Why Your Business Needs a VPN

Why Your Business Needs a VPN - AZCOMP Technologies

For a small or medium business with remote workers, a VPN is an absolute necessity. But you may ask – what is a VPN, and why do I need it?

In our digitally driven world, the ability to work remotely is invaluable. But without the right safeguards, accessing company data and networks remotely exposes your business to cyber threats.

As introduced in the article 15 Ways to Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack, a virtual private network (VPN) is an essential play in your cybersecurity game plan. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel to keep your data secure when employees work outside the office.

What is a VPN, and Why Do You Need One?

Before you can use the internet, your internet service provider needs first to give you a unique IP address. It’s through this IP address that everything you look at on the internet is linked to.

The problem is that your internet service providers and others can see what you’re browsing. This can potentially expose sensitive company data flowing from remote workers.

On the other hand, a virtual private network allows remote employees to connect to the company network as if they were physically present in the office. It establishes an encrypted passageway through the public internet to route all data between the employee’s device and business servers.

This secure tunnel ensures no one can “eavesdrop” on data in transit – not even the local WiFi network the employee may be using. The encryption gets applied as data leaves the employee’s device, and is only decrypted once it reaches the company servers on the other end. This protects sensitive data from prying eyes.

Without a VPN, remote workers connect to the open internet. This allows potential cybercriminals to intercept unencrypted traffic containing emails, documents, credential logins, and other proprietary company data more easily. A VPN makes remote hacking vastly more complicated by encapsulating all traffic in a protected tunnel.

Benefits of Using a VPN for Your Business

There are security benefits to your firm that are exclusive to VPNs, especially when some of your staff are working remotely. Some of the VPN benefits for business include:

  • Secure remote access to company servers and files – A VPN will provide your business with encrypted remote access, whereas security controls like firewalls only protect the internal network perimeter.
  • Encrypted protection against data interception – VPN encryption secures data in transit while measures like antivirus scan content at rest. They work hand-in-hand.
  • Bypass geographic restrictions to access resources – A VPN tunnels traffic through restricted networks, complementing whitelisting that focuses on allowing approved apps.
  • Hide employees’ physical locations and usage – VPNs obscure employee locations and activity, while intrusion detection monitors network traffic for anomalies.
  • Standard security for a mobile workforce – Security training raises user awareness, while a VPN provides ubiquitous protection.

A VPN serves as a universal security layer for remote workers that complements defenses like malware scanning that are concentrated on the corporate network itself. Measures like web gateways manage internet use on-premises, but a VPN extends secure access off-premises.

Rather than replacing other protections, a VPN fills the security gaps that open when employees work remotely outside the corporate firewalls. It provides an encrypted umbrella over your distributed workforce to consistently safeguard business data and activity in transit and at rest. A VPN is a must-have element of defense-in-depth.

Signs You Need to Implement a VPN

  • Employees access company data from home, hotels, or coffee shops
  • Your workforce uses public WiFi on the go
  • Staff need to log in to internal servers remotely
  • You have distributed teams in multiple locations
  • Compliance standards require secure remote access

Choosing the Right VPN – What to Look For

  • Encrypted data tunnel using AES 256 or higher
  • Trusted, reputable providers like Cisco or NordVPN
  • Fast connection speeds to avoid lag and frustration
  • Ability to scale support for all employees
  • Robust cybersecurity infrastructure safeguarding servers
  • Easy-to-use apps for all devices: Windows, Mac, smartphones
  • Features like split tunneling to optimize performance

Understanding VPN Encryption & Protocols

When researching business VPN solutions, you’ll encounter terminology around encryption algorithms and protocols that enable secure tunnels.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Encryption – This refers to the cipher method used to scramble data making it unreadable during transit. AES-256 is currently the gold standard that you want for optimal security.
  • Protocols – These tunneling communication rules handle encapsulating data, device authentication, key exchanges, and more. Common protocols include IPSec, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, with variations in performance.

The best VPN providers offer a range of encryption and protocol options to tailor to your specific use cases and infrastructure. Robust encryption like AES-256 efficient protocols like OpenVPN is ideal for most small businesses.

Comparing VPN Providers and Products

The VPN market has expanded rapidly, with many providers now catering solutions specifically for business use cases.

Here are key factors to evaluate when comparing providers:

  • Security – Look for true business-class products, not just rebranded consumer VPNs. They should offer hardened infrastructure that is not reliant on third parties, with customized enterprise-grade protection.
  • Reliability – Check track records for uptime and guaranteed SLAs. Nothing is worse than remote access failing when you need it most.
  • Speed – While encryption causes some overhead, a quality provider optimizes performance for smooth access.
  • Platform support – Ensure apps for all operating systems your business uses – Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, among others. Frictionless deployment is key.
  • Control & Reporting – Can you enforce policies and restrictions based on users, applications, and devices? Reporting provides visibility into usage patterns.
  • Support – Find a provider with robust customer support channels in case of any issues. Lack of support causes headaches.
  • Dispite many options, proven providers like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Cisco offer robust, secure access solutions tailored to business needs.

Contact AZCOMP To Help With VPN Installation

With constantly evolving cyber threats and remote work environments, implementing robust security can overwhelm small and medium businesses. AZCOMP understands the unique security challenges facing SMBs and simplifies hardened protection customized for your firm.

Our experts become an extension of your team, handling the complexity of deploying enterprise-grade solutions like VPNs, firewalls, and intrusion detection scaled to your operations and budget. We stay on top of the latest technology and threats to provide optimal layered defenses, proactive maintenance, and rapid response.

By leveraging AZCOMP as your trusted cybersecurity partner, you gain end-to-end guidance – from risk assessment and strategic planning to installation, configuration, and training. We make high-caliber protection achievable. Partner with AZCOMP to finally secure your business the right way.

About AZCOMP Technologies:

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT Services, cybersecurity, and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s purpose is to unleash phenomenal experiences through innovative tech solutions. This means that we help businesses get top-notch technology results while delivering phenomenal service at the same time.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers full-service managed IT services in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and the entire state of Arizona. We also provide limited IT services to businesses across the US! Request your IT consultation today!

author avatar
Byron Adams
Byron has spent nearly two decades helping thousands of small businesses resolve technology issues, design technology solutions, improve technology security, plan and budget for technology projects, and improve business productivity through technology. As the Technology Director at AZCOMP Technologies, he leads a team that provides Managed IT Services our clients. Our goal is to "deliver phenomenal" to our clients - AZCOMP's first core value. By outsourcing their IT needs to AZCOMP, Byron serves our clients as their CTO. Byron helps our clients get their time back, allowing them to focus on their business and what they do best. In addition, they enjoy more predictable technology costs, increased employee productivity, and improved cyber-security posture.

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