A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is your digital friend. It has a diverse range and great applicability. However, there are specific measures one needs to take to ensure the best outcome. It is not a simple network but a service. As such, there are some standard market practices applicable to it. Although some vendors go out of their way to maximize profitability, it all comes back to trust. Hence, it is a trust-based product that can ensue numerous results. Thus, users must be acquainted with the best practices before employing a VPN.
After all, it is a long-term investment directly proportional to their online safety. But how can one trust a VPN, and what are the best methods to employ one? It is not a regulated field, and there are no standards to maintain. Then how come one vendor is right for you, but another one is not? Today’s article will focus on such issues. It will shed light on VPN best practices and inform users regarding how to go along with employing one. Hence, we urge interested readers to give our article a chance before investing in a VPN service.
Best practices for VPN use in a large workforce
This segment talks about the VPN best practices applicable to a corporation with a relatively larger workforce. Such businesses are not limited by geographical boundaries and operate on a multinational level. Hence, they require an amalgamation of VPN tech to ensue daily activities. However, such requirements are based on actual figures. The data include business plan, coverage, spread, budget, and affected workforce. There are often other factors to heed. Thus, to ensure the optimum results, VPN best practices to comply are as follows:
Use the latest clients
Regardless of the VPN type, the user and vendor have to ensure the latest clients. Although there may be some VPNs that do not warrant a client (SSL VPNs), most large corporations rely on hardware VPNs with a mix of virtual products like VPN concentrators or gateways. Always keep the client software up to date, and these include virtual components. Furthermore, users need to install relevant patches and look out for bugs, as a VPN is susceptible to internal errors.
Choose the right VPN type—both remote and site-to-site qualify
As we know, the scope of such organizations can defy geographical boundaries, we can’t limit operations to a particular type of VPN. Doing so would only hinder the daily activity and make the system rigid. In such a corporation, both remote access and site-to-site VPNs have their place. Thus, the vendor needs to rely on a combination of both hardware and software to provide the best possible outcome.
Employ multi-factor authentication
Ensuring security is the only worry of a VPN network admin. Although, VPNs are highly resilient in the face of external adversaries. An internal conflict can render the whole operation moot. Hence, the vendor has to work hard on securing the end-user. There are numerous authentication methods that a VPN applies, but most rely on a single entry point system to grant access to the network. No matter how safe a VPN is, there is a chance of human error. Thus, VPN best practices dictate that vendors should ply multifactor authentication combined with biometrics to square off any latent threats.
VPN best practices for small organizations
Small-scale operations have their particular requirements, and VPNs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. However, the good thing is that they are highly customizable. According to the needs of an organization, using a customized service can not only prove efficient. Plus, it can save costs. Hence, VPN best practices demand critical measures for the stability and operability of smaller businesses. Also, one must heed that VPNs are multifaceted. Thus, instead of forcing a solution that may not work, often it is advisable to devise a personalized plan.
Can go with cheaper remote VPNs
There is no need to go for costly hardware-centric site-to-site VPNs. These products are most suitable for a business with multiple remote workplaces with a fixed approach. Hence, they are permanent. Small organizations do not need such heavy investments in the early stages. Yes, it can affect growth, but the primary concern is stability. Thus, VPN best practices dictate the use of remote access VPNs. They are cheaper and offer great maneuverability. Also, such VPNs are flexible and can work in tandem with the growing business.
Use SSL/TLS VPNs over site-to-site or IPsec VPNs
Similarly, there is no need to invest in IPsec or site-to-site VPNs like mTLS VPN. Users can make do with remote access SSL/TLS. The secure socket layer or transport layer security may be less secure than IPsec, but it can provide more productivity. SSL/TLS VPNs do not require VPN clients—they can work with a simple web browser. Hence, employing them will cut costs, which can fuel organizational growth. Moreover, due to this obvious absence of a client, there is no need for maintenance.
Utilize more virtual products and rely less on hardware
Another approach to ponder is the reliance on virtual products. Such organizations do not need hardware infusion. Whether it is a VPN server or other networking component, hardware is costly and permanent. Furthermore, it requires constant maintenance and separate management. Thus, small businesses can look for virtual products that will be more in line with their objectives. Not only will this curb costs, but it will also promote flexibility that will be beneficial down the line.
Ideal VPN practices for individuals
Individuals also use VPNs in their daily lives. But the individual VPN market is segregated and fraught with numerous vendors. It gets harder to separate the quality products from the rest without sufficient exploration. Thus, there is a provision of specific market standards one should adhere to claim maximum benefits of this service. Individuals should look for critical VPNs with specified features that can remedy any potential threat. Although many providers offer added benefits, a user may not necessarily need them.
Use standard security products
Before anything else, a VPN should ensure user safety. Hence, a VPN with security and comprehensive privacy is the optimal choice. Such a VPN should ply the latest security protocols and VPN encryption practices. Also, it should hail from a data-friendly jurisdiction. Furthermore, it should have the advanced features necessary to aid daily VPN activities. These features include a kill switch, obfuscation technology, and an exclusive DNS server. Although price is a mitigating factor, one shouldn’t compromise digital safety. Further, with the growth shown, numerous VPNs offer such features and more for relatively lower prices, and we reviewed plenty.
Ensure strong cryptography
Individuals today adore online security. But the threat of hackers and other malicious individuals is prevalent. In such circumstances, a VPN should offer strong encryption. Earlier, the encryption market standard was 128-bit. However, it has long been cracked, and today’s cryptography is much better. But an older VPN protocol can render your efforts moot. Thus, ensure that your VPN runs the latest 256-bit AES with PFS (perfect forward secrecy). The theft of private keys won’t affect such encryption.
Go for zero-logging practices
Although VPNs operate on trust, do not blindly go for any random vendor. VPNs with no-logging policies are the staple. Furthermore, ensure that such vendors have had a third-party audit. A VPN that logs your data is a threat. Thus, read the terms and conditions carefully, and figure out what the vendor logs. Many claim to be zero-logging but often record PII (Personally identifiable information). Such VPNs won’t be beneficial to nearly any individual.