A large number of offers makes you wonder which VPN provider to choose. When choosing a VPN for business, you should consider many factors, including speed, reliability, price, and ease of management. Such a virtual private network will ensure secure communication and the safety of the confidential data of the company without slowing down the traffic speed and causing disruptions in the work of the web server.
What is a VPN and why do we need one?
A virtual private network is a service that creates and maintains a secure connection on the Internet between a server and a device. All data transmitted in both directions is encrypted according to modern cryptographic protocols.
The importance of VPN for business development is especially noticeable in companies where employees work remotely. If a company employee connects to the corporate network via a public Wi-Fi network, the risk of interception of transmitted information by hackers increases significantly. Managing remote access and protecting sensitive data at the same time are tasks that a virtual private network successfully copes with. Unprotected traffic is associated with an increased probability of information loss, which may relate to trade secrets. Unprotected traffic is an unreasonable risk, the likelihood that competitors or intruders can take advantage of your strategies, plans, and financial information. In addition to creating a secure channel of communication, a VPN performs other functions:
- Tracking the online activity of employees, which allows you to detect errors in work in a timely manner.
- Definition of the access level for each employee depending on the status and position in the company.
- Adding and deleting users who have access to corporate information resources.
Many organizations are moving to a remote work mode for employees. This option has many advantages, such as no rent and no office maintenance costs. Another advantage is the ability to attract staff from other cities. The only important task in organizing the work process is to ensure a secure connection to the corporate network. Installing a VPN will protect against Man-in-the-Middle hacker attacks. A virtual private network creates a kind of communication tunnel inside the Internet space. Everything that happens inside the tunnel remains closed to prying eyes.
Types of VPNs
- Fixed or dedicated VPNs – a network where each employee gets a unique IP address. This option is most suitable for managing users and organizing multi-level access.
- The VPN network is integrated into the router or server with administration by the provider or by specialists from your own IT department. Once the software is installed on the server, all traffic that passes through the corporate network will be protected, regardless of the number of connected users. The advantage of this option is the ability to securely connect a large number of employees to the corporate network without having to configure settings individually for each of them.
- VPN services enable secure data transmission within the corporate network via the cloud.
When you need a VPN
If your company has employees working remotely, it’s worth considering a virtual private network to protect sensitive information. Installing a VPN is also justified when you want to increase staff productivity. With effective protection, even when connected to the corporate network via public Wi-Fi, employees are geographically independent. They can perform their job duties from anywhere in the city or the world, such as on business trips, travel, work conferences, and seminars.
Features of VPN for business
A virtual private network is designed to protect transmitted information from unauthorized access by third parties. Storing an activity log on the network is a common practice that allows you to monitor the actions of employees. The only possible problem is a request for information from government agencies. If there is a court order, the provider will be forced to provide the requested data. The log can store information about when employees connect to the corporate network and the duration of the session. Information about the content of Internet traffic is also available. To avoid getting into an unpleasant situation, it is better to use the services of an ISP that does not maintain and store logs of user Internet activity.
Many business owners are attracted to free VPNs. However, free does not always mean the best. In such a situation, it is important to understand that the provider finds another way to make money (instead of rent) and considers you as a product, not as a customer. Unscrupulous providers may sell your confidential information to third parties, such as marketing companies.
Availability of an emergency switch that disconnects users from the Internet if the VPN for any reason stops working or disconnects from the VPN server. This option completely eliminates the possibility of unprotected traffic.
Higher performance is observed when the physical equipment is close to your location. Another important factor is the intuitive interface, which greatly simplifies the management process. This point is especially important for large companies with a large number of offices and remote employees. The control panel is designed to perform such operations as adding and removing users, the individual definition of the access level for each of them, or individual groups of employees.
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication significantly increases the security level of data transmission on the corporate network. If an employee’s device is lost or stolen, multi-factor authentication makes it difficult to break into the system.
Depending on your ISP, you may have a different package of available options, such as the ability to restrict users’ online activity and set limits. Restrictions can concern access to social networks or sites that pose a potential threat in the form of malware. Employee errors often lead to leaks of confidential data. If you block employee access to dangerous sites, you reduce the threat. The option to centrally track employee actions and restrict access to certain web resources is especially useful in large organizations. You can set up the server to receive alerts and reports if employees try to open pages from suspicious sites.
How to choose a provider
The first step is to exclude from your list of options providers you would not want to entrust with sensitive information. For example, prioritize service providers that have been independently audited for security. The next step is to identify the options and features you’ll need to organize your employees. For example, if offices are open 24/7, it’s worth looking at providers that offer 24/7 technical support. You need to be sure that in the case of problems, IT specialists will promptly come to your aid. Important points to pay attention to when choosing a service provider:
- An up-to-date mobile application.
- Timely software updates.
- Multiple servers, which reduces the likelihood of overloads, slow traffic, and other disruptions.
It is also worth paying attention to the support of several VPN protocols. The most common are PPTP, IPSec, OpenVPN. Each protocol has its own pros and cons. If your provider offers several protocols, it’s easier to find the option that best suits your business needs.
A virtual private network is an inexpensive and effective way to ensure the safety and security of sensitive data when connecting remote employees to your corporate network. A trusted provider can help you set up a VPN to help your business succeed.