The effects of the Covid pandemic around the world extend well beyond general health. The need to practice social distancing has made working from home a necessity.
While many companies have started to move back into the office, many are embracing a hybrid work model that requires a secure and convenient way to access the company network. This is where a virtual private network or VPN comes into play.
Recent studies have shown that VPN usage has now become a norm rather than something for just the tech-savvy – 31% of worldwide Internet users connect to VPNs daily. VPNs are very much becoming a mainstream utility when working from home, and it’s for this reason that it’s important to understand what is VPN, and how it works.
5 reasons to use a VPN for remote work
1. Protect your data on public WiFi with a VPN for remote access
Having the ability to work remotely provides people with the opportunity to establish a productive workspace anywhere they have access to an internet connection.
But when you do work based on an internet connection, it’s critically important to use secure VPN remote access.
For example, perhaps you need a change of scenery and choose to work in a local cafe instead of your home office. At times, you may decide to work from places that provide free WiFi to mitigate expenses.
However, while it’s wonderful to save money where you can, it can come at the sacrifice of security when dealing with free WiFi networks.
Unfortunately, hackers target users of public WiFi networks to steal their sensitive data — which they then use for a variety of criminal activities. When someone attempts to access a company’s servers from one of these unsecured networks, you could unintentionally open the door for criminals to tap into your corporate network.
A plethora of issues could arise when using free WiFi hotspots (like hacking, evil twin attacks, and exploits) — but you don’t have to fall prey.
The best way to prevent this from happening, and protect your identity, is by using a secure VPN remote work setup.
2. Remote work VPNs help you avoid exposure during pandemics
COVID-19 forced many organizations to reevaluate the unique and powerful benefits of working remotely. Prior to the pandemic, most employers would’ve never entertained the concept of hiring remote workers due to the perceived disadvantages associated with it.
Traditionally, companies wanted employees contained under one roof for effective monitoring, defending company information, and ensuring everyone is productive. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the flexibility to work remotely was integral to a business’s survival due to compulsory lockdowns and keeping employees safe.
Unfortunately, many risks exist to remote work because, when improperly secured, it opens up the opportunity for cybercriminals to access sensitive information that would otherwise be unattainable.
For example, if you attempt to remotely access a computer located at the office without a proper remote access VPN, nearby cybercriminals can hack into the device and steal sensitive data (like passwords) through your connection. This is the reason why remote workers must use a powerful and reliable VPN network to protect against such attacks.
VPN servers encrypt connections, rendering siphoned data useless to those trying to steal it. Even if a cybercriminal intercepts sensitive information, they can’t derive any meaningful data from it.
VPN protocols are responsible for the method of data encryption, anonymity, data transfer rate.
It is important to understand which VPN protocol suits you best because they all have their own specific features, some are faster, others are safer, others work better with mobile devices.
Remote workers should expect their employers to provide a VPN that allows for safe access to their servers. However, if no such protocols exist, subscribe to a strong VPN service that allows you to work with peace of mind.
3. VPNs for remote access provide safe remote access to your work PC
As an employee working off-premises, VPNs can help establish secure connections to your work computer. A multitude of remote access applications enable such connectivity (like VNC, SSH, and RDP, for example).
While any of these software options can be used to connect to an onsite machine, the PC you intend to access must be located in the office. Additionally, if there isn’t any office IT policy that prohibits the use of a VPN from outside the office, one can be used to connect to your onsite PC.
This precaution allows remote workers to perform all of their tasks without compromising company data.
4. Remote work with a VPN is less expensive than a daily commute
Implementing a VPN at home is less expensive than spending money commuting back and forth to your workplace each and every day. This is because a majority of VPNs offer affordable subscription prices for their service.
When weighing the expenses of daily commuting versus working productively from home, using a VPN is usually the preferred option. Aside from the financial expense, you can avoid the mental strain of traffic jams, missed meetings, unsafe weather conditions, and more.
For those who have the option to work remotely, take advantage of it. However, using a strong VPN network is crucial. At times, an IT department may even set up a business VPN to connect to a workplace server from your device. In this situation, remote workers can perform their duties without issue.
However, if no such protocols are in place, subscribe to a secure and reliable VPN to protect your data. See best remote access VPN services to make your work easier, more convenient, faster and safe.
5. VPN for remote access can actually increase productivity
There are many times when you’d like to get a headstart on a project, but aren’t able to because you lack access to the office computer. Alternatively, sometimes a quiet place outside of the home or office is more productive and efficient for your work style.
Threats to cyber security don’t have to prevent you from working when and where you want. Simply sign up for a reliable VPN service, and confidently take care of business from any location.
When employees can work in a place that fuels their productivity (which is oftentimes outside of a hectic office environment) without sacrificing an organization’s security, remote work with VPNs can vastly increase productivity.
VPNs are a necessity for anyone using the Internet. They execute many valuable functions — and offer a plethora of benefits beyond just a secure connection. VPNs aren’t only meant for social network enthusiasts, streaming overseas content, and gamers. VPNs are fantastic for those who’ve adopted a remote work style as well.
If you’ve been hesitant to invest in a VPN because you weren’t sure if it was really necessary, we hope this post has outlined why you should get a VPN as soon as possible. It is wise to avoid free VPN services, it’s a better idea to invest in an affordable but well-rated service instead.
Avoid paying the incalculable price of a cyberattack, with the far less costly financial investment into a VPN that keeps your data safe.
Access your company’s resources from anywhere
On any given day, an employee will be required to access the company network to perform their mandated task. Whether it is to access customer details and order information, access HR systems to clock in or out, process staff payments, or developing proprietary software. By using a VPN, you enable your employees to continue their work securely from anywhere.
Control and manage access
To prevent unauthorized access to your VPN, always ensure you use the strongest authentication methods available. If you make use of Microsoft servers, you can use smart cards with Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Level Security (EAP-TLS).
Microsoft’s Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (MS-CHAP v2) coupled with Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) gives you the utmost level of authentication security. This method however incurs the costs and maintenance of encoding and distributing smart cards to your workforce, which may not be viable for very large organizations.
Ensure that you use the highest encryption available for your VPN. When using a VPN, only the end-user computer and the VPN have the required key to decrypt the transmitted data. This ensures that any data that is intercepted is useless since IP addresses are masked by your VPN. VPN allows your employees to access and share confidential resources anonymously.