What Is VPN Split Tunneling And How Does It Work?

The VPN split tunneling is a feature that helps VPN usage by separating data that need to direct to a VPN tunnel or not. In other words, not whole data is sent through an encrypted tunnel. Without split tunneling, all data traffic needs to flow in an encrypted tunnel. This can cause a traffic overload and diminish the functionality of VPN usage. 

Why do companies adopt VPN split tunneling? 

The main function of VPN split tunneling is to relieve traffic in a Network. The usage of a VPN can cause a traffic overload and it leads to unwanted consequences such as slowing down and dysfunction. In split tunneling, users can decide which data does not need encryption.

In an organization, managers can determine IP addresses that can connect to corporate resources without a VPN tunnel. Thus, they can present speed and productivity to their employees. On the other hand, business owners or IT specialists can specify some networks or IP addresses that should have a VPN tunnel to benefit from company data and resources. 

VPN usage in organizations

More and more organizations have been adopting VPN solutions to protect their company assets, cloud computing, and data resources. Employees are sharing tons of data each they and every move that they make can cause a data breach or lead to cybersecurity weaknesses. Internal breaches and mistakes are the number one enemies of any organization.

A VPN is not only used in organizations nowadays as individuals such as you and me are also using VPN on iPhone, iPad, Mac and other devices.

Although external attacks such as ransomware, phishing, or malware pose a great danger to corporations, internal leakages can cause more catastrophic results. 

Internal threat alert 

It is interesting that most companies consider only external threats and operate solutions that are only protective against outside dangers.

However, it is a fact that inside users can put corporate cybersecurity on the line more. Especially in legacy solutions, it is impossible to protect company data against internal threats.

Zero Trust Network Access and VPN split tunneling 

On the other hand, today, modern cybersecurity solutions focus more on internal threats such as Zero Trust Network Access or ZTNA. In ZTNA, network access and data sharing are more strict and limited compared to legacy security solutions. Zero Trust mentality supports the idea of less trusting, and more verifying.

This is a great way to avoid breaches that are rooted in privileges. When companies grant privileges to their employees, employees can access any resources even if they do not need to run their work. They risk their company’s HQ resources due to over-access.  Privileges also give allow users to access any resources without adequate credential authentication. Here, ZTNA avoids unnecessary access to any resources and diminishes the risk of breaches by strict authentication methods.

In brief, organizations can also benefit from split tunneling to improve their Zero Trust security solutions. Because both of them have a common purpose fundamentally and they can work perfectly together. 

Here, we are explaining some of the benefits of VPN split tunneling so you can figure out how VPN split tunneling works. 

Benefits of VPN split tunneling 

  1. Remote work productivity 

Due to its popularity and prevalence, we want to start with the benefits of split tunneling in remote work. Since the Pandemic erupted, the remote work model become more common and familiar in our daily lives. Even the old-style companies had to adopt remote work solutions to avoid their work from stopping. To pursue their commercial activities, they had to embrace modern solutions. Although remote or hybrid work models gave a flexible and useful business perception to the companies, they threatened company security in many ways. 

The leading cause of cybersecurity issues is that companies are not prepared for remote work risks. For instance, remote employees need a remote connection to the HQ resources and they share more data than on-premises models. The more data has been accessed from several Wi-fi connections and personal devices, the risk has started to get bigger. VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a good solution to prevent the company from data breaches.

Because VPNs create encrypted virtual tunnels where data has been encrypted. Even malicious third parties capture the company data, they can not use it for harmful purposes thanks to encryption. However, VPN usage can create data traffic over the company network. VPN encryption is analogous to passport control. It promises security and reliability but slows down the flow of work.

Here, VPN split tunneling offers an amazing opportunity to diminish traffic overload. It refuses the full tunnel and recommends an extra tunnel that sends the data directly to the end-point. Thus, there is no need to queue all data for encryption. 

  1. Bandwidth solution 

Bandwidth is a measurement that measures how many packets your device can answer per second. It refers to network bandwidth and determines the connection speed of the Internet. As speed is a vital element of quality and productivity in businesses, it can not be ignored. The VPN split tunneling is a recommendable solution to boost your bandwidth capabilities. Splitting helps companies to conserve bandwidth by avoiding all Internet traffic passing through a VPN server. This capability makes companies stand out from their competitors.  

As you can understand from the explanations, VPN split tunneling offers security and performance at the same time. Although there are several security solutions available which are more protective than VPN split tunneling, they can not promise performance protection simultaneously. That is why VPN split tunneling is gaining popularity these days. 

In Summary…

The VPN is an advantageous method in itself. It creates virtual tunnels to protect data traffic. Organizations adopt VPN technology to avoid external threats and internal breaches. However, sending whole company data through a VPN tunnel creates a traffic overload and decreases business performance. Since remote work poses a risk to business cybersecurity, VPN adoption increases. Companies also realize that they provide security but they have to lose speed.

Organizations will continue to use VPN solutions because it presents inclusive protection overall for the HQ resources, networks, applications, and users. Here, it is vital to take advantage of further VPN features to provide security without compromising on velocity and performance. The VPN split tunneling is a smart solution to avoid performance sacrifice. 

As a business owner, you do not have to choose protection or speed. You can provide a secure network connection and data sharing while performance never slows down. 

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