Why Your Company Needs a VPN
In the modern world, every company-- no matter the industry-- needs to have a strong digital presence. You need to be able to communicate and share data with employees and colleagues in a number of locations, but the internet can be a dangerous place for unsecured data. Cybersecurity continues to gain more and more publicity as the scale, sophistication and the magnitude of attacks seems to grow every day.
These dangers should make a smart business owner take a closer look and a greater interest in his or her network security. One common solution that is both affordable and practical is a virtual private network (VPN). This technology allows the staff to connect to each other and the company network from remote locations, while still providing a high level of security as if they were connected on-site. Businesses of all sizes and industries use and trust VPNs to share their data, but only with those who have access to it.
How It Works
VPN technology is used to create a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, usually the internet. It was developed as a way for remote staff members and separate branch offices of businesses to access company applications, files and other resources while remaining secure.
Essentially, a VPN is a group of systems that are networked together over a public network, and these systems combine to create a virtual version of a secure physical network. The data is encrypted as it leaves the company servers and must be decrypted at the remote user’s computer. To access information on a VPN, staff members are generally required to go through authentication techniques such as passwords, tokens or other unique identification methods.
Benefits of a VPN
A VPN can serve many of the same functions as a physical, on-site network, but allowing the user to access it from anywhere. As long as the user has access to the internet, he or she can connect to the company network from any location, without requiring miles worth of Cat 6 outdoor cables.
In addition to the security provided for business users, a VPN can also be used to protect your online privacy when using a public network and bypass any regional restrictions if you are trying to connect while outside of the country. Because it encrypts the information sent and received, as well as hiding the location and identity of the user, many individuals take advantage of VPN services for their personal protection.
Options for a VPN
Depending on the size of your company, your budget and your technical expertise, you have the option of setting up your own VPN or subscribing to a VPN provider. Setting up your own VPN requires a high level of expertise and a deep understanding of network security and protocols, as well as careful installation and configuration.
Most small business owners opt for a VPN provider, but you should take your time and be thorough when researching and selecting one of the many vendors who offer VPN services. When deciding on a provider, check the list of connection protocols they use and how many connections can be supported at the same time. It is also important to carefully read over the privacy statements and terms of service, as some companies may log your activity or collect data on users. If this is the case, you should immediately move on to the next option on your list.
As for the price, you will get what you pay for. But no matter the cost, this will still be a much more affordable choice for your business than expensive WAN technology. Luckily, most providers offer free trials of their service, and this should give you the opportunity to decide if they are right for your company’s needs.