Conducting your company’s business on a public network is a big IT blunder
In today’s digital jungle, formally known as the World Wide Web, looms the threat of having sensitive information being stolen by omnipresent hackers who are lurking around every corner, waiting for their opportunity to pounce. Using a virtual private network (VPN) keeps your valuable data out of reach from would-be hackers’ clammy, thieving hands and out of public networks, which are more vulnerable to attacks. Conducting business or handling sensitive personal information on a public network is a humongous blunder, one that puts your data and your company’s business at risk – which could be costly and time-consuming to resolve or even cost you your job – should your data become hijacked.
In the same manner that a firewall protects your data on your computer, VPNs protect your data in transit from a secure private network to users and vice versa. With a VPN, users gain the ability to securely access your company’s private network and share data remotely through public networks. This is accomplished by creating a secure, encrypted connection which tunnels the traffic to a proxy server. The encrypted connection is what protects the data, preventing hackers from gaining access to files or other sensitive information. VPNs provide security, reliability and scalability to businesses of all sizes.
The two most common types of VPNs are remote-access VPNs and site-to-site VPNs. A remote access VPN allows users to remotely connect to a private network and gain access to its resources and services. This is extremely useful for businesses that have remote or road-warrior employees who use a VPN to securely connect to the company’s network from any location to access files and resources.
A site-to-site VPN – also known as a router-to-router VPN or LAN-to-LAN VPN – is predominantly used by larger companies. If a company has offices located in different geographical locations, a site-to-site VPN allows each location, to securely connect to the company’s network to access files and resources.
Once a VPN is chosen, the next step is selecting which protocols your VPN will utilize. Protocols are set rules and guidelines used in electronic transmissions. When protocols are put in place, they ensure both ends follow the applied rules and regulations when sending/receiving data on the VPN.
There are several different types of VPN protocols to choose from, as well. Some offer the highest level of security while others offer the fastest possible performance. These choices should be discussed with your IT professionals to determine which option is best suited for your use and requirements, as each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages.
Implementing a VPN is a fast, easy and cost-effective solution for your network security needs. Once a VPN is set up, establishing a secure connection with your private corporate network is easy as 1-2-3. First, the user will connect to the public Internet through an available Internet service provider. Then, utilizing the client software, the user initiates the VPN connection to the company’s private network via the company’s VPN server. OK, so it’s as easy as 1-2. But you get the point.
So, whether your desire is to add more security to your network, add the ability to have remote access or you just don’t want Uncle Sam knowing about your love for cat videos, a virtual private network is a great resource to ensure your data is safe, private and secure, ultimately giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing your data is secure and out of reach of those who aim to do you or your business harm.
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David Black is the director of business development for Wasatch I.T., a Utah provider of outsourced IT services for small and medium-sized businesses.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only and may require additional research and substantiation by the end user. In addition, the information is provided “as is” without any warranty or condition of any kind, either express or implied. Use of this information is at the end user’s own risk. CenturyLink does not warrant that the information will meet the end user’s requirements or that the implementation or usage of this information will result in the desired outcome of the end user.