Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have been used by big international companies for years. But, as VPN services become more affordable and easy to use, businesses of all sizes can now use them to enhance online security.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is an advanced technology that uses data encryption to create a secure internet connection. It creates a secure “tunnel” that only allows encrypted data through. This makes it safe to access corporate or confidential information anywhere.
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
The main reason for using a VPN is for security – it creates a secure internet connection wherever someone is working. As remote working increases, and the potential for employees to access unsecured or public WiFi networks, it’s crucial to ensure company information isn’t vulnerable to hackers.
And small businesses may believe the chances of being hacked are smaller, but the opposite is true. They’re actually three times more likely to be targeted by cyber criminals than larger companies.
Uses for working and travelling internationally
VPNs are also useful if you travel for work, particularly to places with stricter internet access laws. Through a VPN you can access the internet as if you were in your home country. However, make yourself aware of the laws of the country you’re in when doing this, and also your VPN provider’s privacy and logging policies.
Provide support and maintain security remotely
Finally, VPNs are great for managing multiple devices, and updating software remotely. Normally, updates have to be made when a device is physically connected to the network. This gets harder the bigger the company gets, particularly when people don’t work in the same office. VPNs enable a reliable tunnel to push updates or provide IT support remotely.
There are plenty of VPN providers who provide low-cost solutions for small businesses’ needs. However, as your business grows, your technology requirements are likely to as well, so you might need to consider more bespoke solutions. And, as with any technology, they do not offer a 100% guarantee of security. It’s always recommended to maintain good cybersecurity practices across all areas of your business, even when using a VPN.