Why a VPN is Important for Business
A guide to the business benefits of a virtual private network
A few facts:
- Data breaches are happening more often.
- Cybercriminals are getting more crafty.
- The amount of compromised data is rapidly increasing.
- Most companies are completely unprepared for breaches.
- Post-COVID, roughly 58.6% of the U.S. workforce continues to work remotely.
- In 2019 91% of businesses used public cloud, and 72% used a private one.
Internet access is essential to modern business, but so is online privacy. Digital transformations are speeding up. Staying ahead of threats when migrating to the cloud is critical. One way to thwart hackers is a next-gen VPN.
What Is A VPN?
A VPN is a great solution to secure your business data. Applying a VPN across your networks, you can make those networks much more robust and secure. And any Internet-connected device can use a VPN to be a part of a private network.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides a secure internet connection to your network over the public internet. Think of a secure VPN as a tunnel that stops unauthorized access and encrypts online activity (even on a public WiFi network). Prying eyes can't access the tunnel — or any business data or IP sent through it.
Internet service providers (ISPs) only see that a VPN connection was used and the bandwidth required. Business and user data, browsing history and social media, and credit cards remain hidden.
On-premises hardware or the cloud can be a VPN server.
3 Reasons Your Business Needs A Next-Gen VPN
Your office network is probably protected by a firewall. Employees use the network to access printers and apps, connect to IT resources, share files, and more. Company networks provide secure connections. What about home networks?
Hybrid and remote workforces are becoming the norm. That means more employees are using home networks (or coffee shop hotspots) for internet access. Those same employees need access to on-site resources. With a remote access VPN employees can securely log on to your office network from anywhere.
When it comes to mobile devices and operating systems (Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, Linux, Android, Apple iOS), a VPN is agnostic. This is especially good for companies with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies. Employees can connect to your VPN server with any device using a VPN client and WiFi connection.
What is access control? It’s controlling who gets access to what. Access control is one benefit of VPNs. A VPN can control access by authenticating and authorizing users. To do this it goes through:
- Identification: Verifying a person or application is who or what it claims to be.
- Authentication: Proving the user’s identity (usually with a password).
- Authorization: Granting the appropriate access levels and permissions associated with the username or IP address.
When it comes to access control and network security the general rule of thumb should be: only give people access to what they need. VPN service, from a reliable VPN provider, lets network administrators do that.
Encryption, a primary feature of VPNs, scrambles data so only authorized users can see it. Hackers, fraudsters or other bad actors who manage to intercept it are out of luck.
VPN content filters block harmful content (e.g., known phishing and malware sites) to protect networks and users.
The most obvious uses for content filtering are NSFW (‘not safe for work’) content and torrent sites. It also guards against Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking attempts such as:
- Middleman Attacks
- Malware Attacks
- Cache Poisoning
- Rogue DNS Server
- Router Exploitation
An enterprise-grade VPN service can help prevent each of these by protecting routers and DNS servers.
Finding the Best VPN Solution for You
A VPN offers a reliable way to guard internet traffic and data. When searching for a VPN, keep in mind that business- or enterprise-grade VPNs are not the same as free VPNs. Non-business users may use free VPNs for streaming services (e.g., Netflix) in a different country, or to avoid ISP throttling. The trade-off is that free VPNs may share personal data to generate revenue, and slow down when a high volume of users log on.
The best VPN services for business have high-performing networks that don't slow down with high traffic. Many also feature a kill switch. A kill switch automatically disconnects devices from the internet if the VPN connection drops. This prevents IP addresses and other information from being exposed.
OpenVPN is on a mission to provide safe, secure online experiences. To see how our next-gen VPN works, register for three free connections today. OpenVPN Connect, our easy-to-use VPN app, works with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.