VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology invented for business applications. Starting with the PPTP (point-to-point tunneling protocol), the number of possibilities thanks to developing technology and different VPN protocols made VPNs reduce the negative impact on speed and enhance security. Simultaneously, improvements in functionality, features, and user interface of VPN clients made the technology user-friendly so that even non-tech-savvy users can use it. It has also saved money, boosted productivity, and reduced the risk of remaining open to the public Internet. With that said, let’s get into the benefits of a VPN for business.
1. VPN provides security benefits for a business
Improved security for a business with a VPN is among the important benefits. Since all data is transferred inside an encrypted tunnel where only two sides have keys for encryption and decryption, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are prevented. Data can then be safely transported between devices in the building or at a remote place, as long as they have valid credentials.
It also hides the real public IP address and replaces it with that of a VPN server. Plus, VPN provides shared but protected access to the network resources on LAN (Local Area Network). Concurrently, outside access is prevented, and even if traffic is intercepted, without a decryption key, the data is incomprehensible. Thanks to the industry standard AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256-bit encryption with keys going up to 4096-bit, it is practically impossible to guess the key.
2. VPN lets corporations stay connected
The above example mainly considered a single but large business location with a small business VPN router or as many business VPN routers necessary for its size. However, thanks to site-to-site VPNs and their ability to connect VPN gateways at each site into one network, the technology permits the creation of a WAN (Wide Area Network). In other words, multiple LANs create a WAN where network administrators only permit access to users on the network.
That permits businesses with multiple offices, even international ones, to remain connected without the risk that a third party can intercept and breach the connection. We already talked about VPN protection against DDoS and analyzed if a VPN stops hackers. Network admins also carefully design rules so that each user has specific permissions based on their business position.
3. Safe remote working from anywhere
Safe collaboration between offices across the globe isn’t the only example of VPN benefits. Yes, employees can visit the nearest connected site and use the network. However, thanks to remote access VPNs, their employees can also access resources from anywhere quickly, safely, and without needing to set up a network. As long as they install a VPN client and have proper credentials for authentication, they can connect to the VPN network. As mentioned in our guide, human error is considerably risky.
Luckily, since data is encrypted before transfer within the business network, it remains hidden from hackers in public places or on public Wi-Fi. That protects sensitive user data, and trade secrets, and removes the need to trust other network owners without impacting the employee negatively. You’ll mainly see IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) VPNs used for this purpose.
4. Saving time and office costs without compromises
While a site-to-site VPN is a substantial investment, once implemented and regulated, it becomes affordable to maintain. Employees are added and cut off from the network by administrators and their permissions are updated based on the job description. Plus, the company doesn’t necessarily need to hire experts or pay for physical network connectivity between multiple office branches or buildings in and out of the country when expanding. The experienced VPN provider will handle all the workload instead. That also eliminates the need to install VPN software on each device. In short, companies save a lot of time and money by implementing a VPN on one or multiple sites.
Additionally, small businesses reduce the initial investment by implementing both types of VPNs we mentioned. While VPN clients are necessary for remote access VPNs, they are similar to consumer ones, meaning employees require minor or no training on their use while boosting productivity. That also removes traveling and accommodation costs to the nearest workplace. Also, employees may not even need to leave home and come to the office if their position supports remote work. The application of split tunneling (more details below) also reduces operating costs, enhances user satisfaction, and decreases strain on business network resources.
5. VPN for business effortlessly includes mobile devices
Mobile devices and even laptops were deemed insecure and hard to control in the past. Luckily, VPN them into the fold since mobile device number is predicted to reach nearly 16 billion by the end of 2022. Since mobile devices took a share of 92% of users that accessed the Internet in 2022, their growth benefits businesses immensely. Employees can not only stay connected while commuting or working from home but can safely request and receive network resources. Not even ISPs (Internet Service Providers) can see what they are doing, let alone hackers trying to steal confidential information or personal data.
Moreover, besides protecting data in and out of the workplace, VPNs are flexible. Split tunneling is a feature that lets a VPN only encrypt the data related to the workplace. Any other traffic uses the regular network (wired, wireless, public Wi-Fi, hotspot, and so on). That simultaneously protects employees’ privacy and the workplace’s sensitive information while having the financial advantages we mentioned.
6. VPN makes complying with personal data laws easier
Any business, online or offline, that handles clients’ data must comply with national and other applicable laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). VPN ensures that only authorized individuals can view or manage sensitive data. That puts clients, customers, patients, and governmental bodies at peace and invokes trust in the business.
7. Improved collaboration with other businesses
The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 showed businesses how important working together is. They were already aware of how expensive collaboration outside the main office is. However, partnering with another business is difficult without physical access, and introduces privacy, security, and human error risks. One of the crucial benefits of a business VPN, user access control, applies to working with other businesses. They provide temporary permissions and only get access to business resources they need for a time. That creates an extranet-based site-to-site VPN.