If you are the owner or manager of a small business, your online security will be a significant concern as technology and being online is critical to your success. Unfortunately, small companies are the preferred target of hackers, scammers and digital thieves. Let’s look closer at how a VPN-connection is a great tool to protect your business and give you peace of mind.
The number of online threats against small businesses is pretty much endless. It can be everything from the simple scamming of your business for money, commercial/industrial spying, and military spying from terrorist groups or foreign governments. Even a small local water supplier can be a target for hackers from a foreign government. There is no doubt that you have to protect your business and your employees in the best possible way and to never let your guard down. Let’s look at what ways a VPN-solution will protect your small business.
The big issue, when it comes to online security, is that the internet initially was designed without much thought for safety. So originally no data was encrypted. Plus the data contains information about who the sender is and also the receiver. It means that everybody that snaps up the data you send online will be able to read and examine it. This is, of course, great news for all the bad guys, but not for the safety of your business.
A VPN-connection will keep you secure because it encrypts all information between your computers and other devices. It will also hide the source of the data transferred over the internet so nobody can see that it comes from you, your company or employees.
Be Safe When You and Your Employees are Online
Working nowadays means that you will need to spend a lot of time online. A lot of the tools you use are online, even tasks like accounting and payroll are done online, just like balancing your bank accounts. Looking forward into the future, even more tasks will be done online. For example, all your documents might already be online.
When you buy stuff for your business, when your employees will be online and researching to solve problems, finding suppliers, or keeping updated about the news in your industry will require you to be online.
All the bad guys will try to scan for traffic from companies that have their interests, so if you can hide that the traffic comes from a company, particularly from your company, you will make life a lot harder for the bad guys as well as keep your company, yourself and your employees much safer.
You can also encrypt the information so even if they snap it up, it will just be gibberish to them. And you will be safer than ever.
This is precisely what a VPN-connection will do so, just by using a VPN-solution, your company will suddenly be so much safer. Plus, most VPN-services will scan the traffic for viruses, malware, or attempts to hack your company.
Be Protected When Your Employees Forget to Be Careful
As cyber security is getting more and more important, all larger companies now have a security policy set in place and so should you. The reasons for having a security policy are plentiful and larger than the scope in this article but one important reason is to keep the employees and company secure.
The security policy can be things like the employees are not allowed to search for porn on company computers, download copyrighted material, or do other activities that pose a security risk to the company or devices owned by the company. Unfortunately, you can’t count on every employee remembering this and they might just do something out of poor judgment.
Forcing all your traffic through a VPN- connection will give an extra layer of security, even if your employees forget to be careful.
Be Safe When You and Your Employees Uses Phones and Tablets
Today’s tablets and smartphones are an integral part of a company toolbox but it can be easy to forget that they should also be kept safe, and not just the traditional computers and servers. It is therefore vital that all devices are protected as the bad guys always will attack the weakest link..
By making sure all phones, tablets, and other hardware are using a VPN-connection, you will help to keep your company secure
Be Safe When Your Employees Bring their Own Devices (BYOD)
At a lot of companies, it is not unusual that the employees do a part of their work on their own devices. Unfortunately, this also means that they will connect their devices to your network. That makes your company dependent on how careful your employees are with their security because if those devices are compromised, it will be very easy for the devices to infect your company network.
The most effective way to avoid this is to get a VPN-plan that lets all your employees use a VPN-connection on the devices they use for their work, no matter if it is yours or theirs. Then they will be continuously protected, no matter if they are using the devices for private or company tasks.
Keep Your Printers, Equipment and Machinery Safe
Most companies, even small companies, have a lot of devices that are online. For example, even small inkjet printers now have a small web server for management of the device, which make the devices very tempting for hackers as they can be used to attack servers all over the world. But many of those devices also have weak security, so they are the perfect Trojan horses for hackers, which means that if they can hack a printer, they will be inside your network. Then they will be able to use the device as a platform to gain further access to your network.
Using a VPN-connection will keep all your devices safe as they will be hidden and all the data sent to and from them will be encrypted.
Be Safe on Business Travel
Most businesses have employees traveling both locally and internationally. It means that you will often use Wi-Fi hot spots, networks at hotels, airports and cafes and many other places. Or you will use the networks of the local mobile providers. Even an innocent looking USB charger can be used to hack your computer, tablet or phone. These are all circumstances where you will depend on the security of others.
These places will attract hackers, scammers and digital thieves, due to the fact that the security is often sloppy and used by stressed tourists or business travelers who forget to be careful with their security,
It is important to be aware that some countries not just use their intelligence service to spy on terrorists, criminals, and other bad guys, but also to collect trade secrets from foreign companies and pass them on to their local companies.
A VPN connection will protect in all the cases above due to the encryption, anonymity, and the additional scanning and protection by the VPN
We suggest you read our post about why you should a VPN-connection when you travel and our post about how to avoid hackers, scammers and digital thieves when you are on vacation to learn more. Both are written for vacation and personal travel, but everything mentioned there also applies for business travel.
Is a VPN for Business Expensive?
No, it is actually a very inexpensive way to keep your company secure and to protect not only your business secrets but also avoid getting virus, malware, and ransomware. The prices for some providers start at about $8/month to about $12/month for 10 connections. Compare that with the cost of having to hire an IT security expert to clean up in case your network has been compromised.
You can think of the usage a VPN-connection as an effective insurance against getting into trouble because of cyber attacks.
As a small business, you need to keep your company safe online, and a VPN is an effective and inexpensive tool to achieve this. No company should be online without the protection of a VPN, and the bad guys would face much harder times as a result of this. We can only recommend that you act now as it might be too late tomorrow. The bad guys work every day and every night.