The latest update to Windows 10 could break the platform’s Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN) and, therefore, cause problems with VPN for Enterprise users with certain settings.
Given that the latest Windows update which contains the problem code accounts for 50 million users, it was initially thought that a problem may have been created on a massive scale. Microsoft has, however, said that the code problem will only impact Windows 10 Enterprise.
What’s The Problem?
With certain settings, the latest KB4501375 update for Windows 10 1903 contains code that appears to adversely affect the Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN), which manages how Windows 10 connects to the internet and, therefore, is affecting VPN services. The interruption to VPN services happens for Windows 10 Enterprise and results from a non-default setting (the diagnostic data level being manually configured to the non-default setting of 0) when used in conjunction with a VPN profile being configured as ‘Always ON VPN’ (AOVPN). This can result in an error “0xc0000005” being shown on devices as the RASMAN stops working, and reports indicate that users have also reported an error in the Application section of Windows Logs in the Event Viewer with Event ID 1000 listing “svchost.exe_RasMan” and “rasman.dll”.
A virtual private network (VPN) provides a secure, encrypted connection, between a user’s device and a server operated by the VPN service thereby meaning that apps running across a VPN benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
The VPN market has grown rapidly in recent years as users seek greater security, and a large number of mobile and wireless devices now used by businesses and organisations which need to access business applications from remote locations (employees securely accessing the corporate intranet while outside the office) has made VPN technology a crucial component across various business verticals.
What To Do
Microsoft is reported to be developing a fix for the problem with no timeframe as yet, but a workaround is shown near the bottom of the page on Microsoft’s support site here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/4501375/windows-10-update-kb4501375
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Many businesses now have workers who need to access the company’s network securely from a variety of remote locations, and VPN has, therefore, become an important business tool. Although there are many different VPN services, Microsoft is a big name, a trusted brand, and its Enterprise users (those with 500 or more computers and 250 for the public sector) may be those likely to be using Microsoft’s VPN. The disruption to VPN caused by the update may, therefore, be significant and can’t help Microsoft in the highly competitive and growing VPN market. As well as being disruptive and potentially costly, having VPN problems could also pose a security and privacy risk to businesses. It may also be quite inconvenient having to wait for the fix to be developed, with no sign off it to date.