VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a way of giving anonymity and privacy online, by masking your IP address and making your online actions untraceable. "VPN for business" has a different meaning, however, as it allows employees to access critical company data and applications in an encrypted, secure manner. Security is a major concern for businesses in this day and time, and VPN for businesses can be the solution.

 

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What exactly is a VPN?

 

VPN is a service that allows you to leverage the benefits of a private network, even when you are in a public network. In other words, a VPN service exists between you and the web, thus masking your identity. The steps involved in setting up a VPN connection are:

  1. When you connect to the web using a VPN service, user authentication occurs in the first place. Authentication can be single factor, token based or multi-factor authentication.

    In single-factor authentication the VPN client (a service that establishes the VPN connection) authenticates to the VPN Network Access Server (NAS) using a password.

    In token based authentication, a hardware token exists on the user’s VPN Client, thus letting the server know that a valid user is trying to establish a connection.

    In multi-factor authentication, additional authentication mechanisms are included to ensure that the correct user accesses the VPN.

  2. After authentication, the VPN Client encrypts your data. 

  3. This encrypted data is then routed to a VPN Network Access Server (NAS), and finally to the web destination.

  4. The web destination views the data to be originating from the VPN Server, this masking your computer address and location.

Since a secure, encrypted channel is created between the VPN Client and the final network address, VPNs are also used in business applications to securely access data stored in a company’s internal network.

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What are the benefits of a VPN?

Since VPN creates a data tunnel between a user device and the web destination, its benefits are many.

  • VPNs hide your identity on the web.
  • VPNs encrypt the data you send over a network, thus ensuring that the data is not subjected to breaches.
  • VPNs make you anonymous to the target server.
  • VPNs allow you to access geo-blocked content.
  • VPNs help you access a target network through a protected connection.

How is VPN for business different from consumer VPNs?

When it comes to working, consumer VPNs and VPNs for business work in a similar manner. The only difference lies in the usage. While consumer VPNs are used for connecting to a remote server or set of servers publicly available on the public internet, VPN for business is used to connect users to the internal company network.

 

What are the types of business VPNs?

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Remote Access VPNs

Remote Access VPNs create connections between a user and a remote network using a dedicated NAS Server and VPN client. When a user wants to access a resource, the VPN client is activated on the user side, which establishes an encrypted tunnel to the NAS Server.

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Site-to-site VPNs

Site-to-site VPNs create a single virtual network that is shared across multiple business locations. Each location can have multiple users. The VPN client is hosted on the local network of the business rather than the individual devices. Users that work in the office location can thus access the shared network without using VPN client, However, they lose access when they leave the office network.

Why is VPN for business users?

With more and more employees preferring to work from home, VPN for business has become essential. Typically, businesses utilize VPN services to allow remote employees to access internal applications and data in a secure manner.

Better Security

Even with several antivirus software put in place, public internet connections are always susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. Antivirus software can only help protect a network from known viruses and are only efficient when they are up to date.

Since it is established that a typical online connection is never totally secure, usage of VPN is mandatory. VPN provides end-to-end encryption of all data that passes through it. When VPN is used by employees to access data, the sensitive business data is protected, client and internal information as well as trade secrets are not passed through a public network, and the secure channel that exists between employees and the company ensures protected data.

Better security and data sharing

VPN for business generally encrypts the entire internet connection. When an employee uploads some files to storage or to a network outside the company, a VPN makes sure that these files are encrypted too. Hence, only people with the correct encryption key can actually access this data. In the wake of unprecedented data breaches, VPN for business proves to be invaluable.


Accessing Data Remotely

With more and more organizations deploying the remote work policy, remote data access is critical to business success. Companies are transitioning into cloud storage each passing day, and using a VPN for business ensures that your employees can connect to the storage securely, with the benefits of end to end protection. Hence, VPN for business actually improves accessibility with security.


Avoiding geographical limitations

VPNs for businesses ensure that employees can access company data around the globe, even when they cross international borders. VPNs allow data access despite geographical limitations, and with VPN there is no need to worry about internet censorship.

 

Easier Setup and Costs

Using a cloud VPN for business ensures that you do not have to deploy a corporate private network in your office. VPNs for businesses are cheap in comparison to setting up private networks for business.

 

What can be the limitations of using a VPN for business?

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Security Issues

If an attacker accesses a remote employee's credentials, then they can access all company resources with ease.

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Latency

If businesses use cloud-based VPNs, then the NAS server exists in a data center in a different physical location than the company's physical location. This adds latency to the connectivity.

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Complexities

Most business applications nowadays are cloud-based and hence incompatible with most VPNs. Since these applications use their own secure access mechanisms, it becomes difficult for internal IT teams to understand the people who are accessing these applications.

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Management and Costs

VPNs require effort to maintain and manage, and must also be regularly replaced or updated if a business is using on-premises NAS. This causes cost and management overhead.

How can Foxpass provide VPN service for businesses?

Foxpass protects your sensitive business infrastructure by providing access management tools that ensure that employees access only the servers and networks they need and only when they need it.

Additionally, Foxpass also provides an IPSec VPN service, targeted towards businesses who run servers in Amazon Web Services. It is easy to setup and use, and is integrated with the Foxpass system. VPN connections can be required to employ two-factor authentication for ultimate security. 

Foxpass VPN takes away the pain of setting up VPNs and is a cost-effective solution available on AWS Marketplace. 

Set-up Foxpass IPSec VPN for Business to reap its benefits today!