More than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, a large part of the workforce continues to operate in a remote setting. All signs indicate that remote work is here to stay due in part to the benefits technology provides—but is your network capable of handling users from multiple settings? Some organizations still grapple with the technical challenges that go with an increase in the number of employees working from home. Strained VPN capacity can significantly impact the ability to reliably and securely network remote staff. Even more alarming is the tendency for individuals to combine personal technology with professional tools to work around the issues caused by inadequate VPN capabilities. While this may enable work to continue in the short term, it also leaves companies more vulnerable to cybercrime in the long term.
If your business is experiencing problems with VPN capacity, scale and capabilities, here are some tips from Microsoft:
- Use split tunnel VPN to save load. Send networking traffic directly to the internet for “known good” and well-defined SaaS services like Teams and other Office 365 services. Sending all non-corporate traffic to the internet is ideal if your security rules allow.
- Collect user connection and traffic data in a central location for your VPN infrastructure. Use modern visualization services, like Power BI, to identify hot spots before they happen, and plan for growth.
- If possible, use a dynamic and scalable authentication mechanism, like Azure Active Directory, to avoid the trouble of certificates and improve security using multi-factor authentication (MFA) if your VPN client is Active Directory aware, like the Azure OpenVPN client.
- Geographically distribute your VPN sites to match major user populations. Use a geo-load balancing solution such as Azure Traffic Manager, to direct users to the closest VPN site and distribute traffic between your VPN sites.
- Know the limits of your VPN connection infrastructure and how to scale out in times of need. Things like total bandwidth possible, and maximum concurrent user connections per device will determine when you’ll need to add more VPN devices.
- If using physical hardware, having additional supply on-hand or a rapid supply chain source will be critical. For cloud solutions, knowing ahead of time how and when to scale will make the difference.
If you’re having issues with VPN capacity, and you want to employ some of the tips above but don’t know where to start, we can help. We can provide advisory assistance to guide you in the right direction, and help you evaluate and select the right software to meet your organization’s needs.