5 Tips for Picking the Right Business VPN as a Service Solution
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have been in high demand lately. They provide an excellent solution to many of the network access issues companies face. They do this by creating an encrypted tunnel between the client and the network or data source they are connecting to. While they do not solve every security concern, they do help to guard against snooping and exposing confidential data.
Currently, the increased demand for remote work has forced more and more companies to look at extending their security beyond their local network. However, this new normal has introduced many security issues and vulnerabilities that traditional VPNs cannot handle.
A more secure VPN offering has recently emerged to address this problem. This is a cloud based service known as VPN as a Service (VPNaaS), and has a modern security architecture developed specifically for the cloud. VPNaaS solutions allow companies to more effectively protect employee access to cloud-based apps and resources, contrary to traditional VPNs, and delivers a secure and conveniently available connection that is linked with the organization’s cloud architecture.
Traditional VPNs do not restrict users to specific network resources when they sign into consumer clouds, which is one of the most susceptible points of failure for identity access and credential management. Managing hybrid and cloud-based computing systems becomes even more challenging when additional users and network locations are added.
On the other hand, VPNaaS solutions can enable device and application configurability, improved security and privacy, and precise analytics for user access management. As a result, this offering has become very enticing to many businesses. For business organizations considering VPNaaS, we’ve compiled 5 tips on how to select the right VPN as a service for their needs.
1. Avoid Consumer Focused VPN Services
Most VPNaaS solutions on the market tend to be consumer focused and may lack some very important business centric capabilities. However, there are many new providers with offerings geared specifically to business organizations and their needs. Depending on the needs of the company it might be a better idea to go with services specifically targeted at businesses.
2. Determine Must Have Features
VPNaaS solutions provide different features and management options. Companies should determine their must haves when considering which one is right for them. Here are some good features to look for when deciding:
- Logging – Logging features allow companies to record and audit connections within the VPN. For some companies this may be a necessity in order to provide a trail in case something goes wrong. For other companies, logging may be something to avoid in order to keep information retention to a minimum.
- Tracking – Some VPNs may track usage and data, then sell it to third parties. Companies should do their due-diligence and examine the VPN service’s data policy before deciding.
- Management – Many business centric VPNaaS services offer extensive administration tools. A service that maintains encryption keys and connections may be the best choice for organizations looking for a quick solution. Controlling activity might include banning particular sites or issuing notifications if a suspect site is visited. There are several management choices to consider, so businesses should do their research.
3. Scrutinize Speed and Uptime
VPNaaS solutions are in charge of maintaining a secure connection. A sluggish or unreliable VPN might hinder a company’s production by stifling network connections. Businesses should use VPN services that have servers nearby. That way, data does not have to go across the country. Most services highlight their uptime on their websites. Companies should strive for 99.9% uptime or better with fail safes built in.
4. Explore Optional Security Features
While the primary use of VPNs is security through the encryption of secure tunnels, other security features are also offered which could be beneficial to the business. Here are some good ones:
- Split-tunneling – Split-tunneling allows users to manage and direct traffic to other tunnels or connections. This security feature can be used to keep certain apps and processes encrypted while allowing other requests to go straight to the internet.
- VPN killswitch – A killswitch is a type of failsafe that prevents users from exposure in case of a VPN disconnection. If a VPN is disconnected, or is no longer being used, it can alert the user and prevent them from making unsecure connections.
5. Test the Capabilities
VPNs, like an organization’s own servers, may have limitations. Speed and performance are crucial when choosing a VPN provider. A VPN that cannot meet traffic needs becomes a network bottleneck. This is especially true for cloud-based VPNs. This bottleneck can slow down the network, lose data, or even break connections.
A VPNaaS provider’s infrastructure must be sufficient to meet a company’s demands. There it’s important to perform preliminary testing before making the decision.
Secure the Cloud with a VPN
VPNs can improve security, speed, and network administration. VPNaaS solutions in particular provide a more flexible and scalable alternative to outdated traditional VPNs, enhancing cloud infrastructure security. No matter the type of VPN, the quality of a VPN depends on its supplier. Businesses considering a VPNaaS solution should first assess their requirements and perform due diligence to ensure data security and performance. This is a necessary step in choosing a trustworthy partner, since a cloud VPN provider becomes part of the network.
Outsource IT has decades of experience in managing networks and implementing various VPN solutions. Our team of experts are ready to assist companies looking for help or insight into the different VPN options, secure network practices, and much more. Contact an Outsource IT account manager to learn more.