A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a useful tool that encrypts data before it passes across the public Internet and then decrypts it when it reaches its destination. Rather like shutters on the windows of a house, it shields what goes on inside even though the outside can be seen by everyone in the street. The process, often referred to as tunneling, is particularly useful for businesses whose workers have to use the Internet in public places like coffee shops or airports. It is also helpful for those who want to keep confidential customer information or intellectual property safe from the prying eyes of hackers and spies. In 2017, the U.S. Trump administration overturned regulations preventing ISPs from making money from users’ browser data. At the same time in the UK, the Investigatory Powers Act served to increased government surveillance of Internet activity in response to a heightened threat of terrorism. Both led to a surge in interest in VPNs. A VPN is an established technology that has traditionally been seen as the province of technical specialists. Perhaps because of this, and in spite of VPN services becoming easier to deploy, a number of enduring myths persist.
Small business owners have many things on their mind but IT security should not be one of them. Not so long ago, network protection for a small business amounted to maintaining a firewall and some antivirus software. Now, recent technology advances have blurred the boundaries between the company perimeter and the world at large. Consumerization of IT and flexible working mean employees now need secure, private remote access to company resources from their own devices at any time of day from anywhere in the world. This translates into increased risk to the business and the potential for higher levels of stress for business owners, especially if they take on fixing security issues in person. A small business requires additional protection, particularly once they begin to expand. This is where remote access Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for employees and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can help.
The growing popularity of cloud services coupled with security concerns is driving demand for managed VPNs. In particular, the success of public cloud services is gradually encouraging more enterprises to move away from conventional remote network access methods in favor of cloud-based remote access. Providing remote access via the public cloud brings organizations multiple advantages including ease of management, flexibility and lower costs. However, opinions are divided over the level of security it affords. Most users of public cloud services consider security a primary benefit. Yet mistakes can and do happen, leading to high profile consequences. One aspect of cloud management technology that is not in dispute is its capacity to simplify secure VPN connectivity for large numbers of remote workers.
A new report from UK anti-fraud organization Cifas shows identity theft at “epidemic levels”. From the present controversy over Net Neutrality to the openness of public Wi-Fi, personal information has seldom been more exposed. The Internet’s susceptibility to surveillance and cyber attacks compromises privacy, leading to concern in some quarters that it could ultimately erode public trust in our present way of life. Fortunately, most people believe tighter security standards and encryption are key reasons to be confident about the future. Virtual Private Network (VPN) software is a proven way for employers to ensure workers are secure and anonymous whenever they connect to the office over the public Internet. VPNs encrypt data passing between businesses and their employees, helping to shield company confidential information from fraudsters and other unwelcome onlookers.
The growing number of employees using multiple personal and company-owned mobile devices to connect to corporate networks is, according to Ponemon Institute, the biggest endpoint security threat today. In this environment, VPNs play a vital role in encrypting remote communications to keep sensitive and confidential company information exchanges secure and private. Large organizations may have many thousands of endpoint devices accessing the network at any given moment. Managing all these individual components is time-consuming and complex. However, a centralized remote access VPN management system can greatly simplify the process. The secret is in combining intelligence and automation to make remote access management as secure, efficient and productive as possible.
Large organizations today are experiencing a rapid evolution in technology that is challenging traditional security systems and infrastructures. Corporate networks that once only had to support the connectivity of desk-bound workstations and a small number of laptops must now cope with thousands of laptops, tablets and phones along with a rapidly growing population of IIoT/M2M devices. VPNs are an integral part of any mobile device and IIoT security strategy. To manage all of these VPNs easily and efficiently without compromising end-user security requires the IT department to embrace a variety of strategies.