Finally, the lockdown is starting to abide. With more and more people working from home there has been a run on VPNs but they are not all they are cracked up to be —  So sit back enjoy the fresh air and listen in. 

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: Hey everybody. Hello. Craig Peterson here on WGAN. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

[00:00:10] Hey, if you missed the first hour,  you can catch it online. I podcast this whole show every week on your favorite podcasting application or website. Just look for me, Craig Peterson, or visit Craig peterson.com cause I have them all there as well.

[00:00:30] And you did miss a lot of, you missed that first hour because we talked about the new website attacks that are underway that are hurting you and me as well as businesses that are just set up websites recently. It is a bad state of affairs. We talked about company identity-related breaches that are happening, the coming disruption to college and what Google Chrome is doing to stop some of these.

[00:00:57] Resource draining. Ads that are actually rather, well, I wouldn’t say the malicious, but they are stealing from you. They’re using your computer to mine for Bitcoin. For them. I suspect this is actually going to get a lot worse. Maybe that’s why Google’s finally taking action with the Chrome browser, but the reason I think that this is really going to start taking off is that the Bitcoin value is about to be halved.

[00:01:26] And what happens at that point? Normally in the marketplace, if a stock’s worth, let’s say a hundred dollars and they have it, so it’s worth $50 there’s a lot of pressure for that stock value to increase back up to the pre-split amount. So back up to the hundred dollars point. And it will work its way back up there usually.

[00:01:47] Well, what the problem is when it comes to these cryptocurrencies is yes, indeed, they can go ahead and split it and say it’s worth half of what it used to be worth. But now the people that are mining for the Bitcoins are in for a whole different world. And the different world is, Hey, I can barely break even right now.

[00:02:09] In fact, in most places, like here in the Northeast, electricity is so expensive that it costs you more to mine for Bitcoin, cost you more than electricity. Then the Bitcoin is worth it. So once they have the value, now all of a sudden it’s just not worth mining anymore. So that’s going to be an interest rate trusting result.

[00:02:30] And that’s another really interesting analysis too, of Bitcoin this week and this kind of view shaped factor that had, has based on the key sizes. And that’s a little too geeky to get into here. This is not a Bitcoin show. But it is a show about your security, what you can do, and what you should do. Just this week, we installed some network equipment, a whole new set of network equipment for a lady named Sue down in mass, and we were talking with Sue about it.

[00:03:03] We had. Preconfigured everything, shipped it out, helped her with it. She was having some problems trying to figure out, okay, so what plugs into what? I think next time maybe we’ll just make sure everything’s all plugged in before we ship it out, but we had one of our guys go by, he only lives about 20 minutes away from SU there and he went in five minutes later, everything was done.

[00:03:25] And, you know, it gets kind of confusing. But while he was there installing this whole new network for Sue’s company, there was an interesting conversation that ensued because Sue told him that I was anti VPN. As well as a couple of other things that I was against. And the truth is, yeah, I, I’m anti these commercial VPN services that they keep trying to sell.

[00:03:53] You and I read a summary this week from a respected place, and they must have people writing articles now that don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve certainly seen that, you know, people in third world countries, second world countries that don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re cheap for, to hire as a writer.

[00:04:12] And so they hire them as writers and off they go with their cheapness, not really understanding things. And this article said, Hey, yeah, you should use a VPN because it’s going to keep your data safe. It keeps it encrypted. It’s great. Great, great. And. I, of course, just rolled my eyes and lost respect for them.

[00:04:30] VPNs have a use, but it’s a very limited use and that’s what Sue had caught on when she attended one of my webinars. Talking about VPNs and how you can best use them because they are useful. They were invented. They came about in order to help businesses. With their data and keep their data safe, connect offices together, et cetera.

[00:04:55] They are not great for just going to your bank website. In fact, you could be in more of a security problem area if you use a VPN for your bank than if you don’t use a VPN for your bank. So I’ll just, you know, keep that all straight. And I figured. Now’s a good time to talk about this. And there’s a great article in dark reading this week that I put up on my website as well.

