New Report Discloses VPN Pain Points and Highlights Urgent Need For Viable Alternatives to Address Security, DR, Configuration Complexity, and Cost Concerns
DH2i, the world’s leading provider of always-secure and always-on IT infrastructure solutions has announced the release of a comprehensive research study regarding virtual private network (VPN) adoption rates and trends, the results of which are detailed in a report titled, “Virtual Private Networks (VPN) Report, 2022.”
The research, sponsored by DH2i and conducted by Virtual Intelligence Briefing (ViB), compared pre-pandemic VPN use to that of 2022. As anticipated, survey respondents (85%) indicated that the primary purpose of VPNs was to facilitate the ability for individual users (i.e., employees, partners, etc.) to link with an organization’s internal private network. However, what was surprising was the 2022 research also revealed a minuscule 2.4% increase in this metric in comparison to 2020.
“During 2020, the world experienced an unprecedented surge in the number of people working from home, a trend that has continued for many to present day. It would have therefore been reasonable to expect the VPN usage number to have climbed to closer to 100% in the most recent research,” said Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder, DH2i. “The fact that it didn’t was unexpected, and suggests that VPN remote user deployments may have reached a maximum saturation point.”
The survey suggested that a primary driver for this trend was the pain now associated with VPNs. Prior to 2020, VPN usage was relatively low and therefore manageable. After the dramatic increase in remote VPN users came a commensurate increase in VPN-related pain – particularly around security. Other grievances included disaster recovery (DR) limitations, slow connection speeds, bandwidth constraints, configuration and overall management complexity, and cost.
As a result, respondents indicated that they have implemented or are planning to implement more viable VPN alternatives. Many reported that they are increasingly looking towards a software-defined perimeter (SDP) as a solution for their remote user, multi-site/multi-cloud, and IoT connectivity requirements. According to the report, since 2020, 18% of the respondents have implemented SDP, and an additional 39% are considering evaluating and deploying an SDP in the coming six to twelve months.
“As technology continues to evolve, traditional perimeter security methods like VPNs are struggling to keep up with the increasingly heterogeneous computing landscape. The basic castle moat functionality of VPNs, while useful in the past, is no longer sufficient to protect organizations in today’s complex digital environment,” concluded Boxley. “SDP’s Zero Trust network access tunnels offer application-level segmentation and invisibility to untrusted access, eliminating the risk of lateral network attacks that are common with VPNs and reducing the need for complicated firewall policies. This makes SDP the safer choice for organizations looking to move operations across different clouds and secure IoT devices.”
Other interesting takeaways from the research include:
- Cisco remains the leading VPN brand with 53% of respondents currently using it, but its market share has decreased by 15% while its competitors, particularly F5, have shown growth in their market share.
- The 2022 report shows a 10% decrease in VPN usage for site-to-site connectivity, while there was almost a 10% increase in VPN usage to connect to cloud-based services from an on-site location, suggesting a pandemic-related trend of accelerated use of cloud-based infrastructure.
- The use of microservices/containers increased by 42%, indicating that the future of application development and deployment will revolve around container technology, while the multi-cloud use case remained unchanged at 15%.