Cyber-attacks happen every day of the week, every hour of the day, and every second of that hour. In fact, a cyberattack occurred by the time you opened this article and reached here.
Cybersecurity has been one of the top concerns for businesses in the globalized economy. And it has become even more pronounced in the era of the COVID19, which has pushed people inside their homes and on to the internet.
While there is a growing understanding of the importance of cybersecurity among businesses, not all of them have access to topnotch security infrastructure. For one, cybersecurity can be expensive. Then again, so is the lack of it.
In the US, the average cost of a data breach has reached a whopping $8.2 million. Naturally, more and more businesses are now ready to spend on securing their data. However, smaller businesses do not have that kind of budget. Thankfully, cloud Virtual Private Network (VPN) is making it possible for small businesses to secure their corporate networks from potential threats. Cloud VPN solutions can be very beneficial in several ways.
How Your Network Might Be Compromised?
There are multiple situations in which your corporate network, apps, and data may be exposed to the prying eyes of a hacker. Here are a few to help you think of the vulnerabilities.
Using Open Wi-Fi
Entrepreneurs do not always have an office or a secure internet connection to work with. Although they may use a trustworthy connection while working out of a shared space or home, they expose their data to potential attacks when they connect to a public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, mall, train stations, or airports. Open Wi-Fi networks can completely expose their devices and connections to unauthorized access.
Poorly Managed Remote Workforce
With the gig economy becoming a trend, it is more than likely that your business hires freelancers, consultants, or even remote employees located in different parts of the world. If the company does not exercise control over the security of the connections that their remote workforce is using, then they are inviting trouble. Any data shared over insecure networks is a potential security threat.
Inept BYOD Policy
Most companies have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place. Under BYOD, companies allow employees to use their personal mobile devices instead of using company-sanctioned devices. busWhile such policies may reduce costs to the company, they increase the possibility of the company’s data getting stolen. The employee may lose the device or may connect it to an unreliable network.
These are only some of the many scenarios that can open a backdoor for hackers to get inside your business network and steal your data. There are many benefits of VPN for small businesses and they cannot be ignored. They can counter the above mentioned threats and create a safer network that your customers can trust.
Benefits Of VPN For Small Business
Small businesses can benefit from cloud VPN solutions as they enable them to:
- Update Security
- Safeguard Data Sharing
- Secure Remote Workforce
- Overcome Geographic Challenges
- Better Value for Money
Updated Security: Outdated Security is NO Security
Businesses typically secure their data by using the traditional firewalls or antivirus software or both. But, while they are widely used, these tools do not make your data untouchable for malware attacks and data thefts. If anything, these commonly used online security measures are becoming less effective by the day. More than 14,000 new malware strains are created every hour. To be fair, antivirus and firewalls do provide a certain degree of security, but only against the more well-known threats.
In fact, the Senior Vice President at Symantec Corp., which invented commercial antivirus software, has said, “Antivirus is Dead.” According to him, antivirus software is only effective against 45% of the malware attacks and that was way back in 2014. Today, hackers have become even smarter. They continue to develop increasingly sophisticated malware to attack business computers.
A VPN helps a typical online connection to become more secure using end-to-end encryption. So, all the data that passes through the connection is entirely encrypted and hence protected. This can include sensitive internal communication, confidential client information, and other corporate data.
Safe Data Sharing: Business Reputation Depends on It
VPN has grown in popularity because it provides an impressive level of security when it comes to maintaining the integrity of the shared data – within the departments, among the employees, or with the outside world.
By using a reputed VPN service like NordVPN Teams, businesses get better control over their networks. It can access a centralized dashboard that allows businesses to manage all the user accounts. When the VPN software encrypts the entire business internet connection. An encrypted network is difficult to intercept. Hackers cannot see the data inside files uploaded on such secure networks. Only the authorized employees have the encryption key that is used to decrypt the data into a usable format.
One of the most respected cybersecurity reports, Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report, is out with its latest publication for 2020. According to the report, 28% of the breaches were targeted at small businesses. That is almost one-third of all attacks.
A data breach in today’s times is akin to a severe loss of reputation. Customers trust businesses with their personal information, and the onus lies on the company to preserve that trust by taking steps to keep customer data safe by strengthening their networks. Secure data sharing is almost a necessity for small businesses to function without a glitch.
Remote Data Access: Move With the Times But Cautiously
In the current pandemic climate, remote access has become more of a need than a luxury. Businesses have moved most of their operations online, and employees are working from home to keep the economy from coming to a grinding halt. Services like Zoom, which were relatively obscure office jargon, have become household names. Businesses are using Zoom to carry out business as usual. And yet, in April 2020, Zoom faced a lot of heat when hackers stole the data of 500,000 accounts.
Pandemic or not, remote access is a pressing need in a globalized economy. Carrying sensitive company data in mobile devices is not a solution either. If those devices are lost, the data on them becomes vulnerable.
For these reasons, cloud storage is the need of the hour. In the same vein, establishing a secure connection with the cloud is vital as well. This is where a business VPN service plays a significant role.
The best VPN service will provide safe remote access to a secure corporate server for multiple users. The data on the server would be available to all the authorized users at all times so that the businesses can compete in the fast-paced market. At the same time, the server is shielded from unauthorized access by hackers.
Seamless Business Operations, Across International Borders
Many business leaders undertake frequent international travel. While the world has become one big market, the law of the land varies vastly from one country to the next. In this global context, it is easy to imagine how traveling from one country to another can hinder the efficiency of regular business operations. Countries like China, which have strict internet laws, may not allow business executives to access certain websites, databases, or cloud storage.
In such a scenario, a VPN service comes in handy. An effective VPN for business network allows executives to work online as usual. They can research for their competitors in different countries without disclosing their IP address. This ensures that the business does not encounter inefficiencies every time a business executive travels to a country with a different or more restrictive set of internet laws. Alternatively, businesses can also connect to a server in a different country to unlock the content specific to that region. Such comprehensive market research can mean the difference between beating your competition or getting beat.
Better Cost to Benefit: Makes Sense for Small Business
A traditional enterprise VPN service is a major financial and operational undertaking. The compatibility with existing business networks, installation time, number of servers, and other factors add to the cost of the project. It also requires a dedicated IT team to manage and operate the traditional VPN for business. The cost-to-benefit ratio does not always make sense for small businesses. That is one of the primary reasons why small businesses end up employing other online security measures and leave themselves open to security breaches.
Cloud VPN services like the NordVPN Teams offer a viable solution for small businesses. Their setup time is negligible, and the set-up costs stand at a fraction of the traditional business VPN services. They not only establish secure connections but also offer private gateways, shared gateways, thousands of servers across the globe, centralized billing, and other such features.
Realize the Significance of VPN for Your Business
2020 is the year of taking business operations online, engaging remote workforce, and sharing data on company networks. Hence, it becomes even more critical to understand and invest in the security of those networks. Businesses need to establish a layered defense infrastructure against cyberattacks that protect them from targeted ransomware attacks, insider threats, mobile malware, and other emerging threats.
Every business has different sources of data vulnerabilities. However, it remains crucial that companies identify them, use the tools that solve their problems, and train their staff to develop safer online behavior. Cloud VPN solutions provide a realistic solution for small businesses to safeguard their virtual assets, serve their customers better, and accelerate their growth to become a trusted brand.
Businesses can benefit from Cloud VPN solutions by the virtue of the improved security, safer data sharing, secure remote workforce, carrying out seamless operations on international soil, and better value for money that they provide.
Are you considering securing your company?
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