Traditional virtual private networks were invented around 20 years ago, at a time when all the business applications were hosted in local data centers, and most employees were working on-premise. Virtualization, Cloud infrastructure, and microservices architectures were nonexistent, and the site-centric security model worked find to connect a few C-level managers working remotely to the business data center.
It is a completely different world today. The network parameter that VPN services were designed to protect has essentially dissolved. A typical business has dozens and often hundreds of applications hosted on public clouds. Instead of few remote employees, the number of users working from home, hotels, customer sites, and airports is enormous.
A new solution or a next-generation virtual private network is needed to enable remote access to today’s distributed corporate networks as enterprise access requirements are growing day by day due to application dynamics, cloud adoption, and mergers. To cut this complexity, technical professionals should explore Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP). It is a new technology whose strength lies in facilitating access to enterprise applications.
In this blog, TechNinjaPro will examine SDP as an alternative to traditional VPNs that allow businesses to standardize remote access safety and security for all users. Software-defined perimeter technology is a way for companies to secure an evolving perimeter created by a distributed workforce.
Before we dive into SDP Vs. VPN, let’s define each one.
What is VPN?
A virtual private network develops a secure connection between your devices and the internet. VPN serves as an intermediary when you go online, masking your IP address that reveals your location and makes your activities and identity traceable, thus helping conceal your identity.
In other words, the VPN lets you send your information via an encrypted, secure connection to an external server. From there, the internet traffic is sent to the internet. In this way, your actual IP address shown online is also changed. So, a virtual private network helps users connect to online pages and applications safely and securely. As long as it is active, it keeps their connection and information private and allows them to route their internet traffic through many globally-placed servers.
What is SDP?
An SDP is a cybersecurity solution that relies on segmentation and user authentication rather than hardware to develop a protective boundary. A software-defined perimeter is an infrastructure designed to restrict access based on a least-privilege model allowing administrators to personalize and automate security policies.
With SDP technology, users are allowed access to the network instead of the app level. Traditional methods granted access according to user privileges. It was based on the apps an employee was required to use. Restrictions were placed at the network level, enabling hackers to move within a network once they cloud access an application.
It is designed to offer the same user experience regardless of whether the user is in-house or beyond the internet network’s perimeter while granting access to the resources users need. This ability to offer the same experience means that users do not have to remember to connect the way they would with an upgraded virtual private network. The framework supposes that every connectivity request is suspect and needs verification before access is approved. Once confirmed at the network level, users are granted access to specific apps and resources based on preset permissions.
How Does SDP Work?
It should be technologically possible to connect with a server with an SDP unless authorized to do so. Software-defined perimeters allow user access only after verifying user identity and accessing the state of the device.
Once the user and device are authenticated, a software-defined perimeter sets up a network connection between the device and the location holding the required digital resource. The link is specific to the device, user, and help which minimizes the opportunity for bad actors to control the connection.
An authentic user is not logged into a more extensive network but rather is given their network connection that no one can access and that only includes the services that the user has approved access to. These are the software-defined perimeter steps for granted a user access to a firm’s network.
- Validate User Identity. Software-defined perimeter typically interfaces with an identity provider that verifies the user’s identity.
- Authenticate Device. SDP assesses the condition of the device requesting access.
- Verify Device and User. Both device and user are authenticated.
- Enable User Access. End-users can access important information based on permissions.
SDP vs. VPN: What are the major differences?
SDPs may incorporate virtual private networks into their architecture to develop safe and secure network connections between devices and the servers they need to access. However, Software-defined perimeters are very different from virtual private networks. In some ways, they are safer: while VPN services enable all connected users to access the entire network, SDPs do not share network connections. SDPs may also be easier to manage than virtual private networks, especially if the internet users need multiple levels of access.
Frequesntly Asked Questions
Yes, SDP is an efficient alternative to a virtual private network as it also privatizes internet traffic over the web but includes more in-depth features, functionality, and auditing utilities.
SDP is replacing VPN due to the following reasons:
- Lack of internet traffic visibility
- Absence of network segmentation
- Not suited for dynamic networks
- Lack of wifi security
- Lack of on-premises user security
Only 30% of businesses successfully capture value from digital transformations. As businesses continue with these projects, the complete user experience must be considered, not just the application layer. The advantage of new technologies will be realized when infrastructure has been modernized. While the virtual private network still has its uses, it should be augmented alongside a software-defined perimeter to upgrade the access experience.
With enhanced experience, better scalability, and more flexibility, SDPs offer all the features of a current-generation virtual private network and solutions to many weaknesses of VPN like tighter security, including app-based security.