Connect with VPNs to help protect your business from intruders

  • Use a VPN service to secure mobile devices from rogue access.
  • Include malware protection with the VPN client.

Wi-Fi connections are insecure. That’s not news to anyone who pays attention to networking technology. But if you’re a mobile employee who wants to get work done wherever you are and whenever you want, Wi-Fi security is an issue you probably believe your IT department has taken care of already.

Unfortunately, when you connect to your enterprise from a favorite coffee shop, you can be exposing company resources to data thieves and other nefarious visitors. But you are right: IT should be taking care of the issue, and the solution is as simple as implementing a virtual private network (VPN) service for remote connections.

VPNs create a private, highly secure network between trusted computers, even though the actual network they are connected through is a public Internet service. It’s a simple way to create a secure computing environment for mobile workers, allowing you to connect to company email, applications, and sensitive data from anywhere you are able to obtain an Internet connection.

The default remote access implementation of VPNs for enterprise environments is the Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) VPN, which relies on client software installed in each remote device. Though this may seem like a burden, the technology is well-proven and far and away the most widely used. When a VPN is properly installed and configured, it can help protect against malware, hacking, data theft, and other application abuses that are considered to be the most dangerous attack vehicles.

3 things to consider when implementing your VPN

Keep in mind:

  • Malware and spyware protection features – Know if your VPN client bundles these protection features. If not, add them to your implementation, or select a different VPN that does include the features.
  • Mobile support – Make sure your selected solution supports both desktop and mobile devices so that you are not managing two different systems.
  • Logs – Understand what logs are being collected, where they are stored, and who can access them. Logs can be useful for analysis of hacking attempts but can also provide information your enterprise would prefer to keep private.

Price and operating system support are important and will be part of any purchase decision, but the most important step is to recognize your vulnerabilities and implement the right VPN for your environment.

Scott Koegler is a technology journalist with a specialization on the intersection of business and technology. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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