How Using a VPN Can Increase Your Small Business’s Online Privacy and Security
Everybody will agree nowadays we cannot imagine our business without the internet. We are managing our businesses with CRM(customer relation management) systems, updating our websites, eCommerce shops via content management systems(WordPress, Magento, Shopify, etc.), or making online supply orders. Not all of you know that the internet is not a safe place for routine business tasks, and it never was. Every year, cybercrimes are rising in significant numbers across the globe.
According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, more than 43% of companies were affected by cyber-attacks and lost more than 214 million dollars in the United States. Cybercriminals are stealing victims’ passwords, credit card details, bank account logins, social account logins, and other sensitive data by infecting your computer with various malware or scanning your unencrypted internet traffic.
There were many known cases when even competitors start snuffing online, trying to steal the company’s private documents and information with the help of black technologies. If you want to increase your company’s cybersecurity level, you should use decent and up-to-date antivirus software and encourage data encryption with a VPN service.
What is a VPN, and why do I need it for my business?
For those who still don’t know what VPN is, we will introduce it shortly. VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network. In short words, it is a service (application) which encrypts your data and changes your IP. It is almost impossible to read the encrypted data, so the hackers and cybercriminals cannot steal any information by scanning your wi-fi or local network. Some of the VPN services can offer virus-free traffic and ad-block functions, which will lift your company’s security and privacy at the next level.
Tips and tricks of using a VPN in business
For small business companies, we would recommend using a VPN with a dedicated IP address. In that case, your server administrator can make a restriction for all unknown IP connections, except the whitelisted ones. It is very comfortable when you want to do some business tasks on the go. For example, you can safely use the internet at free wi-fi hotspots, restaurants, airports, and other places. You can securely check your emails, bank accounts, or connect to the CRM system without fear of being hacked.
Many cybercrimes were committed at the free WI-FI hotspots, while the victims were using the unsecured connection. The cybercriminals are scanning unsecured traffic and steal various usernames and passwords. If your internet traffic is unencrypted, hackers can easily do that. A data breach can lead to substantial financial and privacy loss. According to the statistics, an average economic loss of cybercrime is more than 10 000 dollars. As it was mentioned before, more than 43% of U.S companies were faced with it.
Another case of dedicated IP VPN usage is business travels. Not everybody knows that your bank account can get blocked if you will try to connect to it if from a different country. According to the Banks’ cybercrime and money laundry prevention policy, the banks might block the account and credit cards if someone will try to use it from abroad. The only way to unblock it is to visit a bank department and write a request. It is impossible to do it if your bank department is in New York, but you are in Tokyo for business. It might lead to a very uncomfortable situation.
Also, a dedicated IP VPN can be useful for entertainment. For example, if you are outside of the U.S. in business travel and after the long day, you would like to watch your favorite movie or TV show on Netflix. You will receive an error because of geo-blocking algorithms that do not allow you to do that from abroad. There are chances that you will bypass geo-restrictions with a simple VPN, but a dedicated VPN will do it for 100%. Of course, you must connect to the U.S. VPN server before making a connection to Netflix.
How to choose a reliable VPN service?
There are so many various VPN services in the market, which is getting complicated to choose a decent one for a small business company. According to our private research, there are some common and essential factors:
- Dedicated IP support – with this option, you can easily connect to your IP restricted CRM, business, and website management systems.
- Multi-device support – many VPN service providers offer only one supported device per account. Still, there exist services which support up to 10 or even more simultaneous connections, which is pretty good for small business company.
- Internet connection speed – while choosing a VPN, pay attention to what speed can a VPN service provider to offer. Many VPN services can cut your internet speed a half due to outdated data encryption algorithms and its infrastructure.
- Server coverage – the more countries and server locations are available to choose from, the better VPN service is.
- Data encryption – one of the most advanced data encryption technique is AES 256-BIT encryption (AES – stands for Advanced Encryption Standard). Today, it is the fastest and most secure encryption algorithm and suits entirely for business.
- No-log VPN – it is essential to choose a VPN that is not keeping your browsing history and other data. The best no-log VPN companies are registered in offshore countries such as the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and similar. It is because they cannot be regulated by federal law. In that case, Hackers, FBI, or other governmental institutions are not able to access the data of the particular user.
If you decide to protect your business with a VPN, please remember all those factors before making a purchase.
If you are a businessman who cares about your company’s business security and privacy, check your antivirus software is it working well and is it up-to-date. If you don’t have decent antivirus software, buy it as soon as possible. Scan your PC on a regular basis. It will keep your PC out of viruses, malware, spyware ransomware, and other malicious files that can steal your data and money.
Secondly, allow remote access to the servers only from specific IP addresses. Connect to the servers only with a dedicated IP VPN. It will increase the security of your servers because the open connection to a server often leads to the cyberattack and data breach.
Furthermore, never use a free WI-FI internet connection in public places without a VPN. Otherwise, you will put yourself in a risk of cyberattack. Hackers are waiting for inexperienced users to trick the around.
And finally, do not try to connect your bank account from abroad, because it might get blocked. Blocked accounts and credit cards can drop you in a very uncomfortable situation, especially if you are low with cash.
We hope that this article will help you to keep your small business company more secure and private.