Research suggests that corporate cybercrime victims have doubled during the last five years. While many businesses started using VPN services to allow easy access to data libraries for remote employees, many other businesses used this as a cybersecurity standard in their policies. VPN services are growing exponentially and so is their demand: several companies in security-conscious countries now direct freelancers to buy a VPN before they can start working on their projects. But would you trust any free or paid VPN service before committing to one? This article discusses the commercial need for a VPN and suggests questions you need to ask before subscribing to a VPN service.
VPN: Strong Protection Against Cybercrimes
Here’s how a VPN protects entrepreneurs and their business data from cybercriminals:
1. Secure Access to Geo-restricted Libraries
Modern businesses know how to cut operational expenditures and overheads: hiring freelancers and remote workers is one such way to control direct and indirect business costs. But these employees do need quick and (sometimes) urgent access to the company’s data libraries for research and analysis. Also, most of these freelancers and remote workers are based in distinct regions of the world. Instead of compromising your data’s privacy by demolishing geo-restrictions, entrepreneurs should deploy a VPN service. This way, your employees can securely access the information whenever and wherever they want.
2. Secure Communication
Employees often use Gmail accounts and video calling platforms like Skype and Zoom for communication. Gmail, if you already know, is not end-to-end encrypted; Zoom also did not implement encryption standards unless it fell victim to a serious data breach in 2020. A VPN protects data while it is in transit, and that’s what it’s meant to do. It establishes a secure connection on a conventional network and your online traffic passes through this tunnel, preventing unauthorized monitoring by internet service providers, intruders and bounty hunters. With a VPN actively running in the background, online entities will not see your or your employees’ IP Addresses. They will know that ‘somebody’ is online but they’ll fail to view the online activities even if they attempt to.
3. Data Breaches
A VPN hides all online behavior, whether you are downloading large files or streaming a digital service, it remains your business. When an attacker can’t view your activity, he can’t get hold of your files, folders, email attachments and login credentials even when you are on a public Wi-Fi, which, otherwise is highly vulnerable if you surf the internet without a VPN. your company and client’s data can be held hostage against hefty ransom. The cyberattacker, if he has a strong backup, can even choose to directly reach out to your client, hurt your professional reputation and blackmail your client while impersonating your identity. All business users, especially freelance workers who receive, process, handle and submit a high amount of client data should buy a VPN and an antivirus to prevent data and privacy breaches.
4. Evil Twin Attacks
Evil twins are fake access points cyberattackers create to either steal sensitive information or plant malware in a device. These dummy networks usually have SSIDs similar to public Wi-Fi services. Business users and professionals can easily fall victim to these captive portals ultimately dishing out their client’s sensitive data, banking credentials and passcodes for company portals. Cyberattackers usually have sensors that notify them when an active user on an evil twin network accesses a banking website; and these sensors definitely work when your device is VPN-less. All they want is your bank balance, your credit card number, your real name and social security number. With this information, an attacker can not only cause you temporary financial damage but can subscribe to banking services, apply for loans under your company’s name, register new catfishing companies and make hefty purchases.
5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a VPN
When you research and shortlist VPN services, make sure to reach out to their customer service team and ask them these questions.
- Is your datacenter based in a safe jurisdiction?
- How many devices do you allow per account?
- Does your company have a zero-logging policy?
- Does your VPN tool have 256-bit encryption?
- How many locations and servers does your VPN service have?
The representative’s response shall be enough to encourage or discourage you from buying the service. Remember that when you run a business, you hold the highest responsibility of protecting your company’s data against breaches and other cybercrimes. Equipping your employees and your devices with the right tools is the first step you can take to reclaim your business privacy in this digitally corporate world!