Why You Really Need a VPN For Your Business
Monday, April 15, 2013 by Nicholas Gagne
The New York Times tells us about a bleak day for executives at Burger King. The holidays were approaching, and Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked. The company’s trademark logo had been replaced with McDonald’s golden arches, and the company started tweeting that it had been sold. Other tweets were so outrageous that the New York Times deemed them unfit for print.
What happened to Burger King — and, a day later, to Jeep — is every brand manager’s nightmare,” says the article. “Burger King and Jeep, owned by Chrysler, are not alone. Other prominent accounts have fallen victim to hacking, including those for NBC News, USA Today, Donald J. Trump, the Westboro Baptist Church and even the ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous.”
Not every security breach is worthy of an article in the New York Times, but the results can be just as catastrophic for smaller businesses that lack the mindshare of Jeep and Burger King. Imagine if a hacker were to gain access to your email account, your online accounting package, your payment gateway and your project management software. You could possibly lose everything, or at least see permanent and lasting damage done to your business.
The first step is to think about password management. Products like 1Password can really help you keep track of your passwords. It generates a long, unique and hard-to-guess password for each site you use, and it automatically enters it into each site you visit, so you don’t need to remember thirty different passwords at once. But this alone is rarely enough, and that’s why you seriously need to start using a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your business.
Recently, there has been growing consumer demand for VPNs, which has been largely driven by copyright law and the security issues surrounding wireless. When people are downloading torrents online, they expose themselves to many legal threats, and a VPN obscures the link between the consumer and the downloaded file. Given that people have been sued for millions of dollars by record labels and film studios, it’s hardly a surprise that people would rather spend less than five dollars a month on a VPN, and not have to worry about the issue again.
During the last Olympics, Americans were unable to watch most of the action on the Web because of licensing issues, even though most of the world had around-the-clock access. So, by using a VPN, Americans could fool websites into thinking they were from another country, and therefore they’d be able to watch anything they wanted.
Security is the main reason VPNs are becoming so popular among businesses, explains boxpn VPN (www.boxpn.com). “When you use a VPN, all the data you send and receive is encrypted, and so it completely isolates one whole vector of attack. Every business has employees who will email themselves passwords, add sensitive data to insecure websites, and other activities that make businesses vulnerable. With a VPN, you put an iron wall between your business and your Internet use. Hackers can no longer just inspect packets and find passwords in plain text, so their job becomes much more challenging.”
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