What is a Remote Access VPN? Is it the Right Solution For Your Business?
Cybersecurity is one of the most important factors of a successful business. Protecting your company and allowing remote users access to the data they need aren’t mutually exclusive. Building a business based on trust begins with ensuring that your customers’ data and your proprietary information is protected by a remote access VPN.
What is a Remote Access VPN?
A VPN is a secure channel from a user to server, user-to-user, or from a user to any site on the Internet. Most hacking occurs along unsecured connections as data is transferred from the server to the user or vice versa. A VPN is essentially a guard around that connection, keeping bots and hackers from intercepting valuable information along the conduit.
Remote VPNs allow users to access your company’s servers from anywhere, even if their Internet connection is unsecure. Communicating through a VPN gives users flexibility while travelling and access to proprietary information in real-time.
Secure Connections From Anywhere
Businesses that have salespeople in the field have a demonstrated need for a remote access VPN. Collecting customer data while on the road or accessing company files remotely is often necessary to maintain an efficient operation.
A remote access VPN allows a secure connection from a user’s tablet or laptop to the sensitive files at your company. Workers that telecommute can have the same access to your company’s software as those that are hardwired in the main office. Secure connections provide greater flexibility and can accommodate contract workers who need temporary access to company data.
A VPN gives each user a secure connection to other users and the company’s servers. Each user has a unique set of credentials to log into the network access server that hosts the VPN. This ensures that only those who are authorized for certain information are privy to it.
Is a Remote Access VPN Right For My Company?
Not every company needs a remote VPN system. However, companies with a host of remote workers or several contract employees, should consider adding one to their cybersecurity measures.
A remote access VPN is best for companies that have workers who use public WiFi or mobile data connections regularly. These connections aren’t typically secure. Information passed between the user and the company’s servers is vulnerable to hacking. However, with a VPN, the connection between the user and the server is like a tunnel that makes the data transfer safe. Even if hackers can access some of the data, it’s encrypted so they can’t use it.
However, just because your company has remote workers and traveling salespeople doesn’t mean that you need a remote access VPN. Sometimes, secure remote desktop connections can allow telecommuters or contract workers access to the information they need. You can do this without the integration of a VPN and the expense that goes along with it.
Remote desktop sessions operate over an encrypted channel. This means that they prevent hackers from viewing your session by listening in on the network. For telecommuters, this may be a viable alternative to the VPN. However, it’s critical to ensure that your remote desktop users have a secure connection to the Internet. Otherwise, they will need a VPN to ensure that their connection isn’t vulnerable when accessing company software.
Costs and Central Management Services
Most premium VPN providers offer comprehensive management services and don’t require any in-house infrastructure outside of a router. VPNs are surprisingly affordable for the amount of protection they provide, with plans as low as $10/month for small teams.
Free services are out there, but we generally don’t recommend them. Free VPN providers are notorious for slower connection speeds, out-dated encryption protocols, and collecting their customers’ data.
Determining whether or not your company needs remote access VPN connections largely depends on what the workers themselves are doing. Those who travel abroad or rely on public WiFi to gain access to company data will be better served by a remote VPN. However, workers who generally work from home may be able to use a secure desktop system. This allows them secure access like those hardwired into the main office servers.