April 29, 2015
At this point in the game, it has been stressed time and time again exactly how important it is to be on a secure network while online. 2014 saw a dramatic rise in the amount of corporate hacks and personal information stolen which has ultimately made many Americans grow skeptical about entering personal details online. These widespread digital issues will continue to persist as hackers and digital thieves continue to grow increasingly more aware and capable through the advancement of technological tools and the knowledge that surrounds it.
Today, no one is invulnerable in the digital space, and with a steady increase of the number of employees working remotely, telecommuting, and needing access to a company network while on the go, information has become more open and intercept-able than ever before. Many companies rely on VPN (or virtual private network) technology to secure the precious information that is exchanged. But what exactly is a VPN? Here is a brief breakdown of what a VPN is and how it works:
VPN: A Clear Definition
The use of a Virtual Private Network allows for the secure access of a private channel within the public network so that data and information can be shared remotely and securely. Look at a VPN for an online network the same way you would for the firewall on a computer. Essentially, it is a secure way to transmit information through its encryption at the source, only to be decrypted at the destination. This allows the information sent to effectively “tunnel” through the digital space without drawing attention in accordance with guidelines set by the company.
Most companies already utilize this technology to allow remote users to access the network so as to remain productive, however, there is an increasing need and emphasis placed on businesses to employ an external VPN service or provider. There are numerous reasons why a company would utilize an external VPN service, some of which include:
- SEO: The use of an external VPN vendor can handle location based analytics and SEO bids more effectively.
- Security: Provides a definitive and safe channel for information to tunnel through. Also allows for IP addresses of the source and destination to be encrypted for additional security.
- Speed: The utilization of a VPN network can improve internet download speeds and service quality.
- Management: Allows for VPN management access to be streamlined as opposed to employees possessing individual accounts.
These are only a few of the ways that a VPN could improve the security and overall health of an organization. The reality is that with the growing cyber security threat that the digital world faces, VPN’s will continue to become more popular and advantageous for businesses and individuals alike to utilize in the coming years.
How to Select a VPN
When on the hunt for a VPN provider for a business or organization there are a few things that must be taken into consideration. For instance, a solid provider should offer a multitude of features, connectivity protocols, and server locations while maintaining a comparable price point. Some of the things to look for in a VPN are:
- Anti-Malware/Spyware Features: Despite the use of a VPN, it is still highly advisable to connect with HTTPS when at all possible. Make sure the provider you have chosen offers anti-malware protection to ensure that Trojans and viruses are not downloaded.
- Protocol: SSL protocols will ensure a secure connection and are currently the most commonly used.
- Logged Information: When digitally connected through a VPN, you are trusting that provider with the information at hand. Some VPN services log customer information and data which makes some users uneasy. It is a widely heard rumor that VPN providers are required by law to log data in the event that the government requires the information. This is simply not true.
Private Internet Access is one fantastic example of a VPN provider that meets such criteria. Winner of PCMag’s Editor’s Choice Award Private Internet Access is the world’s leading VPN provider. Minimalistic in its well-thought-out design, this VPN platform provides access to more than 3,000 servers in 15 countries spanning the planet. Private Internet Access also supplies users with unlimited bandwidth while encrypting data from personal devices as well.
Additionally, the fact that this powerful engine does not log user data gives shoppers peace of mind. With one of the lowest price points in the market, Private Internet Access genuinely is one of the best VPN services available.
The threat of cyber security is only expected to grow in the coming years. Will you leave the fate of your company to chance, or take preemptive measure to ensure the information of your organization and your customers is secure and protected?
Many have faced the harsh reality of a cyber-attack and the devastation could be insurmountable for some smaller businesses. Protect your organization and personal information with the implementation of an external VPN service. It will be a decision that you won’t regret.
How will the face of the digital landscape continue to change as cyber threats continue to increase? Have you or your company implemented a VPN and how has its implementation affected organizational security?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.