Are Remote Work and VPN Becoming Inseparable?

Are Remote Work and VPN Becoming Inseparable?

Last year, more than 353 million internet users were victims of cyberattacks, and the number is expected to rise. Even though cybersecurity tools constantly evolve, human errors and common mistakes often result in compromised security. Unfortunately, remote workers are not an exception.

Various factors make remote work particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. From using unauthorized hardware or software to a poor home network—every error opens an opportunity for hackers. With that said, it’s obvious that higher levels of cybersecurity are required in this field.

Many businesses and companies require their remote workers to attend cybersecurity training where they are encouraged to use a VPN. It is one of the best ways to ensure your data is secure. So, let’s talk about VPN advantages and disadvantages and learn how they can affect your workflow.

Advantages of using VPN for remote work

VPN’s encryption features are essential for remote work. A VPN not only creates a secure internal work environment but also provides more flexibility for the employees. But its positive impact doesn’t stop there. Here’s why you should implement a VPN in your remote workflow:

Safe remote access to the network

As previously mentioned, a VPN can create a safe tunnel between your computer (or any other device) and your company’s network by using encryption. Therefore, all the data you send or receive goes through that tunnel, ensuring no one else can view it. Even if someone manages to gain access to the data, it will be unreadable because of encryption.

Better online privacy

An IP address can reveal your exact location, which can be a serious cybersecurity issue. Furthermore, websites register your IP address every time you visit and could use it for advertising. When you connect to a VPN server, your IP address will be masked. Your internet service provider won’t be able to collect information on your online activity either.

Improved collaboration

Remote workers frequently collaborate and share important files. Since these are mostly confidential, a secure connection is required on both sides. A VPN encrypts the communication and ensures that all the shared documents are safe without any additional steps from your side.

Monitoring the permissions

Companies that use VPNs have a clear overview of permissions for each team member who connects to the network. Those in charge of network security can see who has access to documents and data. It’s generally recommended to be selective with permissions, so this option will allow you to grant or restrict access to particular teams or team members.

Disadvantages of using VPN for remote work

When it comes to the cons of VPNs, they are mostly related to using free or unreliable VPN services. Therefore, choosing your VPN provider carefully is the only way to avoid these issues. Here’s what to watch out for when looking for one:

Opting for a free VPN service

Unfortunately, free VPNs are generally not the safest option. Their overall cybersecurity measures are poor and can lead to the spread of malware, as well as data breaches. Your personal information could also be collected and sold for advertising. Speaking of ads, you will see plenty of them on free VPNs because developers need to make their products profitable.

Free VPNs are generally viewed as untrustworthy because some have been actively collecting user data, even when highlighting that they don’t keep any user logs. If cybercriminals get their hands on user logs, they can learn the identity of users and their browsing history. That data can be exploited in various ways, most notably for identity theft.

Slower internet speed

Remote workers often rely on fast and stable internet connections. However, VPNs can impact the speed because traffic needs to go through a remote server and be encrypted in the process. You’ll surely notice a difference when connected to a server thousands of miles away from your physical location.

Luckily, premium VPN services are constantly improving and have switched to high-speed servers. Encryption protocols have also changed in the last few years, so the impact on your internet speed should be minimal.

Final thoughts

A VPN can significantly contribute to a safe and seamless remote work environment in an era of rising cyber threats. A reputable VPN service will provide additional security to personal and business data going from your device, regardless of the location or the network you’re using. In addition, a premium VPN won’t affect your speed quality because of the newest servers and encryption technologies. Considering all the advantages, a VPN is a must-have cybersecurity technology for any remote workplace.