• Microsoft, Cisco, and others are using VPN split-tunneling features to handle the growing enterprise remote workload security.
  • A VPN redirects all the traffic from a computer through other servers. Split tunneling allows customers to send enterprise-bound traffic through a corporate VPN tunnel. The rest of their traffic goes outside the tunnel, directly to the ISP.
  • VPN is the hot concept right now. Read all about it in our VPN category.
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Microsoft Cisco VPN lead the way for split tunneling

Covid-19 pinned us in front of the computer. That caused a spike in Internet traffic which brought up security issues. Microsoft, Cisco, and others are using VPN split-tunneling features to handle the growing enterprise remote workload security.

VPN, split-tunneling and dynamic split-tunneling can help companies

A VPN usually redirects all the traffic from a computer through other servers. Split tunneling is a feature that allows customers to send enterprise-bound traffic through a corporate VPN tunnel. The rest of their traffic goes outside the tunnel, directly to the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The whole point of this is for the VPN infrastructure to handle less traffic, thus performing better.

Cisco’s free solution with split tunneling

Cisco is trying to address that with a relatively recent product, called Cisco Endpoint Security Analytics (CESA), part of the AnyConnect Network Visibility Module (NVM). It combines telemetry data gathered by Cisco AnyConnect VPN clients with real-time report generation and dashboard technology from Splunk.

Cisco offers free CESA trial licenses for 90 days until July 1, 2020, to help IT organizations in dealing with remote workloads.

AnyConnect supports another feature called Dynamic Split Tunneling, which makes it easy to direct tunneled traffic by domain name (for example, put all “*webex*.cisco.com” traffic into the split tunnel).  Dynamic Split Tunneling analytics is also supported in CESA.

Microsoft offers split tunneling via Office 365

Cisco isn’t the only company to advance split tunneling. Microsoft recently gave us details about an Office 365 Network Onboarding tool that has been updated with VPN testing. This tool can be used to evaluate VPN connectivity and split tunneling.

It detects the use of a VPN and evaluates if the VPN is configured for recommended Office 365 split tunneling.

With many companies sending employees to work from home, scalable and performant VPN implementation supporting Office 365 is one of the top responsibilities that IT faces.

For customers who connect their remote worker devices to the corporate network or cloud infrastructure over VPN, Microsoft recommends that the key Office 365 scenarios Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online and Exchange Online are routed over a VPN split tunnel configuration.

This becomes especially important as the first-line strategy to facilitate continued employee productivity during large scale work-from-home events such as the COVID-19 crisis,

Microsoft stated.