A Guide to VPNs for Business

As the Covid-19 pandemic changed the business landscape, more companies started to introduce hybrid or remote working. As the growing demand for remote working continues to rise and become a fixture in our lives, if you don’t have a VPN in your business, you might want to consider getting one.

Many of us know the benefits of using VPNs for personal use, such as streaming and gaming, but VPNs are just as useful for businesses to create a more seamless and integrated online work environment. VPNs are also very easy to install and you can set up a VPN for your business today.

Why Use a VPN for Business?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, connects everyone in your company, regardless of location. Your remote employees have access to all your files and office systems via a secure connection. This connection is encrypted, with the ultimate goal of preventing sensitive proprietary data from being exposed on an open internet. The data you send and receive over a VPN is filtered through an encryption tunnel, making it impossible for anyone who doesn’t have access to the network to see your business data.

Cybersecurity

Network security is now more essential than ever, making a VPN for businesses less of an option and more of a necessity. VPNs can handle various types of cyber threats, such as external hacking threats and phishing. Businesses and customers alike don’t have to worry about important information being accessed from unauthorized sources. Cybersecurity has become a major investment in recent years, with cybersecurity startups raising millions in seed capital. Data breaches are becoming more common, regularly in the news, and consumers are rightly concerned about protecting their sensitive information and what companies are doing to prevent it. If you provide applications such as Microsoft Office 365 or use Dropbox Business, ensure that employees have a secure connection when they log into these resources to protect the files you have stored.

Devices

One area of ​​concern is that more workers are working remotely and modern technology continues to evolve, the number of devices used to access work-related communications. Many people not only have a desktop or laptop for their work, but also a smartphone and/or tablet. Many companies that offer work from home may require only the latter, with employees accessing their work applications and communications on a smartphone. This is where a VPN is absolutely necessary to secure all endpoints and properly protect all devices. All connections must be secure, be it a laptop, desktop, tablet or phone.

Access control

Access control is a huge advantage of VPNs. This determines who gets access to what. A VPN adds an authentication wall for authorizing users and applications on your network. To do this, VPNs will verify the user or application’s identity, prove the user’s identity (usually done with a password or security questions), and then grant the user access at the appropriate level based on their permissions associated with the username and IP address . The idea is that in network security, people should only be able to access what is absolutely necessary. Also make sure that access is configured correctly so that employees can handle data securely. “123456” is at the top of the list of the most commonly used passwords, so whatever tool you have, make sure you are smart with all the access information.

trip

Just like employees who work outside the office, you can have employees who travel to other countries. This is when you may face strict geo-restrictions that prevent users from accessing corporate resources over the open internet. By using a VPN, your employees can access your network as if they were in the United States or the United Kingdom (where the internet is much less regulated), even though they are not physically located there. This is because VPNs mask the IP address and make it look like the user is somewhere else. While this may not be true for all businesses, it is critical for those who need it.

scalable

As your business grows, VPNs are scalable to meet those needs. During employee onboarding, VPNs can be implemented quickly, making it a breeze to get new employees up and running with all the files, software, and applications they need. And as for employees who work from home, a VPN will facilitate remote access. For years, companies used a Wide Area Network, or WAN, to connect their employees in different locations. This was not a cost-effective method, as the further distance between network connections increased the price. Now VPNs can use the bandwidth that already exists at the company’s Internet Service Provider (ISP).

An important note

If you’re using a VPN for business, you should also be aware of what they don’t do. A VPN does not scan the contents of files sent between the user and the server. This means that if a personal laptop is infected with a virus and then connects to a VPN, the virus could potentially spread to the office network. For best practice, it’s a good idea to let employees only use company devices to access the private network. This way you can ensure that the best anti-malware and anti-virus software is installed on the device.

Conclusion

There are too many benefits of having a VPN for your business not to install one. Increased cybersecurity is vital for all businesses to prevent a data breach. With more employees working from home, securing all endpoints across devices protects your company’s network and controls who can access what. Plus, a VPN gives you complete geographic freedom if you need it for onboard employees or if you need to connect to offices in other countries. With employee onboarding as your business grows, a VPN makes it easy to get the required software and applications up and running, while keeping everything private, safe and secure.

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