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A company I’m applying to as web software tester is requiring me to be on-site so they could put me on their whitelist. However, I had a previous job which allowed me to work anywhere, using only Cisco VPN.

Is on-site whitelisting more secure than using off-site VPN? How so?

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From a very basic perspective, yes, being onsite is safer.

The key reason being that there is a smaller attack surface.

If you are connecting in via a VPN, there are numerous additional items which could be attacked (yes, in a perfect world, you would have a secure VPN that couldn't be broken/hacked/misconfigured, but this world is definitely not perfect) so the number of potential exploits increases.

The difference may not be much in a well managed environment, but there are many organisations which still see the increase in risk as too far.

  • To add to this: some companies simply have regulations in place or have setup their infrastructure in a way that do now allow for remote access to test and dev systems. – Tom K. Nov 30 '18 at 10:55

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