Ben Barry

Ben Barry

Channel Account Manager

The VPN, what's next?

19 September 2018

Let me take you back to 1996, Dolly the sheep has been successfully cloned; Gareth Southgate see’s his penalty saved by Andreas Kopke breaking English hearts; The Fugee’s are number one and modern-day giants Pokemon & Ebay are born.

It’s a monumental year, and to add to this, somewhere in the depths of Microsoft offices Gurdeep Singh Pall has just invented PPTP. A more secure and private connection between a computer and the internet is now possible and this marks the first step in the creation of the VPN.

Now let’s come back to modern-day, Scientists are attempting to clone a mammoth; England actually won a penalty shootout; The Fugees are no more and Pokemon & Ebay are the largest companies within their respective industries.

It’s fair to say that times have changed. So why hasn’t the way we protect our networks changed? 

Technology has evolved at its fastest rate ever in the past twenty years, but the way companies protect their networks has stayed the same. The simple reason for this is because the VPN has worked.

The way people work is evolving. 70% of people around the world work remotely for at least one day a week. Business’ are moving to the cloud and BYOD is becoming a common way of working. As a result of these factors, companies’ networks have grown and become increasingly fragmented. With a traditional VPN protecting our networks we end up with something similar to this diagram.

Technology has enabled us to work from home and visit clients more freely and worry free but its come at a cost; our networks are harder and more costly to manage and less secure. So what is the solution?

The answer is Network as a Service (NaaS)

With Network as a Service a user simply signs in to the network and then they can connect to the application they require where ever its hosted. Networks become simpler and easier to manage. The cloud allows flexibility and scalability.

So how does it make our networks more secure?

The zero-trust model:

  1. Trust no one: all users must be authenticated to gain access.
  2. Policy based access: Users can only gain access to the services they need on the network
  3. Monitoring: The admin can see who accessed what from where and perhaps more importantly, can see what was trying to be accessed.

How else can NaaS help?

Speed: One of the VPN’ biggest downfalls is speed. As the network has become more fragmented remote users have been asked open more doors and jump more hurdles to reach the applications they need. NaaS solution Meta Networks speeds this process up in two ways, firstly, the use of multiple strategically placed PoP’s around the world allow you to connect to the network quicker. Secondly, Meta Networks is compatible with all major single sign on providers, so you won’t have to add anymore passwords to your juggling routine.

Scalability: Though the VPN is sold to us as a scalable solution, it’s no secret that it comes at a significant cost in terms of additional licenses and the appliances needed to ramp up. With NaaS there is unlimited growth potential and users are added at the click of a button – the cloud-based solution removes the need for expensive hardware.

The future is NaaS, but don’t just take my word for it, Gartner predicted in a November 2017 report that “by 2021, 60 percent of enterprises will phase out network VPNs for digital business communications in favor of software-defined perimeters.”