Working remotely as a concept is not new to the corporate world; however, it wasn’t always supported or preferred by employers of the yesteryears. Fast forward to today, global village and employers are actually comfortable with, if not encouraging, employees working remotely.
This change in attitude is largely attributed to tech, especially the connectivity introduced by the internet and the growing culture of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work. And, it isn’t like employers are supporting this culture for the sake of employees only. The employer gets to cut the many costs associated with employees working in house. So, it’s a perfect win-win situation if we ever had one.
With Convenience Comes Threat
There are many different types of threats associated with employees working remotely. From an employee holding corporate data for ransom to corporate espionage; from regional restrictions to corporate network access; employees working remotely introduced employers to previously unknown challenges and threats.
A Digital Solution for Digital Problems
Since most threats associated with working remotely are digital in nature, the solution too needs to be digital, and a smart one at that. Thankfully, businesses have Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to thank for making their remote employees safe against hackers, data thieves, regional restrictions, keeping their corporate networks safe.
Don’t Know What a VPN Is? Allow Us to Explain.
Similar to the internet, which is a network of computers, VPNs are designed the same way, except for the fact that unlike the internet, this network is private, as the name implies. Normally, when you want to visit a website, you type URL into your browser, and it sends the request to your ISP. This is how your ISP knows which websites you visit and your other digital activities.
However, when you use a VPN, all the data sent and received by you on the internet is routed through the servers of the VPN provider. The data is encrypted and tunneled to the server, giving you impenetrable security, and blinding the ISP and hackers in the process. Since no one sees your data, no one knows what you do online.
Also, a VPN masks your IP address, making you anonymous on the internet and affording you the ability to access websites that might be blocked or restricted in your country or region.
Enough Mumbo Jumbo. How Does it Help Remote Employees and Employers?
Let’s start with some question:
- What if your remote employee’s device gets infected with a virus, and the virus then infiltrates your corporate network?
- What if the sensitive data sent and received by your remote employee gets hijacked midway during transmission?
- What if you had to restrict your corporate network to specific IPs? How would your remote employee connect to your network then?
- What if regional restrictions stop your remote employee from accessing certain websites?
- What if your corporate laptop, the smartphone or other device gets infected with malware?
The one simple solution to all these and other similar problems is a VPN. By having your remote employee install a VPN on their device, you can not only ensure the security of data but also the digital safety of the device!
There are many VPNs out there offering their services, some of the big names include PureVPN, ExpressVPN,PIA VPN and NordVPN. I’ll be taking PureVPN as an example to build my case.
PureVPN offers top-of-the-line AES 256-bit encryption, which when translated into English means impenetrable security for your data. Even if the data is hijacked midway, the hijacker will only get to see gibberish data that’s impossible to decipher.
Furthermore, since all the traffic is routed via the VPN’s servers, viruses, malware, and similar threats are automatically blocked at the server end, leaving your device virus-free.
Overcoming Restrictions and Censorships
Even in countries like China and Iran where the internet is controlled by the government, a VPN gives you uninterrupted access to every website blocked or censored by the country. So, if your employee is at a location with rampant restrictions and censorships, they will be able to access any website with complete ease. Additionally, they won’t have to fear any backlash or repercussions since a VPN protects them and nobody can see what they are doing online.
Limited & Targeted Access
Even if you limit access to your corporate network to certain IPs only, your remote employee will be able to access your corporate assets securely, thanks to a VPN. Top-tier VPNs like TorGuard,PureVPN and NordVPN offer dedicated IPs, which make it easier for you to have a twofold cover of protection on your corporate network. You can allow the dedicated IP access to your network and remain free of any worries about viruses or malware wreaking havoc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many benefits offered by VPNs for businesses and remote employees. If you want to grow your business without investing in infrastructure or additional IT costs, then empower your employees with a VPN and watch their productivity soar.
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I am a remote worker myself. I love the freedom and ability to travel while working not from the office. Yes, of course, I know it is a huge risk especially if I am using free Wi-Fi hotspots. But that is why we have a deal in my company, that those who work remotely must use a NordVPN app. Nothing is more important than security.