There’s no question a VPN provides an added (and sometimes a much-needed layer of security in an insecure world. Using a computer to do corporate work in a public area or internet cafe (especially abroad) can be a huge security risk.
But working domestically or just telecommuting, is the corporate VPN becoming extinct? Is it worth the hassle?
VPN – a secure connection to your network. Why WOULDN’T you want that?
1) they’re not simple 2) they don’t always work 3) takes a bunch of IT time to configure, document, test, and update 4) is a security risk if compromised 5) usually slow (it’s your office UPLOAD speed that’s important and that’s usually much slower than your download speed) 6) temperamental – having the same IP address at home as at the office can invalidate the connection.
VPN used to be a standard part of a responsible business person’s connection to corporate data. That was before Salesforce, Gmail, Office365, Dropbox, Box, and the rest of the SAAS (software as a service) industry.
People still say “I need a VPN connection” but this may be a vestige of an older mindset. Before you put the time and money into getting your VPN set up, ask yourself:
– do I truly need to get to data that resides solely my office?
– is that data truly not available in the cloud? If not, why not?
– is there a way I can securely get to the data without having to create a VPN connection?
– do the benefits outweigh the cost & complexity required to do this?
Solutions like Teamviewer, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC and other screen sharing tools enable you to reach an “inside” computer without the complexity of a VPN connection.
If you need a VPN, by all means do it right. But if you don’t, simplify your life.