Your company’s internal network might be able to handle any cybersecurity threat, but you still need to connect to the internet to communicate with customers and vendors, run ad campaigns, or share ideas. Doing so is something no responsible business should do without proper protection.
You may already know how to use a VPN since this business tool is the logical solution, but what separates trustworthy VPNs from sub-par ones and outright scams? This article highlights the importance of business VPNs in ensuring secure, anonymous, and unrestricted connectivity for all your employees, whether at their desks, the branch office, or at home.
Do You Need A Business VPN?
Yes, if you want to protect the integrity and security of your company network.
You can’t do business without internet access, yet merely being online exposes unprotected devices to potential snooping, malware, data breaches, and other cyberattacks. When your patents, financial records, and customer information are on the line, taking chances is the worst choice.
Things become even more complicated when you factor in the remote work trend. It’s impossible to assess all your employees’ cybersecurity awareness and habits. Having an overarching security measure that ensures everyone is accessing company resources and sensitive information safely, regardless of location, is more than worth a business VPN’s reasonable monthly subscription fee.
Essential Business VPN Features
As companies appreciate the value of business VPNs in their cybersecurity strategies more, the number of VPN providers continues to rise. While this makes choosing the best fit more challenging, there are criteria you can use to vet providers, like in this VPN comparison table, and not end up with a dud.
It would be foolish for any business VPN provider to claim anything other than being the safest and most privacy-conscious out there. In reality, the differences can be striking. For example, they all use encryption, but some ciphers are harder to bypass than others. The most trustworthy business VPN providers rely on the 256-bit version of the AES encryption algorithm to make your connection impenetrable.
Still, you wouldn’t want to choose a VPN based on their say-so. Leading VPN providers are confident enough that they participate in regular independent auditing. Search for the results of such audits and verifiable customer testimonials.
Privacy needs to be an integral part of the VPN experience. You’re accessing the internet through a remote server with its IP address, after all, so no one should be able to trace the connection. An IP address isn’t the only means of tracking online activity, though.
Some VPNs keep activity logs of their clients. That’s especially true with the free VPNs, and there are many reasons not to use them. The most egregious ones contain information on accessed websites and online activities, which render the VPN service pointless. Some providers only keep records of connection instances and session duration. Governments can obtain such information via subpoena. You’ll want to go with a VPN that reinforces a no-logs policy and has DNS leak protection for peace of mind.
Centralized access and activity management
Business VPNs can potentially shield dozens of remote workers and their endpoints. Security administrators need an intuitive, efficient way of monitoring existing users and setting up access for new ones. Multifactor authentication prevents bad actors from using stolen and compromised credentials to access your network. It should be an integral feature of your business VPN.
Human error continues to be responsible for most cybersecurity woes. You can’t change people’s habits overnight. Still, a good business VPN will let you limit activities that could lead to harmful outcomes. Security isn’t the only use case – denying access to social media and other unproductive sites helps keep employees focused.
Adequate server availability and split tunneling
Worldwide servers are another feature VPN providers like to tout. You might indeed need a server in a foreign location, especially if you’re running international marketing campaigns or scoping out new markets.
Conversely, some businesses benefit more from excellent domestic server coverage. This is the case when you want to benefit from a VPN’s IP masking feature without suffering the slowdowns associated with connecting to faraway servers.
Finally, you might not want to route all your online activities through the VPN. Split tunneling lets you secure sensitive network traffic while allowing select apps and services unrestricted access. It saves bandwidth while keeping overall network efficiency high.
Reliable customer service
While not an immediate consideration, customer service can elevate or sour your business VPN experience. You’re losing money each time a misbehaving VPN prevents normal operations. An always-on-call, expertly trained customer support team can help resolve problems and get you back on track faster. While everyone should get the same level of support, keep in mind that some providers prioritize customers in higher tiers.
A business VPN has become a necessity you can’t afford to invest in. We’ve shown you what a competent one should bring to the table. Now it’s up to you to use the above criteria as guidance in selecting the business VPN that will fit your company’s needs most accurately.