Don’t Let Cisco AnyConnect Hold You Back 

Cisco will cease providing patches and maintenance updates for AnyConnect clients on March 31, 2024. Any customers still using these clients will be exposed to risk should new vulnerabilities be discovered. You could also end up with limited functionality if critical bugs emerge. 

If any of this sounds scary and a cause for concern, it’s because it is. Very much so. To keep your business going and safe, it’s time to move on to a new remote access solution. 

The transition away from AnyConnect is a fantastic opportunity to slip the surly bonds of legacy VPN appliances and transition to the cloud with a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution purpose-built for this era of global, hybrid work.  

If you haven’t considered moving away from legacy VPNs, here are 5 reasons why you should. 

Legacy VPNs Are Less Secure 

A legacy VPN does one thing and one thing only: it connects remote workers to the company network. The problem is that most employees don’t need, and shouldn’t have, access to the entire network, just to specific applications and data within it. Yet VPNs typically give people broad access to the network and segmenting by application is difficult with legacy technology. 

Compare that to a Zero Trust Access solution where the default is application-level access. Instead of broad access to the network, employees are only given access to the applications they need.  

This reduces the threat of internal data breaches by preventing untrusted employees from accessing data they shouldn’t. In addition, should external threat actors ever obtain employee login credentials, zero trust mitigates attempts at lateral movement since access to the network is limited by default. 

Network Performance: Traffic Congestion 

One complaint we hear frequently from new customers is that their legacy VPN doesn’t give them the performance they need.  

Most companies have a handful of VPN locations around the country or the world that are supposed to serve their entire workforce. When you have a large enough group of people all trying to access the VPN at the same time, all those connection requests end up squeezing through the same narrow data stream at the same time. In the end, everyone’s connection speed slows to a crawl. 

With the right SASE solution, you can have employees connect to points-of-presence all around the world so everyone’s not trying to access the same finite VPN capacity at the same time. 

Network Performance: The Trombone Effect 

On top of congestion, sending your bits on a VPN world tour will also slow you down. Imagine your company has two VPN locations: one in New York and one in London. That might work for people on the Eastern seaboard or in Europe, but what about the team in India accessing an AWS resource in Mumbai? 

First, they must connect from their location to the VPN in either New York or London, then their traffic has to come back to India, and then finally connect to AWS in Mumbai. All this travel means the India team’s connection is much slower than it should be considering how close the data center is to their physical location.  

Wouldn’t it be better to have a connection point near them? And wouldn’t it better to easily add more connection points if, say, you hire an additional overseas team? 

Unmanaged Device Support 

Unmanaged devices are not treated differently in the world of legacy VPNs. Either a device has the VPN client and access to the network, or it doesn’t. Allowing third-party contractors or employees BYOD carte blanche access to the network is a giant mistake. They are all potential security threats, and they are all connecting to your network. 

SASE does things differently. Instead of giving untrusted devices a network connection, it gives them agentless access to specific applications via a web portal. Even if they do get hacked or their credentials stolen, the hackers will only have access to a single application, reducing the chances of a contractor’s security mistakes turning into a devastating data breach. 

Total Cost of Ownership 

Sometimes there is no substitute for an appliance sitting in a data center, but that is not the case with VPNs. These appliances are less secure, which can significantly impact the bottom line due to data breaches and ransomware attacks. And poor network performance means frustrated employees and lowered productivity—another hit to the bottom line. 

But if those potential future costs weren’t enough, what about the immediate costs that hit your budget directly? The problem with using a VPN appliance is it locks you in for a good three to five years, and if there’s ever unanticipated growth that outpaces your VPN then you’ll have to spend even more to upgrade, or even buy into a forklift upgrade at multiple sites. 

Plus, there are the costs of installation, training, and maintenance on top of the purchase price. 

The alternative is a SASE solution that has minimal or no hardware requirements, and one that seamlessly expands at the click of a button to accommodate a growing company. 

If you want to see how SASE can transform your network, book a demo with one of our security experts to see Check Point Harmony SASE (formerly Perimeter 81 ) in action, today.