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Pros and Cons of using a VPN for an Organization

One of the ways to promote cybersecurity is to use a VPN while working when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. See the article on cyber security tips for the workplace to know other ways. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is software that protects your sensitive information by hiding your IP address using an encrypted server. In simpler terms, a VPN ensures that you can browse the internet anonymously and enjoy security. The use of this software is mostly common among tech professionals, however, cybersecurity experts advise that everyone should use it, tech guys, employers, and employees alike. In this article, we would be analyzing the pros and cons of using a VPN, to find out why it is advisable.

Why Should Organizations Use a VPN?

The VPN sounds like software built for individual use, so for most people, it doesn’t make any sense for a company to invest in one. However, the encryption feature of a VPN makes it ideal for companies to use it to protect their data, especially if their employees work remotely.

Pros of Using a VPN as an Organization

1. Data Security

 Using a VPN for a company gives employees the privilege of accessing sensitive information on their private devices while connected to the organization’s network, without worrying about data leaks. It keeps your data in, and hackers out, so your company is less susceptible to cyberattacks.

2. Controlled Access to Confidential Information by Employees

Another attractive perk of using a VPN for a company or organization is that it offers access control options. A company that uses a virtual private network can restrict its employees’ access to confidential information. An employee with the privilege to such information will need to confirm that he has been authorized by logging in before access will be granted to him. A business VPN allows employers to keep track of the websites employees visit on the company’s network. Every activity done on the network is recorded for review by the account handler.

3. Freedom to Access Relevant Websites Regardless of Location

When you travel to secure deals for the company, you may pass through locations where you will be denied access to some parts of the internet essential for your work productivity. A VPN will circumvent any barricade and grant you access to what you need. This feature of a virtual private network comes in handy when you need to access a social media platform in a region where it has been banned (remember the era when Twitter was banned in Nigeria?).

4. Secure Financial Transactions.

A VPN hides the user’s IP address and encrypts his connection, enabling him to perform all outgoing internet activities anonymously. This feature makes it possible for your company to enjoy secure financial transactions at no risk of unauthorized tracking.

5. Employees can connect to Public Wi-Fi without Fear

Cybercriminals often steal important information from people using public Wi-Fi. This is why every company’s policies state that employees should not work while connected to an open Wi-Fi, for data security’s sake. However, with the use of a credible VPN, employees can connect to public Wi-Fi and rest assured that their company’s information is safe.

6. The Company can Provide Network Access to a Large Number of Employees Simultaneously

A VPN server allows the organization to give network access to many employees at the same time. The only thing required for this to be effective is to provide each employee with the login details.

7. The use of VPNs Reduces Support Costs

 In a company whose employees work on-site, the maintenance of the organization’s server is the responsibility of the IT department. It is their job to ensure that the company’s server is secure and all employees have malware-free internet transactions. In the event of a cyberattack on the organization’s server more time and financial resources have to be spent to resolve it.

 However, if the company uses a VPN, all maintenance reviews and security checks are the responsibility of the software provider. The software provider has a large clientele of paying customers so the cost per client is minimal. This means that where issues arise with the server, your company would only have to pay a small fee as opposed to what it would cost them to pay a team of skilled personnel to handle the situation.

In simpler terms, using a VPN for your company’s network considerably reduces the money you’ll have to spend on support services. However, this is not the case with all VPN providers, so make sure to read through the services offered by your chosen provider before you install.

Like with everything that has ever been created, a VPN also has limitations. While we are considering the perks and advantages, we should also look critically at the limitations to see if it is truly worthwhile.

Cons of Using a VPN as an Organization

1. Apps can Still Store User History

Although the VPN is efficient with regards to helping you surf the net anonymously, using one doesn’t stop the apps you visit from storing the history of your recent activity.

2. The software does not bypass Cookies

Like with the apps, VPNs do not protect you from cookies. Websites that use cookies will still be able to gather information about you when you visit their site if the use of cookies is enabled on your computer.

3. VPNs are also susceptible to Malware

A VPN is not antivirus software, it can still be infected by malware. When a VPN gets attacked by malware, the benefits are nullified and it can no longer keep your data secure.

4. The use of VPN is Banned in Some Countries

In some countries, the use of VPNs is highly prohibited or regulated. Some countries and even some sites, deny people who use VPNs, access to web content. Before installing a VPN provider, make sure that its use is legal in your county so that you do not get into trouble with the law. In countries where VPN usage is regulated, you may not enjoy all of its privacy benefits.

5. Some VPNs Reduce Internet Speed

The process of encryption to secure your data takes a while, which makes your internet slower if you are using a VPN. However, this limitation is more peculiar to some VPN providers than others, so critically study the specifications before you install any VPN.

6. Configuring the software Requires Expertise

Although you do not need to be a tech professional or expert to use a VPN, you need tech personnel to configure it for you. VPNs have a few complicated parts that you’ll need a background knowledge of network terminologies to understand. Using a VPN that was configured poorly will leave your information exposed to malware and cyber security threats. However, some VPN providers offer support services that provide instructions users that are not tech inclined can follow to get their virtual private network up and running. Business VPN providers usually offer the service of their experts to help the company’s IT team set up the server.

Bonus Info: What you need to know about the Business VPN

The ideal virtual private network for organizations and businesses is a Business VPN, not a consumer VPN. The latter is more popular because VPN usage is more common among individuals. However, business VPNs are structured to protect the privacy of the entire organization. They are extra fortified to protect the business from hackers and unauthorized surveillance. The server is specially designed for business users and allows multiple users to access it together. In other words, all employees of the same organization can use the same account, with a single authorized executive in charge.

Business VPNs have a customized IP address for each user, as opposed to the consumer VPN that is dynamic and can be shared by multiple users. This kind of VPN is helpful for small business owners who have limited resources at their disposal. They may not be able to dedicate a lot of finance to cyber security management.

Some top business VPN providers include:

  • Perimeter 81
  • NordLayer {The version of NordVPN that is for businesses}
  • Twingate
  • ExpressVPN {Although this is a consumer VPN, it works perfectly for entrepreneurs and single business users}
  • TorGuard
  • Encrypt.me
  • VyprVPN
  • CyberGhost

 Since the lockdown, more businesses have started to explore the digital world, cyber-crimes have increased also. The best decision small business owners and company heads can make, is to invest in cyber security. I hope you find this helpful.

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