How a VPN can be a game-changer for any startup
Ever since the Snowden leaks, it’s become clear that internet users should always use a virtual private network to keep themselves private and secure online. A VPN service has dozens of security features, such as the ones we talked about in NordVPN evaluation.
But how can a VPN be useful for a business? Is my business too small to require a VPN? Furthermore, isn’t my business already protected by the company intranet?
Let’s take a look at a few ways a VPN is an essential asset to any business.
A VPN resolves this issue because it disguises your connection altogether. More specifically, it routes your connection through a different server than the one provided by your IP. It then encrypts your connection using powerful software so that it cannot be traced back to you.
Bad actors have methods of creeping around firewalls and antivirus software. Once they’ve found a way into your system, they have complete control over your personal information. When you’re handling business data—or worse, customer data—the repercussions of this data falling into the wrong hands can be severe.
This practically makes you invisible online, and if your business servers are protected this way, it can make your entire intranet impossible to find. With a VPN, then, you need not worry about any data breaches that could affect your business, your customers, or your reputation.
One of the dangers of employees working remotely is that they are away from your business’ protected servers and intranet. An employee working from home may not have the most secure connection. Even worse, an employee working in, say, a café will be exposed to disastrously unsafe public WiFi.
Simply put, when your employees are working away, the data held by your business is in danger. That’s where a VPN comes in. If you go with a business VPN that offers multiple (or unlimited) connections, then the software can be installed on your employee’s device to ensure it never goes unprotected.
This practice allows your business strategy to be a bit more flexible. It allows an employee to remain productive if, for instance, the weather makes it dangerous for them to travel to work. Better yet, it lets business lunches become a whole lot less stressful for your management team.
As a bonus, an employee using your business’ VPN is able to access your business’ intranet. This means you do not have to email intranet-stored documents to your employee, they do not have to save it on an easily losable memory stick, and so on. Your business’ data can remain totally secure whilst being accessible to employees working away.
Retain access while travelling
Of course, working remotely doesn’t just refer to coffee shops. Sometimes, your employees will have to travel abroad for conferences, business meetings, and the like. Aside from the security risks we’ve just talked about, operating from a foreign country with tighter content filtering can mean some of the required data is completely inaccessible.
As a VPN reroutes your connection through a different server, it can bypass a country’s firewall altogether. This is because your connection will no longer fall under the country’s jurisdiction. As a result, you can successfully circumvent overly strict censorship laws with no worry.
With the toughest countries such as China—known for its ‘Great Firewall’ that prevents its citizens from accessing thousands of western websites—you will likely need a stronger VPN provider. The reason for this is because the Chinese firewall is specifically designed to prevent VPN services from bypassing it.
Stronger providers such as NordVPN, which we linked to a review of at the beginning of this article, will have the requisite tools to bypass difficult censorship laws. It’s worth having a read around our other reviews to see which options are available if this applies to your business.
The best thing about this is that all the points made in our previous section also apply. Before VPN services entered popular usage, there was no way an employee could access a local intranet based in London while they were travelling in, say, India. It opens up so many possibilities for the future of your business strategy.
VPN services are also, in most cases, affordable, even when you go for the flashier and more powerful business packages. This can be an enormous weight off the mind of anyone who runs a business, especially a small- or medium-sized business.
Although it may be tempting to cut costs even further, we recommend avoiding free VPN services. Many of these services claim to offer the highest level of security, but you should beware that they often fail to prove what makes their service so secure. In the worst cases, they also sell your data, which is an enormous invasion of privacy.
The best thing to do is, as we mentioned earlier, check out a few reviews to see what works for your business. You can check out a library of VPN reviews here.
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