Using VPNs against cyberattacks has become a common practice inspite of the challenges they come with
At times, we log in to a public WiFi network without caring for the security of personal data, thinking there is no other way. VPN, the Virtual Private Network can do the job when you need a certain degree of privacy when transacting over a network. A VPN protects the transaction by disguising the IP address. It scrambles the data tunnel using encryption techniques so that it becomes difficult for the stalker to find the virtual location of the user or listen in on your connection. This doesn’t mean VPNs against cyberattacks are well-rounded solutions protecting the network from every and any kind of attack. It all depends on how sophisticated cybercriminals are. However, for basic encryption VPNs work fairly well.
When can VPNs come to the rescue?
Man in the Middle Attacks: These attacks involve hackers snooping on the data while it is in transit. The stalkers can even manipulate the data. A VPN server, however, makes it difficult for a hacker, as it encrypts all the traffic that transmits through the installed VPN server.
DDoS Attacks: A Distributed Denial of Service attack involves attacking the network with an overwhelming number of requests, created on purpose to disrupt normal traffic. It overloads the servers, taking down the websites. With a VPN installed, it is easy to disguise the IP address so that the hacker cannot target the network.
Fake Wifi Hotspots: If you are in a habit of logging into public Wi-Fi networks too frequently, beware, there is a chance that it is fake. Hackers set up fake hotspots, with genuine-sounding names. All that they do is look for gullible users logging into their network to steal data. With VPN, as the data is encrypted, the hacker will not be able to see the information.
Remote hacking: In a remote hack, the attacker tries to attack one or a network of computers by finding vulnerable points in the security structure. These attacks are primarily used for stealing data or installing malware illegally to be able to carry out further nefarious activities.
VPNs are not the Holy grail of cybersecurity though!
According to a VPN risk report published by ZScaler.com, VPN violations have escalated during the WFH period with around a 44% increase in the number of intrusions. They have found that companies that have more gateways have witnessed an uptick in VPN hacks. This is because, the reports says, as the number of gateways increases, it becomes complex for managers and admins to supervise. Further, most companies have reported an increased incidence of intrusion in spite of having VPN networks with three out of four businesses concerned with VPN security. The report also deliberates on how VPNs have become increasingly risky because of risks like social engineering, ransomware, and malware attacks.
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