Remote work dominated the COVID pandemic. IT departments have had to try and keep up with the challenges of remote work. Organizations as a whole have had to really prioritize cybersecurity in a remote work environment, and we’ve seen with a number of high-profile data breaches and ransomware attacks that it doesn’t always go well.
With that in mind, many employers are or at least should be requiring remote employees to use a VPN, and the following highlights some of the reasons why.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a way for your employers to securely access your network. The access is encrypted, and a VPN can be essential in a layered security strategy.
When you have employees use a VPN, they can access the necessary network resources to do their jobs, but there’s a lower threat of security breaches.
A VPN generally works by hiding an IP address, and the network redirects it through a remote server operated by the VPN host.
The VPN server is then the source of your data.
With a business VPN in particular, the corporate network is extended through encrypted connections. Since the traffic is encrypted as it’s going through the device and network, it stays private. Employees can be working from anywhere and still get a secure connection to a corporate network.
Tablets and smartphones can also connect through a VPN.
If a bad actor were to intercept information, it would be essentially impossible to read because of the encryption.
So, what are specific reasons a business should use a VPN?
This has been briefly mentioned, but when a business is using a VPN and has remote employees, they can log into the network securely from anywhere. This keeps employees productive, no matter where they’re working from. They have easy access to the information and resources to do their jobs.
Reduce the Risks of Unsecured Wi-Fi
If you have employees working remotely, they might not just be working from home. They could be working from coffee shops, cafes, airports, or anywhere. That then means they could be accessing your business network on public wi-fi.
The primary threat of public wi-fi is that a hacker can put themselves between an employee and the connection point. The employee thinks they’re communicating with the hotspot, but they’re actually sending information straight to a hacker in this scenario.
Everything that is being sent online is now accessible by the hacker.
Another risk of public wi-fi is that a hacker can use it as a means to distribute malware if you allow file-sharing across your corporate network.
When your employees are using a VPN connection, even if a hacker were to infiltrate the connection itself, again, the data would be encrypted, so it would be relatively meaningless to them to do so.
When your business is utilizing a VPN, then you have more centralized visibility and control over who has access to what. You can focus on making sure that everyone has access to only just what they need to do their job.
Plus, a VPN will authenticate and authorize users through the verification of credentials.
Then, based on their identification and credentials, the VPN will authorize the access and permissions granted to them.
Avoiding Internet Restrictions
If you have employees who sometimes have to visit countries with certain internet restrictions, then a VPN is a must-have. For example, if employees go to Russia or China, then a VPN can help them get around internet blocks.
Even outside of those examples, if your employees want to be redirected to a website in a foreign language, a VPN can be helpful.
When business travel picks up steam again following the pandemic, it may be that sometimes employees are in hotels with firewalls affecting their ability to work. A VPN can help with that.
Your Clients Will Like It
If your business is using a VPN, then your clients are going to know you’re serious about cybersecurity. That’s going to give them peace of mind about not just your dedication to securing their data and information but also how you do business in general.
Finally, when you use a VPN, it can keep your employees productive, whether they’re working from home, traveling, or they need to access something quickly on the go.
Using a VPN is a relatively inexpensive investment that you’re likely to see significant returns on in your business.