George WilkesApril 22, 2020
Trusted Advisors Are Key in Uncertain Times
Your clients are looking to optimize their WFH initiatives, but many are struggling with poor-performing VPNs. As channel partners, your clients are looking to you as their trusted advisor to help them solve these challenges.
With the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus, companies have had to deploy massive work-from-home (WFH) initiatives in record time and at unprecedented scale. It goes without saying that there’s no partner playbook, or any playbook for that matter, for what we are experiencing. Your clients are looking for your expertise to help them to stay up and running during this critical time.
I’ve talked to a lot of channel partners who want to help their clients – but also want to avoid coming across as ambulance chasers or being negative during a sensitive time. Let’s be clear: Your clients are looking for solutions to help them optimize their remote network access and secure those connections.
As your clients have deployed WFH initiatives, all their employees are now operating outside of the security perimeter, and there’s a good chance they are using one or more VPNs to connect remotely to the corporate network. The problem with this is that rather than streamlining the process, VPNs are hindering both workflows and productivity through a combination of performance issues and security vulnerabilities.
In short, VPNs are performing in a manner and scale that they simply were not built for. For example:
- The VPN is a 24-Year-Old Technology – In the tech world, that makes it an ancient relic. VPNs were not built for the scale and the perimeter-agnostic world we now live in. They are also not equipped to handle the bandwidth of today’s applications. Most VPNs are designed for use by 20-30 percent of a workforce, but with your clients scaling up to nearly 100 percent usage, VPNs are failing. The only way VPNs can handle extra capacity is with the introduction of more hardware or the practice of VPN rationing, which is just as painful as it sounds.
- UX Challenges – Given the scale of the WFH initiatives, your clients’ employees are experiencing problems attaining and maintaining connections. Once they do gain access, they are experiencing painfully slow connections that impact productivity and the user experience.
- VPNs Expose Your Clients to Security Vulnerabilities – Threat actors know that companies have begun mass WFH programs and are looking to take advantage. An alert issued last month by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned: “As organizations use VPNs for (remote access), more vulnerabilities are being found and targeted by malicious cyber actors.”
Your clients are looking to you as their trusted advisor to recommend alternatives to solve these challenges. Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) presents a better alternative. Industry analysts like Forrester Research highlight that SDPs are a better solution than VPNs in all categories, including security, simplicity, capability, extensibility, ability to rapidly scale (aka elasticity), ease of use, and even price.
The SDP from Appgate adheres to the principles of Zero Trust in the way it grants access to individuals and devices, both inside the perimeter and out. Appgate SDP creates secure one-to-one connections, so that users can connect to only the network resources they need to do their jobs – nothing more.
What enables Appgate SDP to scale and perform so much better than legacy VPNs?
- Appgate SDP separates the control channel from the data channel to reduce load
- Appgate SDP doesn’t have one centralized firewall engine, it runs thousands of individual micro-firewalls
- Appgate SDP can dynamically scale linearly to handle very large numbers of simultaneous users
- Appgate SDP was designed from the ground up to be massively decentralized
By following the principles of Zero Trust, Appgate SDP dramatically reduces the attack surface by hiding network resources from unauthorized or unauthenticated users. The result is a more secure environment for your clients and their employees.