present nasty performance issues and reliability concerns. These issues can cause major downtime for firm IT systems, or breaches in security. There are some potential solutions, and currently the best is for the end user company to negotiate for a service-level agreement (SLA) in order to make certain that consistency will be maintained.

Secondly, while the security of the VPN provides massive protection for a firm, it nevertheless limits public cloud functionality. The difficulty is that these two systems were somewhat mutually exclusive. However, there are changes coming in these fields. For example, the VPN technology providers are starting to provide access through VPN secure servers to publicly accessed clouds. Security and accessibility are both protected in this system.

Third, the VPN model is something that doesn’t allow for substantial and measurable growth. Because the technology is changing rapidly, companies are forced to take on large expenditures to upgrade their current VPN systems. VPN firms are starting to provide a pay-as-you-grow model which effectively eliminates this issue. However, in the near term, these solutions are hard to come by.

Fourth, the difficulty of mobility and security have produced some major hurdles for the VPN model. Smartphones, tablets, and mobile systems have produces a work space where security can be complex. Normally, mobile VPNs work through encrypted information that is sent via a static tunnel which then terminates at a firewall within a corporation. The solution at this time is a mobile access management (MAM-based) VPN, which functions within an existing closed network and never comes in contact with the internet. This solution provides increased data transfer speeds because the encryption is no longer required. The price point of this software system had previously kept smaller businesses out of the market. However, ISPs are now seeking to set up subdivided MAMs which would allow for affordability to the little fish in the pond.

Ultimately, VPNs provide a helpful and safe solution for companies to have strong security systems without the cost-prohibitive firewall protection that smaller firms really require. Because of the nature of this software and because of the rising demand in the market space, VPNs are certainly here to stay. The hope is that they can be managed and improved to guard against some of the negative drawbacks that come with them. Given their versatility, however, there may be a win-win in the cards after all.

Jon Buck
Jon Buck
Jon Buck is based in Delhi, India. He enjoys researching, analyzing, and commenting on the cutting edge of the technology world, as well as palak paneer with veg fried rice.

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