virtual private network

If your team depends on public networks for accessing critical work files when they’re out of the office, you need specific strategies to keep your organization’s data protected. While the convenience of public Wi-Fi allows your team to work from just about anywhere, public networks open up a new set of cybersecurity threats and challenges. In this post, we’ll explain when and why your team should be using a virtual private network (VPN) to keep your organization’s data protected.

What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network uses a virtualized server connection to create a secure channel between a computer and the internet. It works by facilitating a secure connection between a PC and a remote VPN server that can be anywhere in the world. That server then acts as an intermediary for all data transmitted between your device and external networks.

With a VPN connection, you can be confident the only ones with access to your network activity are you, your trusted VPN provider, and the websites and services you’re using. Ultimately, a VPN offers an additional layer of security for your network devices by concealing your device’s geographic location and protecting against other devices connected to the same public networks.

When and Why You Should Use a VPN

Your team should be using a VPN anytime they’re connected to a publicly accessible network like public Wi-Fi. That’s because a VPN server provides an extra level of protection by making it more difficult for hackers to use public networks to access your device and data. A VPN creates a private, secure channel between your device and the online services you’re using, so you don’t have to worry about cybercriminals spying on network activities or accessing data.

Additionally, if your team travels to foreign countries on a regular basis, a VPN can allow them to circumvent regionally restricted sites and services as if they were in the United States. When traveling internationally, the ability to connect to a VPN service ensures you have access to the online tools you need, no matter where you are.

When You Shouldn’t Use a VPN

While a VPN is ideal for concealing network activity even when using publicly accessible networks, you shouldn’t use a VPN with the expectation of complete anonymity on the internet. If you’re looking for total online anonymity, you’ll have to take additional steps beyond using a VPN service. A VPN is a fundamental first step to defending your organization’s data and network activity no matter where you are, but that doesn’t mean it negates security vulnerabilities altogether.

For example, a VPN doesn’t automatically protect your devices from viruses, malware, ransomware, or phishing attacks. If you click a risky link or run a malicious executable, you’re still vulnerable to cyberattacks. A VPN simply isn’t designed to protect you from visiting unsafe sites; it’s intended to create a secure, private connection between your device and the websites you visit.

Los Angeles IT Support

If your team regularly uses public networks to access work applications and data, they need to be using a VPN service to keep your organization protected. At the same time, teams that frequently travel internationally can significantly benefit from a VPN solution. If you’re interested in taking advantage of a VPN service, you have a lot of options, and the experts at Be Structured can help you leverage those options. Get in touch with our team today, and we’ll start clarifying your needs to find the ideal VPN platform for your goals and operations.