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Investing in a VPN as a small business

How to make the right call when selecting a VPN

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Determining when you need to upscale your infrastructure as an SMB is a challenging decision. Accounting for finances and predicting long-term benefits is never easy, so, understandably, SMBs are hesitant to adopt new solutions, systems, and/or staff.

VPNs – virtual private networks – are no exception to this standard. VPNs are known for their encryption and security benefits, the main reasons why they’re widely adopted. But can they seamlessly incorporate into an SMB network? Furthermore, will they fit budgetary criteria? We’ll explore whether a VPN is right for your enterprise.

What is a VPN?

First, let’s briefly define a VPN and what it’s used for. As mentioned, a VPN is a “virtual private network.” Virtual private networks exist on top of business networks (SD-WAN, LAN), encrypting data traffic and maintaining privacy. A device connects to a VPN, and while on said VPN, all traffic and activity are obscured, hidden, and encrypted. In essence, it’s a vital security tool for anyone, and remote network workers find it especially useful. Commonly advertised to the general public, a VPN has effective business use too.

Today, numerous VPN vendors exist, utilizing cloud technology for seamless options and integrations into any business network.

Why use a VPN?

An SMB has to take extra care when onboarding new services. As mentioned, finances are a concern, as is staff limitation. But VPNs outweigh the costs with their benefits and protective measures. Given how frequent malicious attacks are – specifically targeting weaker remote connections – guarding your SMB data should remain a priority. Downtime, data loss, and ransomware attacks can upend an SMB, so preventing these situations is in your best interest.

Consider taking advantage of a VPN if:

  • Your business utilizes remote networks/remote working resources for normal business operations
  • You want to further secure your internet-facing connections with encryption
  • You want to improve cybersecurity infrastructure in general without making immediate, large-scale investments

It’s difficult enough to build out a comprehensive IT infrastructure. It’s a costly investment, reliant on the timely upkeep of systems and hardware. It also requires bringing in IT experts who are either in short supply or too costly for smaller organizations. For the needs of an SMB, a VPN works well.

Choosing the right option

It’s likely if you’re considering a VPN, it is for security reasons. VPNs do have other practical benefits, such as circumventing IP bans if traveling abroad. However, their modus operandi is rooted in protecting user web traffic. There are several ways to integrate VPN services into an SMB enterprise.

You can select a vendor service either for individual use or business-wide operations. In other cases, some SMBs are comfortable building their in-house networks, and this is a good option if you have internal-facing networks which need limited internet connectivity.

Some also seek inclusive suites that involve virtualized cloud options, apps, and software including VPN as part of the service package. This is a good option for SMBs who have limited IT infrastructure and want to expand without making heavy budgetary commitments.

If you possess the wherewithal to build out your cloud and VPN infrastructure, you likely have a key plan for what to do. In most cases, however, SMBs look to vendors or subscriptions for a VPN-based service.

How should I start?

If you’ve carefully considered all options and decided to onboard a VPN suite, the next step is selecting the right VPN service. This phase requires some research, as different VPN vendors exist with varying options and pricing models. Who and what is best for you will vary, but you should weigh immediate business needs with what the VPN offers.

For example, if you only want to onboard a VPN client for remote workers, then you won’t require larger suites offering software bundles. But if you’re looking to upscale IT infrastructure with VPN, you’ll want full, comprehensive suites for your business.

Having said that, it’s crucial to analyze every service offered by a VPN vendor. Understanding their service model, pricing, internal security, and scalability is essential when selecting a service.

These days, a VPN is fast becoming an essential part of IT security, even for smaller businesses. If not now, consider involving a VPN service for your future operations.

If deciding on VPN suites or services proves too challenging, you can always reach out for help. Bytagig is ready to assist, and you can learn more by contacting us today.

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