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2024 VPN Risk Report by Zcaler ThreatLabz: Key Findings summarized.

# The Shift from VPN to Zero Trust: A Comprehensive Analysis

## Introduction
In today’s distributed and cloud-centric work environment, the shift from traditional Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to more robust security frameworks like zero trust is becoming increasingly prevalent. This shift is driven by the vulnerabilities exposed by VPNs in the face of growing cyberthreat sophistication and the expansion of remote workforces and cloud technologies.

## VPN Vulnerabilities and Exploits
Recent high-profile exploits of VPN appliances, particularly CVE-2023-46805, CVE-2024-21887, and CVE-2024-21893, have raised concerns in essential sectors like US defense. This has prompted the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to issue an emergency directive to disconnect affected VPN devices due to substantial security risks.

## The Mandate for Zero Trust
In response to these vulnerabilities, the US government has mandated the adoption of zero trust architectures through Executive Order 14028. This directive emphasizes the need to move away from traditional VPNs and towards a zero trust approach for enhanced cybersecurity.

## Key Survey Findings
– 56% of organizations experienced VPN-related cyberattacks in the last year.
– 78% of organizations plan to implement zero trust strategies in the next 12 months.
– 91% of respondents expressed concerns about VPNs compromising their IT security environment.

## Advantages of Zero Trust Over VPN
Zero trust architectures offer significantly reduced attack surfaces, continuous verification, least-privileged access, granular access, and segmentation compared to traditional VPNs. These advantages make zero trust a compelling alternative for organizations looking to enhance their cybersecurity defenses.

## Conclusion
The transition from VPN to zero trust is crucial in addressing the evolving threat landscape and mitigating the risks associated with VPN vulnerabilities. By adopting zero trust architectures, organizations can enhance their security posture, reduce their attack surface, and ensure more secure and efficient access management.

### Key Points:
– VPN vulnerabilities and exploits are on the rise, prompting a shift towards zero trust architectures.
– The US government has mandated the adoption of zero trust to enhance cybersecurity.
– Zero trust offers advantages such as reduced attack surfaces, continuous verification, and granular access control.
– Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of transitioning from VPN to zero trust for improved security.
– Zero trust provides a more secure and flexible approach to access management in today’s distributed work environments.

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