06 Jul VPNs: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Business Safe Online
Many industries consider VPNs to be vital for maintaining privacy and security online, especially when using public Wi-Fi or when there is a need to bypass geographical restrictions on internet access.
Understanding the Role of VPNs
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a mechanism to create a secure connection between an endpoint device and a network. People use VPNs where a secure connection is unlikely to exist.
This can safeguard your online activity from any possible tracking and exploitation. In a perfect world, this encryption makes your data unrecognizable to onlookers.
Regulated and innovative industries like:
have relied upon VPNs to protect sensitive information and intellectual property from unauthorized access.
Despite promises to the contrary from vendors, VPNs can fall far short of being a comprehensive security strategy. In fact, the false sense of security they convey to users can leave your data and network vulnerable to “human error” cyber-attacks.
Nearly 54% of VPN users report feeling secure while surfing the web. Nearly the same number have been the target of a cybercrime while online even when accessing the internet via a VPN.
Why Would You Use a VPN in Your Business?
Many companies believe a VPN can be an asset when it comes to protecting business data. Vendors tout that their product can offer a significant boost to your privacy and security posture online.
VPN use makes it difficult for some hackers, internet service providers, or even governments to track your online activities. The trouble comes when VPN users often let their guard down and expose themselves to dangerous, but avoidable, links. Because a VPN is not an antivirus program, these user errors can expose your sensitive data and systems to malware.
Having users with a false sense of security is particularly relevant to businesses that have to deal with sensitive data or strict privacy regulations.
One use case that may make VPN relevant for your business is if you conduct business on a global scale. While traveling internationally, your employees can be subject to restricted internet access. Having a VPN can allow business travelers to circumvent government regulations and render your online activities undetectable when needed.
Growing in Popularity: VPN Statistics, Trends, and Usage
Despite the potential risks, global VPN adoption continues to accelerate. Some 77% of internet users worldwide report they’ve used a VPN to shield their private data from prying eyes – especially when using public Wi-Fi.
VPNs are still predominantly used for personal reasons rather than business purposes. They are most likely to be used to boost personal security and access location-restricted content.
VPN use is most prevalent on desktops and laptops, although mobile usage is close behind. Perhaps surprisingly, about half of all users opt for free VPNs over paid alternatives, despite the increased risks associated with free versions.
When using a free VPN provider, your data isn’t just vulnerable to hackers. The reality is that one of the largest personal data breaches was the result of an attack on a free VPN provider, exposing nearly 360 million records to the dark web.
Data Centers and VPNs: Understanding Their Different Roles in Data Security
To understand how VPNs fit into the larger cybersecurity landscape, it’s important to distinguish them from other secure environments, like data centers.
An SSAE18 certified, compliant, and audited data center should be used by organizations to host their computer, server, and networking systems. Such a data center adheres to the strictest security standards and protocols mandated by certain government regulations, like HIPAA or GDPR. The data center operations undergo an annual audit to demonstrate its compliance.
The purpose of the data center is to store, process, and manage large amounts of data securely.
In contrast, a VPN primarily aids in secure and private browsing and communication.
The question isn’t about determining which option is better— a regulatory compliant data center or a VPN – but rather which tool fits the specific need.
You might need a data center for secure storage and processing of your organizational data and a VPN for ensuring secure internet access.
VPNs and Desktop Virtualization
In the realm of desktop virtualization or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), VPNs can play a significant role. They offer secure access to cloud resources and protect sensitive data during transmission.
By integrating a VPN solution with cloud hosting, businesses can achieve secure, remote access to their data and applications stored in the cloud, adding an additional layer of protection.
With continued remote or offsite work, an ever expanding global workforce, and reliance on cloud services, the use of VPNs in virtual desktop infrastructure is likely to remain a point of interest for SMBs.
While VPNs are not a one stop security solution, with proper antivirus protection and staff training, they can fill a need in certain business environments to provide access and data protection.
Selecting the right tools for your business’s digital and information security is no small decision. Depending on your specific needs and constraints, a VPN might be the perfect choice, or you might find a better fit.
Staying secure in the digital world is an ongoing task, and understanding tools like VPNs and their alternatives is a step in the right direction toward keeping your sensitive data secure.
We Have Experts on Staff to Answer Your Questions About VPNs
As an award winning cloud hosting vendor, we are committed to empowering businesses with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate the digital landscape safely and effectively.
Our trained team of cloud computing experts can help by answering all your questions about how to align your technology with industry guidelines and while maintaining compliance standards – no matter where your business takes you.
Our secure and reliable hosting solutions are designed to give your business the privacy and performance it needs.
Let us show you exactly how CyberlinkASP can help – using your own data and workflows and our decades of experience.