Security is a big issue for businesses to contend with. It’s something that many find troubling in a digitally-focussed era in which the biggest threats are now online and harder to see, understand and defend yourself against. Indeed, last year alone UK businesses faced 230,000 cyber attacks.
There are a number of ways to combat such threats – with everything from security software and firewalls through to bespoke bare metal servers and encrypted messaging. One way to set the tone for a safe and secure operation with your business is to tap into the power of a virtual private network.
What is a virtual private network?
Ok, so what is it? Well a virtual private network, known by the acronym VPN, is a way of keeping your browsing activity secure even when you’re connected to the internet through a public network. It’s a way of operating as though you’re in a private network, even though you’re not. Tech Hive describes it as a ‘secure tunnel’.
The result of that means that the data you send and receive is encrypted, giving you the confidence that the financial data of you and your customers is not freely passing before prying eyes.
Practical benefits of a VPN
That alone should spark your interest. But it probably helps to set this into some sort of context. Here are a couple of scenarios in which your VPN will be called upon:
- If you wish to offer flexible working to employees and you want to be able to offer them a safe and secure way into your systems from home. This is an increasingly common part of modern working, especially for parents of young children, and can be offered with greater confidence by using a VPN.
- If you or any of your employees want to be able to ‘work on the go’. These days many of us barely leave the house without being armed with our laptop. If you spot a café you’re able to jump in and catch up on emails using the Wi-Fi. Or if you’re on a train or waiting for a plane you might also want to ensure that this isn’t ‘dead time’. A VPN allows you to use free Wi-Fi – a potential hazard – safely and securely for work.
- If you travel abroad for work. This allows you to bypass the issues outlined above and also helps to avoid any international restrictions that may occur while accessing the internet from another country.
A simple decision to make
The benefits make this a fairly easy choice to make for a business in the digital age. Not only that but it’s a fairly cost effective one too, with packages available for just a few pounds a month, depending on the level of encryption and support you require. There are, as Life Hacker notes, a whole range of different providers to choose from, meaning that you’re able to shop around and find the package that best fits your needs.