What is a Business VPN?
A Next-gen Business VPN simplifies the secure access to all your internal and cloud-based resources such as staging servers and company databases.
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What is a Business VPN?
A business VPN is a Virtual Private Network designed especially for the security and privacy needs of organizations. Rather than connecting to the internet via an ISP, the best business VPNs provide an impenetrable tunnel between your organization’s resources and systems and the employees accessing them.
End-to-end encryption of these connections, even if they are remote or using public Wi-Fi, prevents unwanted access or visibility into the organization’s network.
It’s important not to confuse a business VPN with a traditional VPN. A traditional VPN serves only two primary purposes; to mask your IP and help keep your identity anonymous.
Traditional VPNs lack the necessary functions required by businesses that want to enhance their Internet security and provide a safe connection for employees to access data.
Business VPNs allow your company to control access, similar to authorizing or preventing people from entering a building.
By adding or removing users when needed, organizations can protect sensitive information and block access to company servers on a person-by-person basis.
Employees transition in and out of companies all the time or only require temporary access. If an employee’s device is stolen, access can quickly be blocked, ensuring company data remains secure.
A Business VPN can provide your teams with complete network visibility. Instantly receive alerts regarding anomalies like bandwidth consumption and audit all access requests to resources.
Employees can use a business VPN on multiple devices such as company-owned laptops, workstations, and personal mobile phones.
This enhanced protection to all endpoints means that employees are shielded no matter where they’re connecting from. Whether it’s at home (Gartner predicts nearly 50% of employees will work remotely post-pandemic), in a public environment, or while traveling.
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How a Business VPN Can Help You
Business VPN Setup and Security Terms You Need to Know
When acquiring a business VPN, you need to know the essential terms and phrases. Having this knowledge helps ensure you choose the best possible service vendor and prevent paying for needless hardware and services you may already have or don’t require.
Small Business VPN
Small businesses which typically have between 5-50 employees are some of the most common targets of cyberattacks.
Hackers know that these businesses are likely lacking sufficient internet security due to their smaller size, as they’re less likely to invest in cyber defense due to a shortage of capital or time.
The result is small businesses are constantly under threat. They make themselves easy targets and do nothing to deter attacks.
A small business VPN provides an intelligent, scalable security solution so you can protect customer data and your network with one unified network security tool.
What Are The Most Common Threats Facing Small Business Owners?
Achieving Compliance with a Business VPN
Due to the increased threat of cyber-attacks, new regulations were introduced to ensure companies do their best to protect data. This means businesses must be compliant or risk hefty fines and penalties.
An unsecured internet connection could lead to a data breach or expose data to unintended recipients. Depending on where your business is located and the customers it serves, it may need to comply with a number of different regulatory bodies such as HIPAA, which exists to safeguard protected healthcare information (PHI) such as electronic patient data.
How Can a VPN Ensure HIPAA Compliance for a Small Business?
Businesses in the healthcare sector must take the proper precautions when storing, accessing, and backing up any ePHI.
On top of other vital features, the best VPN solution for small businesses will need these four safeguards that only allow authorized users to access ePHI and monitor the network.
How to Setup a VPN for Small Businesses
Depending on the size of your business and the resources you have available, you can set up your own VPN. You’ll need a VPN client, a VPN server, and a VPN router.
For most small businesses, the time and cost required to set up a VPN are out of reach, which is why using a vendor is the preferred method.
Another alternative is to use cloud-based VPNs that don’t require any hardware and can more easily include all of your employees’ devices.
Step 1 – Preliminary Planning
Before contacting any vendors or trying to implement your own VPN, first assess your needs and requirements. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Step 2 – Picking a VPN Vendor
There are several qualities to look for in your VPN vendor. Here are four qualities you can use to make your own evaluation:
Step 3 – Decide Which VPN Protocol to Use
VPN protocols determine how to route your data between your devices and the VPN server. Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages, such as higher speeds or stricter encryption.
These are the most common VPN protocols used by small businesses:
Step 4 – Install VPN Software and Hardware (if required)
After finalizing a deal with a vendor, you’ll need to install the VPN software on all the intended devices and possibly install additional hardware, such as SSL VPN routers commonly used by small businesses.
Note: Recommended practice is first to test the VPN on a handful of devices to ensure everything is working as intended and to troubleshoot any issues before rolling out the VPN across your business.
It’s not uncommon to experience a number of issues like software conflicts, firewalls blocking the connection, or operating systems in need of the latest updates and patches.
Why a VPN is Important for Business
Using an unsecured internet connection to access sensitive information or connect to a network is one of the easiest ways hackers can penetrate your security perimeter.
It doesn’t matter if your business runs entirely or partially in the cloud; your security is only as strong as its weakest link.
