The most immediate demonstration of how COVID-19 has changed the world is in how, with the exception of certain key workers, much of the business world is working from home.
Remote working was already becoming more popular before the virus struck but has now become essential, and many companies have had to make the switch from onsite to offsite work in record time. It is essential to consider the security questions that this raises; away from the secure servers of a corporate office, what’s standing between hackers and our business data?
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can be just the answer your business needs and is an indispensable consideration for any business that is allowing staff to work from home. If an employee is accessing a company network on their own laptop—or even a company-issued device—via their own internet connection, then the business is immediately prone to attacks that could cost them dearly.
What is VPN?
A virtual private network is, quite simply, an encrypted connection (often described as a “tunnel”) that allows a user to access a private, secure server that protects sensitive data from prying eyes.
VPNs are commonly used in countries where the government restricts access to selected sites or information to keep it safe. Suffice it to say, remote workers logging on to company networks are also well-advised to hide sensitive data, and VPNs are a successful way to do so.
How does a VPN benefit your remote workforce?
When an employee accesses a business network under normal circumstances in an office, they do so with the protection offered by business servers; this is usually much more powerful protection than any home network. As such, sensitive data such as customer details, addresses, passwords and even payment details can be encrypted and kept out of the hands of hackers who may wish to access it for fraud.
But hackers frequently take aim at businesses’ weaknesses, and few times have caused greater security weaknesses in businesses than the present. And the biggest weakness businesses are facing is being forced to work remotely, often with little to no plans of how to do that securely.
VPNs are a great solution for remote workforces in this situation, as VPNs allow employees to access important business information securely from home. This greatly reduces the ability for hackers to exploit weaknesses in personal devices that are connected to separate Internet connections.
How an IT provider can help
If you are looking for a way to give your company all the tools to succeed in the modern age, whether it be for business continuity during the uncertainty of a global pandemic or for long-term needs, then it is essential to work with an IT provider who offers managed VPN services. A professional who is willing to assist remotely and onsite, as appropriate, can take full account of your needs and provide you with a tailor-made system.
Remote working, one way or the other, is going to be an influential part of the future for most businesses. To make the most of it and harness the advantages it holds for your business, now is the time to invest in a VPN to protect your information and save yourself from a costly data breach. Employers and employees need to be having the kind of conversations which will make any future crisis more bearable, and the benefits of a VPN for a remote workforce is a great place to start.