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I am curious as to when a VPN should be implemented in a workplace. VPNs of course provide privacy/security in general, but is there really a point in setting one up for a workplace if there are no services running on internal networks at the company?

I've used them when I need to access internal servers, but if everything is hosted by 3rd party services, is there a need for a VPN setup?

It seems like a waste of resources since users can still easily do their work without connecting so most will probably not choose to use it.

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Despite not having services for users, some other potential justifications for a VPN would be:

  • Network and admin teams access to L2/L3 devices like switches and routers
  • RDP access to workstations

Besides those, if you're not actually hosting any services on an internal network for users to VPN in for, then no there is no reason to have a VPN. In fact, doing so would simply result in +1 more port (1194 for OpenVPN for example) being open on your perimeter, and therefore to the public. This would, albeit mostly negligible, increase the attack surface of your company, but with nothing to gain, because you'd have an extra port just sitting open.

EDIT 1:

If you are talking about accessing outside resources like other corporate networks or simply browsing the internet, doing so over a VPN offers several benefits in terms of security and privacy. As user vidarlo pointed out, the benefits in this case would reduce the chance of MiTM attacks, and also provide traffic inspection for roaming devices. To add to that, you would also have better privacy since your actual public ip would be replaced with one from the VPN provider, thereby shrouding your true public ip to the sites you visit.

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    True. I don't disagree with the security VPN provides. My interpretation of OPs question though was for VPN-ing into the corporate network whereas it sounds like you might also be referring to outbound traffic over VPN? i.e. users browsing the internet over a VPN. In which case that's a different story and I would edit my post if that's was OP is asking about. – Tikiyetti Jun 28 at 0:37
  • Thank you for the suggestion. I updated my original answer, hopefully that's a little clearer. – Tikiyetti Jun 28 at 14:33

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