Virtual Private Network is defined as a remote access technology, it allows the user or worker to connect to his company network via the Internet. The software of the VPN is creating an encrypted tunnel to secure the connection that can only be made between the VPN server and the user’s computer, as a result, it allows the user to access the office network. Also, a VPN is more affordable than having remote servers or dedicated lines and more convenient for workers who travel often and work from home. However, the convenience of having a VPN account has some drawbacks too, they are:
High Security Risks
When you use a computer that is not provided by the company and you connect it to a VPN, there will be security risks. Much more when you have not installed anti-virus software which makes it infected and can in turn create a virus breakout on the office’s network. Another problem is when the operating system is vulnerable which makes it not fully patched, it can be exploited by malware and even hackers. They can hack your VPN connection, and can appear as legitimate support staff of the company. Even if VPN is encrypted, the user is still vulnerable since outsiders around him may be able to see sensitive or confidential information of the company’s network. This holds true especially when he is using a laptop, access his VPN account through a free Wi-Fi in a café or a shopping mall.
Unnecessary Network Traffic
Connections of the VPN contribute to the overall network traffic. When you have many VPN connections, it can really slow down the company’s network. In addition, VPN connections are made when the workers are outside the office, there is a big possibility that they can engage in activities that are non-work related like downloading from P2P networks, streaming videos or music, playing online games and chatting. These activities can waste bandwidth and can greatly affect the speed and performance of the network.
Delays and Disconnections
Having VPN connections do not mean that you have a reliable dedicated line. VPN depends on the Internet, if the quality of connection is not high, the connection suffers. In effect, accessing shared folders and computers, copying files and running applications are slower than having a dedicated line. For instance, when a worker transfers a big file, it may take minutes when you have a dedicated line but it can take hours if it is done with a VPN connection. A VPN can be unstable too, most especially when the connection is unreliable. Usually they frequently get disconnected or timed out.
If the company is aware of the disadvantages of VPN, they can find ways to avoid these problems and make the working environment more productive.