The global statistics on VPN usage are interesting, with some 43% of respondents using virtual private networks for the purpose of enhancing their network security.
At the same time, around 13% of users accessed a VPN for business purposes, with corporations increasingly inclined to leverage this as a way of securing sensitive documents and maintaining connectivity between employees in different locations.
But are business VPNs really fit for purpose in the digital age? We’ll answer this in the article below, by appraising the pros and cons of the business-focused VPNs available in 2023!
The Pros of Using a Business VPN
We’ll start by addressing the benefits of using a VPN as a business owner. Here are a few of the most important to keep in mind:
1. Allow Users to Log in From Anywhere:
When using a VPN and rolling it out company-wide, those with authorized access should have the ability to log into a secure business network from anywhere. This is ideal when deploying flexible working directives or employing individuals overseas, while it also helps when working with remote freelancers. This creates a virtual and secure working space, in which documents and even sensitive data can be shared safely.
2. Empower the Age of Hybrid Working:
We live in an age where remote and hybrid working is becoming increasingly commonplace, while studies suggest that 64% of employees want to work from home for 2-3 days of the working week. To enable this safely and in a way that’s manageable, businesses are turning to paid VPNs to create secure points of entry through which remote workers can sign into their network.
3. Enhance Network Security:
Additionally, VPNs provide an extra layer of protection for remote and hybrid teams against potential cyber threats and unauthorized access to company resources. By encrypting data transmitted between remote workers and the company’s network, VPNs safeguard sensitive information from interception and hacking attempts.
In today’s digital landscape, regulatory compliance has become increasingly important for businesses. VPNs assist companies in adhering to data protection regulations and industry standards by securely transmitting data across the internet. This is particularly crucial when remote workers handle confidential customer information or engage in financial transactions. VPNs help maintain the integrity and confidentiality of such data, ensuring compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The benefits of VPNs extend beyond remote teams, as they also cater to the needs of field sales teams and traveling salesmen. These professionals often rely on accessing and sharing customer data in real-time to drive sales and provide personalized experiences. VPNs allow them to securely connect to their company’s network from any location, ensuring that sensitive customer information is protected even when using public Wi-Fi networks. By mitigating the risks associated with unsecured networks, VPNs enable sales teams to operate efficiently and confidently, without compromising data privacy.
What About the Cons of Business VPNs?
When you download a VPN for the UK market, you should also note that this allows for safe access to files over any public network. However, this type of technology is viewed by many as being increasingly outdated, while it does have some potential pitfalls that you should keep in mind.
1. Speed and Increased Latency:
Accessing systems through a companywide VPN can slow Internet performance down considerably, especially when a number of users are connected to the network at any given time. This can make it hard for users to access the network or customer documents in real-time or as the need arises, with an increasingly low bandwidth connection more likely to display heightened latency.
2. A Potential Lack of Full Network Access:
Depending on your choice of VPN product, some clients won’t allow you access from specific network types or in certain circumstances. For example, some may be setup to block login attempts from users who are travelling through specific jurisdictions, while other cheaper or so-called “free” VPNs may lack the necessary features to empower full access or network usage in real-time.
3. Potential Security Compromises:
The primary reason to use a VPN is to enhance your network’s security, but the same free VPN clients may actually comprise this benefit through access limitations. More specifically, this will encourage users to circumvent the VPN’s protocols, as they instead look to send data or information from a personal email address or separate device. This can undermine your network security significantly, which may become a real issue as your company grows and more people are employed remotely.
The Last Word
In the digital age, there are also a number of tech and software-led alternatives to VPNs. These include software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), the former of which arguably offers a more efficient solution than VPNs.
This works by routing encrypted traffic between a network and all SD-WAN appliances, rather than implementing point-to-point connectivity.
However, both are highly secure and robust options, while you can optimise your network security by opting for paid VPN clients that combine effective protocols such as WireGuard and OpenVPN.