Working from anywhere has become an increasingly common practice in companies. The truth is that with the coronavirus pandemic and the confinements, many were forced to do so. They discovered disadvantages, but also advantages. Now that the situation is somewhat more stable, it is time to take advantage of it, but to do it well. We are always talking about employees or the managers themselves who want to work from their homes, generally outside office hours.
What is a VPN?
The VPN or Virtual Private Network is responsible for creating a secure, encrypted communication tunnel between the employee’s computer and the company’s computers. Once the communication is established, the equipment, whether it is a computer, mobile or tablet, from which we connect is virtually inside the company.
It is possible to use these VPNs to connect several different sites or offices to share resources. This model is not only useful for teleworking, but in many cases it helps us to work better if we have branches and offices that need to operate connected to the central office, or use part of its resources.
This implies that we can access information in shared network folders, but also access to computers, servers, applications, etc. All securely and without exposing or compromising data or access by third parties.
Why does the company need a VPN?
Let’s take a simple example. An employee wants to connect from his home computer to his office computer to finish or advance work. In many cases what is done is a connection through the remote desktop, for which we need to know a series of data and redirect the information to the company’s Internet access router to reach the equipment.
It is what is known as the opening of a port, which routes the request for information from the router to the user’s computer. Put more simply, we are leaving a door open for the employee to connect. And this has a certain risk, since this open door in Internet towards our company can be attacked by cybercriminals, with the risks that this has associated.
To make a similarity, it would be like leaving the key to the office door under the carpet. Thieves may not think to look at it, but if they do, they have a good chance of getting in. It is true that different barriers can be put up, but the door remains open.
And this is not only a problem when it comes to the security of our business, but also when it comes to compliance with personal data regulations. If it is determined that we have had a security breach due to a lack of means, the fine can be quite severe in the event that customer data is compromised.
Everything is transparent for the employee
When the VPN is set up, whether by software or hardware, to open the tunnel, a user and password will be requested, so it is very difficult to force access through this door if the appropriate measures have been taken.
For the end user it is quite simple to use. You simply have a shortcut on your desktop that connects you to the VPN, asks for the login credentials and if everything is correct, it creates the encrypted tunnel in a matter of seconds and the computer connects.
From here you have access to shared company folders, printers or you can connect via Remote Desktop to your office computer or server depending on how each business wants to operate. If everything is set up correctly, it only takes a couple of mouse clicks to start working securely. Once the work is done, you disconnect and that’s it.