A virtual private network (VPN) provides security between your businesses resources and employees accessing them. With an encrypted connection, only employees connected to the VPN servers can access your businesses resources on the network.
In today’s complex environment of remote work, multiple device types (laptop, phone, tablets, etc), multiple facilities and cyber attacks and threats, having the right VPN for your business is essential.
Types of VPNs
While there are a variety of different VPNs, they generally are classified as either remote access or site-to-site.
Remote access is the most popular type of VPN. It simply allows an employee to connect to a remote network. A remote access VPN usually has a server dedicated to connecting to your internal network and a VPN client that every employee installs on their device.
Site-to-site VPNs connect employees in fixed locations. For example, say your company has locations in Madison and Janesville. Employees at these two locations can then securely share information and resources amongst each other.
Each business is unique with its own factors to consider, but here is a general list of features to consider.
Management – make sure the management interface is easy to use. A control panel should make it easy to do tasks like adding or removing users, controlling permissions, and requiring two-factor authentication.
Connection – find out where the server you’ll be connecting to is located. Your business should not experience slowdowns or outages.
Kill switch – this is an important security feature that has the VPN cut off internet traffic automatically when the connection to the VPN server is lost. Be sure to ask a potential VPN about their experience and features when it comes to security.
Customer support – check their response times and performance metrics.
Setting up a VPN
The first stage is planning. A number of factors come into play, such as what operating systems your business uses, how many devices and what kinds of endpoints are necessary, the number of users, the number of locations, which VPN protocol to use and more. The second step involves choosing a VPN vendor. Last, VPN software must be installed. While installing VPN software common problems include firewalls blocking the connection, operating systems requiring updates or patches and other conflicts.
Given the time, cost and specific knowledge required to properly set up a VPN, many small to midsize businesses will partner with a vendor. Insight BTR, an IT service firm serving southern Wisconsin, can help customize VPN and technology solutions that are right for your business. Call 608-661-0750 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.