With a secure VPN for business, you can intensify your security by providing a secure internet connection, encrypt all data transfers, and enable remote access for off-site employees.
Improve your security
A secure VPN for business works by establishing a secure tunnel connection between the user and your server while simultaneously encrypting the transferred data.
This enhanced protection means that even when traveling and using free Wi-Fi or using less-secure devices like mobile phones, all connections are secure and the data is fully encrypted.
When using a non-secure internet connection to log in and access data, it’s easy for anyone with malicious intent to steal your credentials and sensitive information.
Encrypt all data
When sharing data of any kind, it’s vital to encrypt it so that only those with the correct credentials can view it. Plenty of high-profile companies such as Yahoo! And Disney have both been the victims of major breaches.
No one, including Fortune 500’s are exempt from a malicious hacker. Encrypting data means that even if it’s stolen, it can’t be deciphered.
Enable remote access
The way businesses operate has drastically changed. More people are working remotely as technology removes the need for employers to work from an office physically.
With a VPN, you can ensure that employees can safely work remotely regardless of their location or endpoint.
Business VPN Cost
When exploring the VPN cost for small and large businesses, the price can depend on the type of VPN chosen and other variables such as the number of users, static IPs, the ability to monitor network activity, and server locations.
The best business VPN service is the one that fits your needs and can secure your network and data. A free business VPN may be tempting and easily accessible, but it does not provide you with the security needed for a corporate environment.
Business VPN Pricing Factors
The cost of a VPN for business can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as the type of VPN, killswitch, two-factor authentication, 24/7 customer support, dedicated servers, priority support, API access, the number of users, split tunneling, network segmentation, and network traffic control, just to name a few of the deciding factors.
Advantages of a Business VPN
Here are some of the most important advantages a business can gain when using a business-orientated VPN:
Enhance your online security by establishing a secure tunnel and encrypting transmitted data. Businesses shouldn’t only rely on a VPN and combine it with other protections such as two-factor authentication and IP whitelisting.
It’s more efficient for businesses to manage the usage of VPNs compared to an array of individual VPN accounts with a single point of administration. From a single console, you can ensure that all VPNs employ the latest software updates, manage user access, monitor network activity and scale with the required number of users and endpoints.
Employing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy benefits businesses by reducing their infrastructure costs but also increases their overall attack surface. Secure every endpoint and keep internet sessions secure with a VPN.
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Personal VPN vs. Business VPN
At base level, both personal and business VPNs perform the same tasks of creating an encrypted tunnel, but there are significant differences between the two.
A personal VPN is tailored towards individual use, whereas a business VPN specifically addresses the needs of organizations.
A business VPN differs from a consumer VPN largely in the functions it has that serve an organizational purpose rather than a retail one.
For example, business VPNs can come with an array of extra tools that are designed to help orchestrate access to multiple resources from multiple users – static IP addresses, traffic monitoring, and network segmentation.
However, keep in mind that these benefits only come when the VPN is packaged in unified fashion alongside other networking and security solutions, much like in a Network as a Service.
Consumer VPNs, on the other hand, are standalone pieces of software that help individuals mask the origin of their traffic over the web.
What Are The Different Types of Business VPNs?
There are many different types of business VPNs, but they can generally be categorized into two groups: remote access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs.
While a remote access VPN can help individual people remotely connect to a local area network, a site-to-site VPN connects two of these networks together.
The latter version helps companies more so than the former, as a business is more easily able to extend its resources across multiple locations and offices.
Additionally, there are different types of encryption protocols in use across the same type of VPN – for example, there is SSL and IPSec, but WireGuard is a faster and newer protocol now gaining steam.
Why is a VPN for teams important for business?
VPNs are crucial for businesses that want their employees to be able to safely connect to resources – local server storage, cloud SaaS applications, and more – but from afar.
Remote work is the single biggest use case for a VPN for business, because connections to internal resources that aren’t secure are easy to exploit, and put invaluable proprietary data at risk.
With a VPN, each employee is required to encrypt his or her traffic before connecting to sensitive resources, meaning that IT can assume anyone who is connected is also protected.
Business VPN FAQs
The enhanced protection is vital for anyone traveling and using public internet access like free Wi-Fi or working remotely. Only with a VPN can businesses protect sensitive data and protect themselves from data breaches and cyberattacks.
2. Pick a VPN vendor which matches your criteria
3. Choose a VPN protocol
4. Install the VPN hardware (if needed) and software on all required devices and endpoints
Next, you’ll need to ensure that the VPN settings are recognized in your network, which means adding the correct details like the server address, remote ID, and authentication login details. This can be done in bulk by IT for managed devices. Next, once the client is installed, the admin can choose which encryption protocol to use with employee devices and configure other options according to the needs of the network