Being targeted by cybercriminals might seem like something that happens to only big companies. But, if the 2018 report by Verizon Data Breach Investigation is anything to go by, you should be worried. According to the report, 58% of cybersecurity breaches were targeted at small businesses.
60% of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) -- small companies with less than 250 employees say employee negligence was the root cause of data breaches. And, the most disconcerting revelation is that 62% of SMBs said they lack the in-house expertise to handle cybersecurity. (Source)
While as a small company, you may not have deep pockets to deploy sophisticated cybersecurity technology, you can at least provide a layer of security for your organization’s Network with a secure VPN solution.
What exactly is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network is a technology that enables you to set up a private, secure connection, especially when connecting to a public network. A VPN provides an encrypted end-to-end connection that safeguards business communication between team members and clients.
Since the data packets passing through the VPN are encrypted, anyone listening in on you cannot make use of it, this way, your data are secure and confidential.
How does using a VPN benefit your business?
1. Provide a safe connection for remote employees
With the increasing trend towards remote work, most staff members now work from several locations – that may be a good thing for productivity, but a challenge for IT.
Having your staff working from several locations can pose severe problems as you would find it more challenging to monitor their online activities and to grant them secure access to your IT network.
However, by deploying a VPN for out of office employees, they can log in safely into your business’s network.
2. Access geo-restricted websites
While doing your work, you may find that some sites restrict access to their content from IPs in your location.
But, by using a VPN to send requests over the internet, you can get around the location-based restriction. You see, the VPN will provide you with a new IP address that hides your original location; this way, you can safely access the website.
3. You support a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy
If you are among the 85% of companies offering employees the option to bring their device to work, chances are you are also concerned about the security impact of the policy.
Granted, having employees bring their own devices to work help cut infrastructure costs for companies. It also raises concerns over security and privacy. However, having a VPN protocol in place can help reduce any security risks.
4. Monitor brand presence in international markets
The high penetration of the internet in most countries means you are likely going to see an increasing number of visits to your website from other countries.
To stay top of the trend, you may want to monitor your brand presence in these countries. Also, by understanding how these customers are discovering your business, you can optimize for them.
The problem, however, is that most times, the web you view in your home country is different from the way it appears in another country. Here’s where using VPN comes in.
With a VPN, you can mask your location and connect to an international server as though you are browsing from another country.
5. Work safely while on a business trip
There will be days when you will be away on business trips and still required to put in your regular shift at the office. How do you ensure a secure connection to your organization’s IT network?
Sure, there are the airport wifi and hotel hotspots, but these public networks are notoriously known for being unsafe and a haven for malicious attacks.
Connecting to the public network without a VPN is a risky business with the odds of having your personal information stolen high. If you must use public wifi, be sure to protect yourself with a virtual private network.
6. VPNs are affordable
For most small businesses, the cost is a significant factor when it comes to upgrading their internet security. You may also have questions about how much it would cost to deploy a VPN for your business.
Though price varies, some vendors offer their services at a ridiculously low price of $10 per month, making it affordable for businesses.
7. VPNs encourage productivity
You can easily monitor bandwidth usage and employees’ online activities with a VPN. By subtly letting them know you can see their online activities, they would have to think twice before bingeing on that YouTube video.
8. Build trust with your clients
With the constant spats of data breaches, clients and users are wary of giving out their personal information. You can soothe their worries by educating them on your data security policies, including how you use VPNs to encrypt their data.
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