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Faith in VPNs? A different type of security will be needed

Incredibly, 40 percent of those responsible for keeping ransomware from penetrating their network, believed they have adequate security – they don’t.

Image: © AFP
Image: © AFP

October brings with it Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Observed each year in the U.S. The event was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004.

The aim is to dedicate a calendar month to raising awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, and to helping ensure that private businesses, government agencies and individuals have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

While most IT professionals and consumers alike are already endeavoring to do all that they can, not everyone is clued up as to the dangers.

For example, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, ransoms could cost victims a total of $265 billion by 2031. This estimate is predicated on their prediction that the ransom price will climb 30 percent every year for the next 10 years.

There are some firms who are investing. In this context, Gartner, Inc. recently predicted that worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is forecast to grow 12.4 percent to reach $150.4 billion this year. But is this level of spending sufficient?

Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i, tells Digital Journal that selecting the correct technology is key.

Boxley  explains: “While VPNs have historically been the data access and security solution of choice, more recently they have proven to be less than reliable. In fact, research conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic — during which time ransomware and other malware become even more rampant — showed that of those already utilizing VPNs, 62 percent cited inadequate security as their number one VPN pain point.”

Moreover, Boxley  says: “A disturbing 40 percent of those responsible for keeping ransomware and other malware from penetrating their network, believed that in fact, it already had.” This is indeed a concerning number.

There are actions that can be taken, Boxley reassures. Here he is forthright: “It’s time to fight fire-with-fire and deploy data security and protection solutions that are as innovative and aggressive as the continuously escalating ransomware threat.”

As to what this means in practice, Boxley finds: “This is why so many are now turning to software defined perimeter (SDP) solutions to replace their outdated VPNs. With SDPs, users can construct lightweight, discreet, scalable and highly available ‘secure-by-app’ connections between on-premises, remote, edge and/or cloud environments. Contrary to VPN design, SDP solutions were engineered specifically for the way we work, learn and live today, providing virtually impenetrable protection now and into the future.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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