Virtual Private Networks and Their Role In Your Business
Employees don’t always get all of their work done from the comfort of their office. They often find themselves on the road for conferences or trying to stay ahead during their downtime at home. Unfortunately, security can become a problem, and access to data needs to be as secure as possible when outside the company network. A virtual private network, or VPN, can be an integral part of your remote business strategy.
Why Use a VPN?
A virtual private network works by protecting your network from prying eyes while data is in transit. While you’re out of the office and connected to a network, any data that moves between your device and your internal infrastructure is susceptible to being intercepted. Any villain with the right tools could snatch your data while it’s moving from one location to the next. A VPN makes this task more difficult for the hacker, if not outright impossible.
Understanding a VPN
Any network should be encrypted to keep the data stored on it safe, and a virtual private network takes this one step further by implementing an encrypted connection while out of the office or on a different network. This is particularly helpful if you don’t trust the integrity of the web connection you are currently using (and you shouldn’t--hotels, coffee shops, and other public places attract all sorts of folks). If data sent to and from a device is encrypted, hackers have a harder time making heads or tails of the data or its purpose, thereby removing the incentive to actually steal it.
To be fair, a VPN doesn’t necessarily make it harder for data to be stolen--rather, it makes it harder to be read, analyzed, or interpreted. It transforms the data into a jumbled mess that can only be decrypted by someone who has the encryption key. This makes the data stolen significantly less valuable, as hackers can’t really do anything with encrypted data. At the absolute worst, the hacker will spend an insane amount of time trying to crack the encryption, and it’s entirely likely that they will simply give up or see it as not worth the effort.
If your business wants to maximize security for remote workers or traveling, a virtual private network is a necessity. First Column can help you implement the best one for your budget. To learn more, reach out to us at 703-880-6683.