You won’t have failed to see the amount of cyber attacks that have been occurring over the last few years. Internet usage is at an all time high, people are making more online transactions than ever before and with that comes opportunities for cyber criminals to strike.

We have seen rafts of new scams and techniques used to try and fraudulently extract money from businesses of all sizes. You may remember some recent news regarding cyber attacks on some of the biggest companies in the world as both Twitter and PayPal have both been targeted by scams. Such security breaches can have a huge impact on a business, particularly in terms of reputation damage.

Reputational damage can be the beginning of the end for many companies that don’t have the financial prowess to re-establish themselves through world class PR. You could also end up losing a huge amount of money if hackers manage to get hold of your account details or they could steal your data, causing all kinds of problems.

To protect your business, there are a number of ways that you can try to stay more secure. From training employees in the importance of following security processes like using strong passwords and not sharing them or writing them down to IT security infrastructure. Many businesses have firewalls set up to prevent employees visiting potentially harmful websites and risking picking up a virus.

Businesses also help to protect their customer’s data by ensuring that their website is fully secure with HTTPS which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which creates a secure channel for users through encryption. For larger businesses that operate over multiple locations, VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be used to provide a secure shared network. It can also be used to secure an intranet so that only employees can access it, rather than it being available to anyone on the internet.

An intranet is a key communication tool for businesses, it helps to foster employee engagement and can also be used to provide important information such as HR policies, business strategies and can be used as a gateway for online tools. A VPN makes this possible by creating  a private ‘tunnel’ that encrypts the connection between users’ computers and the server.

For companies with offices that are spread out over several locations, a VPN allows employees to work collaboratively without the risks of standard online collaboration tools. Being able to access the same drives can be crucial for people working on the same projects who need to work on the same documents together. The only real alternative to this would be to send encrypted emails back and forth, which is both time consuming and costly to the business.

Even for smaller companies who only have a few employees, using a VPN will help to keep company data more secure. Many individuals are looking to VPNs to keep their online browsing hidden, for both security and privacy purposes. It was also recently announced that internet service providers have been giving the go ahead to sell their customers’ browsing history, so this is also leading to a big increase in people using VPNs.

Setting up a VPN is fairly straight forward. Businesses can use VPN providers to install their network for their employees and outside of the business world, users can simply download an app to install a VPN that will provide them with higher levels of security and anonymity. VPNs are a critical part of many businesses’ security processes and if you haven’t already, maybe it is time for you to see what it could do for your business.

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