Does your business use a VPN service?
Virtual Private Networks have become an essential part of most business IT systems. They create a secure connection between you and your business network, allowing you to safely access your network wherever you are. But if you’ve never used one before, you might not know quite how useful they actually are.
Read on for these 7 reasons your business should be using a VPN service today.
Protection From Cyber Attacks
A VPN’s encryption protects your data that’s shared across a network connection. This works by scrambling data and making it unreadable unless someone has the right key to access it.
So, even if an attacker gets the information, they can’t make any sense of it. Each algorithm will use a random sequence of bits (a key) that makes the data into ciphertext. There is very little chance an attacker will be able to crack it.
It can’t protect against all attack types though, so don’t use it as your only security solution. It should be a tool that boosts your current, wider security protocol.
DNS Leak Protection
DNS leaks are a very common security flaw. It’s when an ISP-owned DNS sever leaks information. They do this by sending unencrypted DNS requests.
These leaks include information like a device or an IP network address. It also has information on what websites someone visited and those IP addresses.
It might not seem like top-grade information to you. To a hacker looking for their next phishing target, it’s like striking gold.
All they need to do is find out what website employees look at the most. They create a “spear-phishing” campaign pretending to be this site to get login details.
For this type of cyber attack, VPNs are one of your best defense options. Not all VPNs cover DNS leaks, so check what they offer before you sign up.
Working from home has a lot of benefits, but it hasn’t always been easy. Back in the day, IT would set you up with a virtual machine if you needed access to the data center outside the office. Be that on the road, or from your own home.
This is because a business’s entire software was in that data center, not only the data itself. So the VM would have everything you needed, like office apps.
But with the emergence of cloud computing, many companies don’t need a data center anymore. Their data is up in the cloud, along with all the apps they use.
If this is the situation you’re in, a personal VPN allows IT staff to roll out secure remote access. But you don’t need to spend out on expensive networking gear.
This is especially true if you go with a provider that will let the IT team access people’s accrued data. Your IT team can track who is using the VPN and why like they would with an in-house VPN system.
In countries like China with strict internet laws, business travellers may have issues. They may his a roadblock that means they can’t access business resources and data. This is likely because the country has blocked that part of a service or website.
As long as your VPN works in those countries (and usually they do), you can bypass these issues. You can use the internet as though you were browsing from your home country. If your business, no matter the size, relies on heavy traveling, this is a crucial benefit.
If you’re going to use your VPN for this reason do some homework. Get well acquainted with the provider’s logging and privacy policies. Those that keep a lot of information will have plenty to give if authorities come knocking.
But, ones that don’t keep thorough logs can limit your IT team as we’ve seen. For the wider business, they can’t track users and data. Go through the policy with your IT team and find out what will be the right balance for your business needs.
This is a huge bonus if you’re a small bonus that needs to keep user data safe on a budget. If you don’t have the budget of a large corp, VPNs can help you out.
In fact, it can be one of the best security IT investments you’ll make. If you run this alongside an effective security plan, and use a secure, reliable web host.
For many VPN services, they come in at under $10 per user/month. There are discounts when you’re buying with a business licensing plan. That’s really not a lot in the grand scheme of things.
In return, each user gets protected by:
- military-grade encryption of data
- secure access to apps, services, and the web
- secure authentication
It’s easy to see the benefits of VPN services here when it comes to being on a budget. Especially if you’re a smaller or medium-sized business.
Bring Your Own Device
As technology continues to advance, so does our range of devices. There is a constant stream of new devices entering the market.
VPNs can support a wide range of devices and operating systems. They’ll support the latest ones, and older versions as well. Simply install your VPN client of choice, like Shimo for Mac, and you are ready to go.
This is a huge benefit if you’re operating on a BYOD policy or want to set one up. Employees will be using a wide range of devices, and they all need support.
While you or your employees might not think about it much, anonymity can be an asset. Around 66% of small and medium businesses have reported attacks.
A big reason behind why businesses get attacked so fast is their IP address becomes known. Attacks have several ways to use and abuse this information. They can use it to damage your reputation, digital assets, or profits.
One of the biggest threats is if you sustain a DOS attack.
If you’re using a VPN, your IP address gets replaced with the VPN server’s one instead. This way, your business’ IP address cannot become known to the public (or attackers).
Using a VPN Service for your Business
As you can see, there are many benefits to using a VPN service. The internet is a dangerous place, so having the ability to safely access your network from anywhere is a godsend, especially if some of your workers need to work from home. They also ensure that any device can enjoy full access to your network, without needing advanced configuration.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts.