Choosing the right VPN for your business can help you keep your data safe and secure, protect you against cybercrime, and make sure you stay compliant with data protection and handling regulations. But how do you choose a VPN for your business? First, you need to know why your business needs a VPN.
Why your business needs a VPN
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. These tools create a network that connects the computers or other devices you use, with a VPN server via an encrypted tunnel. All the data you send is encrypted until it emerges at the VPN server. This has two effects:
1: Your data is protected in transit. This is important: common attacks against businesses include ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks that read your data or communications as they travel across the network, and then use them to attack your business. These attacks are very difficult to detect while they’re happening but with a VPN they’re much less likely.
2: Your IP address, the number that physically locates you, appears to be that of the VPN server rather than your real IP address. This means it’s difficult for websites you visit to deduce your geographical location.
These are serious considerations for businesses that need to access a global array of research and other sites, and that must contend with geoblocking restrictions that prevent access from certain locations.
Other businesses already have a ‘virtual network,’ sending large quantities of data from site to site over the open internet. Doing this with client or employee data could see you run afoul of regulations like GDPR, and your financial or other data could be stolen.
Using a VPN in such circumstances makes your data secure when you’re moving across the internet.
What to look for in a business VPN
Business VPNs have slightly different requirements from consumer models. A business VPN has to be able to accommodate a large number of users, and dedicated business VPNs will have other features such as dedicated servers and additional security and permissions tools allowing privileged access to the VPN’s controls.
However, budget is also a concern and many smaller businesses can use the best consumer VPNs at least until they expand.
In particular, though, businesses should look for a VPN with the best privacy and the best security they can find.
Privacy is a measure of how much of your data is collected and stored by the VPN itself. If you’re safe from prying eyes until your VPN gets bought out, have you really protected your data? Look for a VPN that keeps minimal or no logs.
Security is a measure of how easy it is for third parties to access your data. The best VPNs use virtually-unhackable 256-bit AES encryption, meaning your data should be safe in transit.
Finally, consider server numbers and location. A VPN with a high number of servers gives you more choice and is less likely to slow you down.