Working from Home, Safely
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, more and more businesses are turning to work from home options to allow for heir employees to continue contribute to their jobs while also remaining safe. For many companies this also means that employees will be utilizing company computers and accessing their databases to access important documents as well as having to utilize internet services like web browsers and content management resources to continue to be productive.
While many companies have policies set in place to allow for a work from home environment that is efficient and able to cover all the important necessities for day to day operations, there are unique complications that can come with it.
Hackers are always looking for ways to infiltrate and compromise computers and will exploit any and all vulnerabilities that they can find to hijack systems or commit theft of data or money. Due to this, there is an increased need for security and protocols to ensure that employees and company assets are kept safe.
Practicing safe search habits as well as other common internet safety tactics are still viable, but in prolonged situations where employees are working from home, a VPN may be even more beneficial.
VPN’s allow for people to work and browse the internet with a security and privacy not provided by typical internet access. With the use of one you can rest assured that you have an additional layer of protection between your computer, and any potential threats created by malware or other infiltrators.
Breaking Down the Benefits of a VPN
What is a VPN?
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a security and privacy measure to protect a computer as it communicates via the internet. By creating a private channel, a layer of encryption is added to everything sent from your computer to create an undecipherable package should it be intercepted by a bad actor.
With the use of a VPN, you are protected, even if a website is insecure or might have back channels that could be exploited. This way you can conduct business without worrying if someone that isn’t supposed to is looking in.
Over the years, VPNs have become very powerful tools for people looking to protect themselves and their data. They are ones that alongside other security features can create a fortress of protection that hackers can’t get past.
How do VPN’s Work?
So now that you know what a VPN is, knowing how they work can help you better understand the protection they provide, and better utilize it in your security arsenal.
To explain this all very basically, as information is delivered, there are times, like when you are going to a website, that you need to send packets to that website to initiate the communication. These packets travel through the public internet, bouncing between computers to get the requested information, and then the information is received and sent back to your computer.
Hackers, malware, and other bad actors can try to exploit holes or other blind spots in this process, and abuse that to their advantage. A VPN adds an encryption layer to this process, and before any information is sent out or received by your computer, it is first encrypted on its way out, and then decrypted on its way back in.
This encryption protects your data and makes it harder to be compromised.
Typically, VPNs are available in two forms. One for businesses, and another for consumers. In the case of businesses, the infrastructure is owned and managed by the company, while for consumers it typically falls more into the software as a service (SaaS) model.
Why do Companies Use VPNS?
In an era where cybersecurity threats are becoming more common and cleverer, keeping systems protected is a critical part of any business plan. While antivirus and antimalware programs do a bulk of the heavy lifting in securing a computer system, virtual private networks provide a critical additional layer.
The main reason that a company would use a VPN is to protect their data and computer systems. Simply put, using a VPN makes things more secure for the in-office network. For those working remotely or at home, using VPN services provides a similar safety net so that the public or home internet connection they are using does not introduce new avenues.
A VPN also can be used to hide information as well. For businesses that are working with sensitive information or data, being able to keep that information from being seen by just anyone is incredibly important to healthy operations. Knowing it is secure whether you are in the office or working remote can provide a piece of mind to all individuals involved.
Reviewing the Benefits of a VPN
To go back over some of the reasons why should consider the use of a VPN for your business, the benefits of having one include:
- Access to business networks while working out of office
- Secure access to websites while browsing the internet
- Protected data to keep sensitive files safe
- Safe file sharing between work groups
- Bandwith and general network improvements with easy scalability
Using these you can create a more connected, more secure network that users can utilize no matter where they are working. With the situation surrounding COVID-19 appearing to be growing ever more complicated, the need to have a mobile work environment that is increasingly important.
With more and more uncertainty on when it will be safe for people to return to their offices, VPN’s can help ensure you and your team are protected and able to work efficiently without worry of additional problems.