As companies pursue digital transformation within their global enterprise business model, wide area networks (WAN) have been used to connect geographically dispersed locations. WANs are possible through telephone lines, but their delivery over multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) can be costly as more and more bandwidth is required to fuel cloud solutions. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide a cost-effective option for utilizing the public internet as the network.
VPNs use the public internet to allow for secure data transport between numerous branches or users. This architecture establishes a secure medium within the internet with a secure tunnel between the sender and receiver. VPNs have allowed enterprises to share sensitive data securely, connecting branches and remote employees to support interactions between employees, business partners, and branch locations.
One of the key factors driving the use of VPNs is the threat of cyber attacks and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the network. These attacks aren’t limited to the corporate giants that tend to make headlines; Verizon reports that 43% of all cyber attacks were against small businesses. VPNs represent an affordable way for businesses of any size to create a secure connection between their users and public internet servers.
Applications for VPNs
One of the clear benefits of using VPNs is seen in the explosion of digital devices, such as laptops and smartphones. Employees are increasingly spread across the globe, and businesses in different locations are able to collaborate and share private networks to exchange data. VPNs keep those connections secure, apply encryption to protect data, and utilize scanning capabilities to protect the business against malware that might be present on a device.
While enterprises have seen some challenges with VPNs reducing network speed and slowing data-dependent operations, there have been some remedies in the introduction of layer 2 tunneling protocols (L2TP) as well as virtual private LAN service (VPLS). Through these technologies, latency is less of an issue on business applications utilizing VPNs.
VPNs also offer benefits for enterprise employees that regularly travel to different countries, because they operate independently of any censorship or site blocking that may limit internet access and data exchange in a foreign country.
Choosing a VPN
VPNs are available from a number of providers, but features can be different and tailored to businesses of different sizes. When choosing a VPN provider, evaluate the security tools and features, as well as how many servers the provider has across the world. Examine their logging policy and data encryption, as well as the impact of the VPN on the business network. There are security companies that have entered the VPN market in an effort to further safeguard data transmission used through the technology.
Contact us at One Connect to learn how VPNs can support the secure connectivity of your global enterprise.