Regardless of what your IT team calls it, an automatic VPN optimized for LTE and 5G is necessary in the age of WWAN
When it comes to reliability, flexibility, and scalability, a Wireless WAN (WWAN) solution is difficult to beat. Cellular networks are designed to support tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices, and the VPNs protecting them should, too. But with so many connections at stake, how do you select a VPN alternative that will be automatic, agile, and intuitive — and that will naturally complement the many benefits of WWAN?
How are modern VPN solutions different from their predecessors?
Just as big-bagged Hoovers have evolved into “set it and forget it” robot vacuums, the expectations of VPN automation have also advanced. IT teams no longer have enough time to manually configure security protocols for every router on a network. Instead, they need an intuitive VPN capable of establishing a connection, building a configuration, and disseminating security protocols automatically. The next generation of VPN technology transitions the labor-intensive steps of setting up VPN tunnels into a simple, software-defined, and cloud-orchestrated process that takes just a few clicks of a mouse to establish.
An agile VPN is the “easy button” for IT teams in four distinct ways:
Rather than manually configuring complicated network protocols, modern VPN solutions enable users to create a network, select a router, and apply updates in a matter of seconds without additional steps.
IP address management
By managing IP addresses through naming conventions vs. complex network management infrastructures, an agile VPN enables IT teams to quickly identify users for troubleshooting purposes. Network rollouts are also simplified through support of overlapping IP addresses.
Reduced attack surface
Instead of monitoring a large attack surface with publicly exposed IP addresses, the next generation of VPN can reduce attack surface by keeping resources hidden from external viewers behind a service gateway.
Legacy VPN solutions offer a fragmented view of networks that require users to access multiple screens and systems for visibility into security status and traffic flow. Advanced VPN alternatives, including Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions not only consolidate these views to a single pane of glass, but also give IT teams the ability to see the exact programs users are attempting to access when a security incident occurs.
What are the benefits of agile VPN in the age of WWAN?
While VPN and Dynamic Multipoint VPN have been trusted security solutions for decades, they still require extensive, spreadsheet-laden planning alongside investments in IP Address Management (IPAM) systems. Because of the intricate steps it takes to establish a network, the likelihood of doing so without human error is slim. On top of that, once a network is established, any changes or troubleshooting not only eat up valuable time but may also introduce additional errors.
Lean IT requires streamlined processes to effectively improve operational efficiencies. An agile VPN not only removes repetitive, detailed processes, but also automates the workflow for organizations that don’t have access to an extended staff of engineers. This allows employees to focus on their most important tasks.
When a VPN is intuitive and agile, IT teams members end up with more time during network setup and expansion, during which they can:
- Implement security best practices to reduce exposure to bad actors.
- Leverage the agility of primary and hybrid WAN solutions to securely connect vehicles and temporary locations.
- Build a foundation for SD-WAN and the ability to steer traffic.
- Take advantage of 5G security capabilities across the WWAN.
What should businesses consider when choosing a new VPN solution?
Cellular broadband networks are typically established with the underlying notion that they may eventually be reduced, expanded, or moved. This means the WAN VPN solution incorporated by an enterprise business must be agile and intelligent enough to adapt as the network changes.
Security is also a critical component when choosing a VPN alternative. Today’s networks must have a perimeter or zero-trust strategy in place to ensure that the effectiveness of an auto VPN gets better over time. Additionally, enterprises should ensure their auto VPN solution is equipped with:
- Built-in orchestration for tunnels to automate secure connections.
- Name-based routing to streamline network deployments and management.
- The ability to reduce network attack surface by limiting default network level access.
- Private Network Address Translation (NAT) techniques to simplify IP address management.
- Flow-level visibility to enable faster troubleshooting and resolution.
- Architecture that’s able to scale as needed and provide higher throughput and tunnels as organizations grow.