Nowadays, hybrid working is the new norm. It’s rare to find a 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday ‘in-office’ job. For things that were once physical, are now digital.
So perhaps your Monday morning ‘work space’ is now sitting in a cafe, or a library. Or you could even be at an airport waiting to board a flight, catching up on work emails. Regardless of your setting, access to WIFI is imperative. Here lies the problem. Using public Wi-Fi to access private client, business or even personal information leaves your business vulnerable and data privacy comes into scrutiny. This is an instance where a business VPN is essential.
In today’s digital landscape, the term VPN has become increasingly popular – particularly within a work from home or remote work context. Often VPNs are primarily associated with malware protection. They can, however, play a far more extensive role in your cyber security strategy. In this blog, we will explore how multifaceted VPNs are and how they can bolster your business’ cybersecurity. Most importantly, we will break down how diverse their function capabilities are, and how they can benefit you. But before we cover why your business needs a VPN, let’s establish the basics.
What is a VPN?
A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It works by allowing a user to create a secure and private connection to a private network – such as your company’s office network. It will mask your IP address, keeping your data and web activity private and safe from any third party. It is therefore essential for basic internet security.
How does a Business VPN work?
Think of a VPN as creating your very own tunnel between your device and the rest of the web. Your location and your IP address will remain hidden as your traffic goes to the VPN server before interacting with everything beyond. Only your VPN will see this traffic.
What Situation Would I Need a Business VPN?
In theory, if you’re serious about privacy then you may want to use a VPN all the time. That is, however, not always necessary. The following scenarios are key situations when a business VPN comes in handy.
#1 When using public WiFi
One of the most crucial applications of a business VPN is in locations where there is free public Wi-Fi. Typical locations include coffee shops or airports where there are Wi-Fi connections without passwords which ultimately renders the connection vulnerable. In such public spaces, a cybercriminal might exploit the lack of security by setting up a network like “Free Airport Wi-Fi” to intercept people’s logins and activities. However, the use of a VPN can effectively prevent such unauthorised access.
#2 To prevent being tracked by your ISP
Unbeknown to most, your internet service provider actively monitors all your online activities, and Irish ISPs retain this data for at least a year – sometimes even longer. Depending on various factors such as your location and terms of service, your browsing history could be sold to third parties, ranging from marketing firms to government entities. Fortunately, a VPN ensures that your entire browsing history remains hidden from any entity attempting to scrutinise your online activities.
#3 When you don’t want web access to change with your location
When you’re abroad, various platforms like Google, often adjust their content. They present their sites in different languages, convert to different currencies and customise the products and services accessible to the region of your connection. Given the remote and mobile nature of today’s work teams, it’s beneficial to have the capability to conceal your location and browse the internet as if you were still in your headquarters.
#4 To avoid blocks & censorship on websites
Similarly, when you travel, you may find content is censored to abide by the country’s government policies. For example, any work trip to China will be without Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even WhatsApp – but not if you have a VPN.
To summarise, a business VPN is essential for providing peace of mind that you are safely browsing the internet. Considering that remote work is now here to stay, a business VPN is an essential tool in your cybersecurity kit.
At BITS, we take your network security seriously. We have experts at the ready to discuss how you can improve your business’ privacy and remote working capabilities. Offering a range of network security services, your business is one click away from becoming more secure.
Get in touch and speak to our experts today!
You can also download our Ultimate Cybersecurity Guide for Remote Working eBook to ensure your business is ready, and has all the essentials ticked off.