Q&A on VPNs & DirectAccess with Patrick Oliver Graf, Part 1

Today’s post kicks off a series of questions related to DirectAccess and VPNs that we’ll post over the next few weeks.

Question: Microsoft equipped Windows 8 with additional DirectAccess features. Why should companies that have deployed Windows 8, continue using VPNs?

Patrick Oliver Graf: At first glance, the reasons for implementing VPNs in a pure Windows environment with Windows 8 clients seem few and far between. After all, Windows 8 does not require the user to install a separate DirectAccess client – a task that was still required under Windows 7.

Windows 8, however, shows certain weaknesses in combination with DirectAccess. For example, only Windows 8 Enterprise supports the improved DirectAccess management features of Windows Server 2012. In fact, many users, including business, run their systems on Windows 8 Pro, which means they do not benefit from the new features.

A further, potentially problematic, issue is the close interlocking of DirectAccess and the Windows 8 operating system. This means security vulnerabilities or direct attacks on the operating system could also compromise DirectAccess connections.

Stay tuned as Patrick addresses more questions related to DirectAccess and VPNs next week. If you have any questions that you would like answered, send them to editor@vpnhaus.com. 

Patrick Oliver Graf is General Manager at NCP engineering.

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