VPN Articles and News

What Is A Micro VPN?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

What is a Micro VPN? The recent advances in technology have dramatically changed the way people do their official work. While earlier employees could only work from specific locations or through company issued devices, the emergence of mobile and wireless technologies now allows people to work from anywhere at any time even using their own personal devices. While the mobile era has definitely boosted productivity and reduced IT costs for employers, it has also introduced several types of security challenges that did not exist previously. Micro VPN is a new technology that addresses the security issues associated with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend that is increasingly finding favor among employees as well as many employers.

A lot of IT companies still do not allow the use of personal Smartphones and tablets for official work. That’s because, personal mobile devices are more prone to viruses, spyware and malware threats and IT managers have zero control over the type of apps and content present on a particular employee’s Smartphone or tablet. IT managers rightly fear that by allowing people to connect to corporate networks through personal devices, they are exposing the company’s valuable data and even the entire network to theft, intrusion and other kinds of security threats. Micro VPN solves this problem by offering application specific tunnels which ensures that only approved apps can connect to a corporate network.

A Micro VPN is fundamentally different from a traditional VPN in its operation. Traditional VPNs are device specific so as soon as you connect your computer or mobile device to a VPN network, all the apps installed on that device are free to access and use it. But as you can imagine, this access model isn’t the best for corporate security especially if you are thinking of allowing personal devices to access your network.

A Micro VPN is an on-demand VPN that builds a security wrapper around enterprise apps that are installed on a mobile device. When an employee runs an enterprise app that is protected by the Micro VPN technology, the security for it is governed by the security policies implemented by the IT department of his company and not by the security programs that he may have installed on the device. This ensures end-to-end security and gives IT managers a tight control over the kind of apps that are able to access their networks. By deploying a Micro VPN, IT managers can ensure that that none of the non-enterprise apps installed on the employee’s mobile device would be able to use or connect to the company’s network. The use of Micro VPN also guarantees the security of personal data residing on the mobile devices since the corporate network would only be able to see and communicate with the enterprise apps.

The Micro VPN technology is still in its nascent stages but it is likely to pick up significantly in the coming years. As of now, Micro VPN solutions are available from Citrix and few other companies. The technology works on both iOS and Android based devices so IT managers can deploy it regardless of the type of mobile devices used by their personnel.

January 13, 2015

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