The virtual private network (VPN) is often used as a way to improve security for remote locations, but there have been many VPN breaches that demonstrate the importance of prioritizing VPN cyber security. While they aren’t as common as ransomware attacks, attacks on VPNs are far from rare.
It’s often difficult to determine the exact technical methods that hackers use in a particular attack, but there have been multiple examples of stolen credentials allowing for a VPN cyber security breach.
Using 2FA Is a Good First Defense
Many organizations smartly employ two-factor authentication (2FA) as an additional security measure beyond simply requiring a password. In most cases, this is a text message or email with a one-time code. It can also be biometric, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition.
While 2FA is a good practice, it is not bulletproof for VPN cyber security. A simple stolen cell phone can be all it takes to hack into a 2FA-protected VPN. It can be good protection against more simplistic hacks, but a targeted, sophisticated attack on an organization likely won’t be stopped by 2FA.
In many enterprises, it’s simply assumed that 2FA will not be enough, and that attacks are inevitable. The important next assumption is that these attacks will be immediately isolated and mitigated once they are detected.
Machine Learning Aids VPN Cyber Security
Machine learning is being applied in a wide variety of contexts, and protecting the VPN is one of them. A user that logs in at a predictable time from a single location day after day is going to raise a red flag when the credentials associated with them are recorded logging in at a different time, from a place hundreds of miles away.
Likewise, if a user typically accesses non-sensitive data but on two consecutive log-ins accesses sensitive data and cold data, those log-ins will be flagged as a security concern. Working from a remote location or moving a lot of data is always going to stand out, but machine learning can detect nuances in user behavior that help identify a potential breach sooner.
The combination of 2FA with machine learning can help organizations protect their VPN against cyber attacks. There are also cloud security applications that can help bring these technologies together. Contact us at Copper State Communications to explore the security tools that can keep your VPN protected.