[00:05:20] You can find it there. And this article is talking about challenges that exist with VPNs. And this is really kind of a big deal. You know, a VPN can be a step in the right direction, and if someone’s trying to use a VPN, they’re probably trying to do the right thing, but it’s really not a be-all and end-all All. And when it comes to security, not only does it fall short in many ways, but as I’ve explained in my webinars, and it takes a lot longer to explain, well, actually to show you that it does, that I have time for right now than it does just quickly say. That if you want to catch a criminal, you go to where the criminals are.

[00:06:02] If you want to find people that are trying to keep their information secret or quiet, you go to where the VPN exit points are. And that’s exactly what’s been happening. And it just, it isn’t just the five eyes or the nine eyes or the 14 eyes, it’s organized crime. It’s just all over the place. So. Be very, very careful.

[00:06:23] But in March of 2020, all of a sudden everything changed. Everything shifted. We saw a huge shift in people starting to work from home. Some of these businesses had to stay open. They didn’t necessarily have to have the employees right there in the office and according to a Gardner survey that just happened here with Chief financial officers, Gardner’s reporting that 74% of organizations will move at least 5% of their previously onsite workforce to permanently remote positions following the pandemic. That is pretty good, right? Three-quarters of all businesses. Are going to move, you know, give or take one 20th of their onsite workers to offsite.

[00:07:10] Now it’s going to have a major impact on everything on real estate and obviously the technology side too. But let’s talk a little bit about VPNs right now and, and what are they good for? What are they not good for? So point number one. VPNs. Now, remember I said the great for businesses point to point, they replaced the leased lines.

[00:07:33] That’s what they were invented for initially. But typical traditional VPNs have a device that’s at the business office. And that piece, that device, that piece of hardware can usually only handle a certain number of users. That’s also true with the data line that’s coming into your office. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to support all of these.

[00:07:59] People accessing their desktops, or in some cases, I know businesses that have a database running at the main office, and then there are clients there. There’s software on people’s remote workstations that make hundreds if not thousands of requests against this database. That’s not the best way to do it, by the way, and if you’re interested, maybe we can talk about that sometime.

[00:08:25] I’ll put something up in a, in one of the webinars, but. Here’s, here’s the problem with that. The VPN and the data lines can only handle just so much data and many businesses came up with the specs for their VPN appliances.  Pre-COVID 19 right. Pre pandemic and how many people were actually using it. Then, for instance, we have a client, an auto dealer, and the only time they use the VPN was when the comptroller was out of training or something.

[00:09:02] That might happen during the weekend and one of the supervisors would have to hop on. Well, that’s a lot different than once a pandemic starts. And now there are all of a sudden focused on their websites and their online sales and everything else that’s going on. So it’s a huge, huge difference. So that surge and teleworking that occurred really made these VPNs fail.

[00:09:26] And companies struggling to figure out how to scale to support so many users. So that’s part of what had been helping him, helping businesses with the, you know, there’s a lot of creative approaches going on, such as limiting VPN use to certain workers. There have been businesses that have been taking the shifts and kind of moving them around.

[00:09:47] So there’s a shift that starts at eight and another one that starts at 10 and another one that starts at noon, so that there are fewer people on the VPN, and maybe they’re only on the VPN for a certain number of hours, but frankly, those are not longterm viable. Strategies. VPNs are also failing to balance productivity and security because many tell you productivity and security has been.

[00:10:14] Had at loggerheads with each other for a very long time. And VPNs don’t fix this problem. In fact, they make it worse because now not only are you overloading the VPN, all of the gateways and the firewalls, which is slowing down everybody’s productivity, but these home users on their home networks with home computers that are infected are now connecting to the network.

[00:10:41] And that infection’s getting transferred. And unfortunately, that transfer is to the main office. Hey, a VPN ain’t gonna help with that. Mobile devices, you know, the VPNs are encrypted. Then the encryption that they use is very, very complex and it causes problems on our devices. Our mobile devices just were not made to handle that, and they have to.

[00:11:11] Continually update their, their keys. They’re sharing the public keys and their session keys, it, they just can’t handle it. And frankly, VPNs are not built for the modern workforce, and there are so many ways this really should be done and unfortunately is not being done so. VPNs. They are not a panacea. When we come back, let’s talk about our remote teams.

[00:11:38] We’ve had months, time to relaunch. You’re listening to Craig Peterson right here on WGAN and online@craigpeterson.com. Stick around. I’ll be right back.

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