A virtual private network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity to secure user authentication by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your IP (Internet Protocol) address and establish a secure and encrypted connection to provide greater privacy than even a secure Wi-Fi spot.
More importantly, as more users are working from home and expected to continue to work from home, VPNs allow end users to access corporate network resources remotely. However, with remote end-users, IT administrators need to add extra layers of security to mitigate the cyber risk. While multi-factor authentication for VPN access is a clear solution, putting in place the proper levels of security can often cause problems for the end-users.
VPN users typically have at least one of the following options in place single-factor, certificate based, multi-factor authentication using hard tokens, and multi-factor authentication using soft tokens. Single factor (password only) is not enough to prevent unauthorized access to your VPN.
The best solution for securing VPNs, especially in a work-from-anywhere environment, is through multi-factor authentication using biometrics. Biometric authentication is the only true method of multi-factor authentication that goes beyond a device or certificate to identify the individual who is requesting access. Instead of knowing that the user’s phone is present at the time the access request is made for example, you can be sure that the user themselves are present.
Biometric authentication is quickly taking over as the fastest, most secure and convenient method of authentication and is ideal for remote access, when users are not visible to the organization, and home networks leave much to be desired when it comes to security best practices.
Flexible Multi-factor Authentication Options Are Essential
While increasing security for remote VPN authentication access is a critical priority, especially during a time when cyberattacks are specifically targeting remote workers, just as important is making sure it remains convenient for your users. With multi-factor authentication being implemented, it is key to make sure multiple options are configured and available to users.
For example, if users are only given the option of using a hardware token while remote and they lose or don’t have access to that hardware token, without additional options for authentication, that user could end up frustrated and even blocked from completing their daily tasks.
In contrast, if the IT admin has configured the security policy to allow the user to use a hardware token or biometric authentication, if the hardware token is missing the user can easily switch to using the biometric authentication option and gain access to the VPN. Flexibility and options are essential when implementing multi-factor authentication for VPN access successfully.
A Solution for Securing VPN Access
While many products can offer multi-factor authentication as the standard to securing remote VPN access, BIO-key PortalGuard's Multi-factor Authentication offers flexible authentication options, including biometrics to prevent not only unauthorized access but also user frustration.
To learn more about how biometric authentication could be an option for securing VPN access at your organization please check out our latest whitepaper >> The Argument for a Better Authenticator.
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