What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This is used, mostly, as a way to securely and private connect to a network. Done properly, all information is encrypted and very secure. Of course, done improperly, it can be an enormous security risk, but more on that later.
So why should your company get a VPN?
The most common usage is for employees to make a connection into the office network while away. This can make working from home, hotels, or meetings effortless. Simply log in, and you will be dropped, transparently, onto the network. Every file and folder you normally work with will be available just as though your are sitting at the office. Beyond this, all your network devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, and servers will be available as well.
How is this done?
These days it is actually quite simple. A VPN server is placed on the network. Typically it is put behind a firewall for security purposes. This server is made available to outside sources via opening specific ports in the firewall. User accounts, passwords, and certificates are configured, and you are ready to go.
Any user with access can now go to website hosted on the server, and simply log in. Within 30 seconds they will be connected and placed onto the office network.
Why is encryption so important?
If your server is not set up to use strong encryption, every thing you do on the network can easily be captured by anyone at any point in-between you and the server. Not good. All your activity can be monitored, usernames and passwords for anything you access stolen, credit card and other financial information stolen. Traffic can be modified to inject malicious code, in what is commonly called a “Man in the middle” attack. It is important to do this configuration correctly.
Other uses for a VPN?
Another common use is known as a “Site to Site VPN”. In this configuration, two or more VPN servers are constantly connected to each other. This is great for businesses with multiple locations. The networks will be seamlessly linked up 24/7. Files can be shared, scanning and printing will be available to anyone at any location, resources such as servers hosting a database can be accessed.
It also a dream come true for IT Technical Support. A technician can simple log into your network to repair computer problems, without the added cost of an on site visit. With Remote Desktop enabled, the technician can log directly into your PC and fix the issue in minutes, from anywhere in the world with internet access.
Scheduled maintenance can be performed remotely, after business hours so there is no downtime or interruption.
Your company needs a VPN. Once you have it, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
Give IT Elite Computer Service a call today to get your VPN installed.