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VPN for business: why it’s now an indispensable business tool

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The use of a VPN for business has skyrocketed as the business world has moved increasily online. It is now a crucial too for company success.

The way we work is changing, with the vast majority of business now conducted in a digital context, companies are rapidly shifting towards remote-centric business models that decentralize security. Change is needed and some major companies are answering the challenge with VPN for business.

Why a VPN for business is indispensable

The world is on the move, and so are workers. As more and more employees (and crucially, employers) begin to see the benefits of remote workers, a greater percentage of people are working remotely. According to data from Owl Labs, in 2019 only 44 percent of global companies did not allow remote work, a significant increase from previous years.

Working from home, or a beach in Bali, does have some downsides though. Aside from the ever-present issues with Skype connections and unmatched time zones, the onus of security is firmly placed on the worker’s shoulders.

Unlike heading into an office and working from a company computer, most remote staff work from their own personal laptops. It’s up to each staff member to ensure that company files, transfers, and important documents are kept safe from prying eyes, and this is enabled with VPN for business.

As if in answer to the prayers of remote workers all over the globe, some hardware companies, are amping up their in-built cybersecurity measures with a VPN for business.

Having a VPN for business on one’s computer and routing proxies from reliable sources like helps with more than just keeping company data safe, there are different uses of VPN for business and in certain situations, it can help keep remote staff themselves protected.

We spoke with a journalist working in Egypt, one of the most poorly rated countries in the world for net freedom, and a place where the detention and interrogation of journalists is becoming increasingly common.

This writer may work for known papers including The Guardian and The New York Times, but this isn’t enough to protect her from the state if she chooses to be critical of the current regime. Instead, she relies on a Tor browser and a VPN at all times when she is online.

Even trying to open a VPN company’s website in Egypt proves difficult as the pages have been blocked. Of course, Egypt is not an isolated example, other nations opt for dictatorial control and threatening measures.

Having in-built security in new personal devices means more people across the globe will have greater potential to access sites and information that certain governments would rather they couldn’t reach. And remote workers are offered a greater level of security with VPN for business when working in places where their personal safety may be compromised.

But there’s another reason to applaud the decision to incorporate high-level security tools such as a VPN for business: privacy. Even if you’re working in a perfectly safe cafe around the corner from your house, online privacy matters.

Unlike real-life situations, one can’t simply close the front door and draw the curtains on the digital realm, instead a certain amount of vigilance is needed to keep data from falling into the wrong hands.

Comprehensive data sets are worth a lot of money. They are so valuable that we now have dedicated data brokerage firms such as Acxiom and, perhaps more worryingly, political consultancy groups, including the now defamed Cambridge Analytica, wading into the already muddy waters to get their slice of the data pie.

On the face of it, their business is marketing. Their intent is to collect as much information about each individual consumer as possible; likes, dislikes, browsing habits, peak internet use hours, previous search patterns and much more.

Once collated, this data can be sold to a surprisingly varied group of companies. Most of the time, we are only aware our patterns are being tracked because of targeted advertising — ever search for an item, then have it displayed to you as an advertisement on multiple other webpages?

Not only is this annoying, but it also infringes on our right to browse in peace and quiet without having a marketer tapping on our digital shoulder every five seconds.

Imagine if you visited a real-life shop, viewed an item and then left the store. Now imagine you were followed into the next four stores by the owner of the first shop, still waving the object in your face. It would be harassment. We don’t put up with it on the streets so why do we have to contend with it online?

Bloomberg News has noted that the “VPNs are now considered an indispensable tool for digital protection as people connect to a variety of unsecured public Wi-Fi networks on a daily basis, often without realizing the security and privacy risks.”

Rather than digital security tools being an optional addition, they are a necessity these days. Remote workers may enjoy flexible working hours and the occasional pool-side office day, but these luxuries come with an added concern, the need to keep company data safe and sound at all times. Plus, with dedicated security measures in place, the safety of your business is increased.

What exactly is a VPN, anyway?

VPN is the abbreviation for “Virtual Private Network”. The word “private” is particularly important here, because unlike ordinary networks, only authorized persons have access to it. The principle is explained very simply: Just imagine an opaque tunnel.

At the entrance of the tunnel, all the information you want to send over the Internet is encrypted. The walls of the tunnel consist of so-called VPN protocols. They are responsible for encryption. While the data is transmitted to the recipient, no outsider has access to the content you send.

For example, if you are in the home office, you can use a VPN for business to connect to the company network and access company-internal files without the information being visible to unauthorized persons. The only thing you need is a VPN client. This is a program that you can easily install on your computer, smartphone or router.

Once at the recipient – i.e. at the end of the tunnel – the data is decrypted again. The VPN server is responsible for this. VPN servers are available all over the world. When you connect to a VPN server, you automatically take over the IP address of the server. This keeps your actual location hidden.

Different application scenarios

It is important for your company to know that the possibilities of using a VPN are very versatile. For example, you can network company points of view or give employees the opportunity to access the company network from anywhere.

Site-to-site VPN

With use of a site-to-site VPN for business, you can connect multiple company points of view. Several local networks are connected via the public network to a virtual communication network. So you can access all information, no matter where you are.

All you need is a VPN router in every branch office. The only costs incurred are those of your Internet service provider.

End-to-site VPN

Imagine one of your employees traveling to a potential customer to convince him or her of your company. Wouldn’t it be convenient if the employee could access the company network directly?

With an end-to-site VPN for business, you grant remote access to your company network to field workers or employees in the home office. Employees must install a VPN client on their end device. This creates the possibility to connect to the company network in order to access company-internal files.

End-to-end VPN

If employees should not be able to access the entire company network directly, but only a single computer, this is called an end-to-end VPN. All necessary programs and files can be operated from another device. This technique is called Remote Desktop.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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