Remote and hybrid work policies have made securing sensitive business data more crucial than ever. But even without these policies, most organizations have workers who, at some point, will access company systems from unsecured Wi-Fi spots in airports, hotels, and coffee shops.
Add to that a surge in sophisticated phishing attempts, and it’s clear why organizations are at risk of data breaches, financial losses, and reputation damage.
Business VPN solutions can help mitigate the risks of unsecured remote connections. They function as technological armor by masking user locations and encrypting confidential communications to ensure data remains unaltered and secure during transmission.
In this article, you’ll learn why you need a business VPN to enhance security and remote access and what the benefits of a specialized business VPN solution are compared to traditional VPNs.
Why You Need a Business VPN
Without a business VPN, remote workers would connect to work networks, systems, and resources over regular networks, whether home internet services or public networks. Both scenarios can be fraught with vulnerabilities.
For instance, weak passwords or default admin credentials can grant unauthorized access. An attacker can exploit outdated firmware or insecure Wi-Fi settings to intercept and decipher communications. While public networks at hotels, airports, and restaurants pose risks like man-in-the-middle attacks or eavesdropping, home networks aren’t exempt. Vulnerabilities like open ports or universal plug and play that can lead to unauthorized access and potentially compromised devices or networks can be misused to expose sensitive work data.
Good security procedures require that a remote connection to a company’s internal network must be encrypted and secure. By encrypting all data transmitted, a business VPN solution ensures that the connection to work premises remains secure and confidential, irrespective of the network’s vulnerabilities.
But why use a business VPN and not simply a traditional VPN solution like OpenVPN, which is free and open source to boot?
In traditional IT environments, employees’ devices must maintain a direct, secure connection to the company’s core systems, especially the active directory, so that internal IT can enforce security policies, update configurations, and conduct audits.
While personal VPNs simply establish a secure connection, business VPNs serve a dual purpose. They not only offer a secure tunnel to the company’s resources but also ensure that policy updates, configurations, and audits are consistently enforced and received, regardless of where the employee is located. This seamless integration makes sure that the IT department maintains a grip on security standards, even with a dispersed workforce.
A business VPN allows remote workers to securely connect to company resources while simultaneously offering network administrators an easy way to manage the connection and users’ access to resources.
The Benefits of a Business VPN
A business VPN solution offers advanced security features, is easy to implement and use, protects sensitive business information, and maintains the integrity of business operations.
Let’s explore why these benefits are important for an organization.
Advanced Security Features
Traditional VPNs are primarily designed to safeguard personal privacy and security, so they come with limitations that don’t meet the security standards of modern businesses. For instance, their generic security features are not tailored to safeguard specific business applications. And while they encrypt data in transit, they lack the advanced security configurations you need for enterprise-level oversight and regulatory compliance.
In contrast, a business VPN solution like Tailscale offers several advanced security features to protect your business:
Single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA): Tailscale integrates with your existing identity provider to streamline user authentication. Employees can use their familiar credentials to access the network, eliminating the need for VPN-specific login credentials. Additionally, the inclusion of multifactor authentication adds an extra layer of security, safeguarding against unauthorized access attempts.
End-to-end encryption: Tailscale shields your data, traversing the network with end-to-end encryption. This means that even if data is intercepted, it remains unintelligible to malicious actors. Tailscale relies on the WireGuard protocol, a proven and modern VPN technology, to ensure that data remains confidential and secure.
Access control lists (ACLs): Tailscale’s ACL feature gives you granular control over network access so you can define precisely which users have access to specific devices. This feature not only mitigates the risks associated with unauthorized access but also ensures compliance with industry regulations.
Tailscale SSH: Tailscale’s SSH service uses integration with access control policies using Tailscale’s infrastructure. The result is secure and authenticated SSH connections that are easy to use.
Ease of Use
Because traditional VPNs were built with individual use in mind, using them for business can complicate setup, risk misconfigurations, and require extra training for employees.
In contrast, setting up Tailscale is a breeze. Its zero-config deployment model eliminates the need for intricate configurations and technical expertise. By automating much of the setup process, Tailscale allows you to quickly integrate secure network connections without disrupting productivity.
As mentioned, Tailscale uses the WireGuard protocol, which is known for its lightweight design and strong security foundations. This means fast and efficient connections while maintaining the highest standards of data protection.
Tailscale also provides client applications for major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. This comprehensive support ensures that all devices within your network can benefit from Tailscale’s security and ease-of-use features.
While traditional VPNs offer some security, they don’t always prioritize user privacy. Some providers maintain logs detailing user activities, connection times, and even IP addresses that can be vulnerable to leaks and hacks. Without strict no-log policies, there’s no guarantee that user activities remain confidential.
In contrast, not only does Tailscale protect your organization’s privacy through end-to-end encryption, but as already mentioned, its design also ensures that the private encryption keys of your devices are never exposed to Tailscale. They always remain securely within their respective nodes.
Tailscale’s coordination server handles only public keys, ensuring minimal data collection, and its DERP relay servers are engineered not to log your data, as verifiable through Tailscale’s open source code.
Using Tailscale also does not mean that you give up ownership of your network. For example, to ensure that the public internet traffic details of your company’s employees remain inaccessible, Tailscale ensures that if it uses exit nodes, they remain exclusively under your control. Whether you choose to use MagicDNS or split DNS, Tailscale ensures that your public DNS queries are not logged.
Tailscale collects only the necessary metadata about your network’s private nodes and connections to ensure the service functions smoothly and preserves your privacy. For additional transparency, you can check the code as it is open source.
Most organizations don’t just need security; they require a resilient network that ensures seamless operations and proper business continuity even amid unforeseen challenges.
Traditional VPNs are structured around a centralized architecture, so they can be vulnerable to outages if their primary server or data center faces issues. A lack of efficient failover mechanisms might lead to dropped connections without automatic rerouting. This means downtime for users and operational disruptions.
To minimize single points of failure and ensure network availability, Tailscale’s coordination servers operate independently. This means that while Tailscale’s coordination server facilitates initial connections, your nodes can communicate directly once they’re set up.
Moreover, Tailscale’s globally distributed DERP relay servers enhance connectivity by assisting devices in establishing connections, even when direct point-to-point communication is challenging. The independent state management of these servers across regions also ensures seamless failover.
Concluding Thoughts: How Business VPNs Enhance Security without Harming Productivity
With remote and hybrid work models becoming the norm, safeguarding sensitive business data has never been more crucial. Business VPN solutions allow remote users to securely connect to company resources while lightening the burden of managing device management and user rights.
A robust business VPN solution like Tailscale offers advanced security, ease of use, enhanced privacy, and network resilience. Its advanced security features include SSO, MFA, end-to-end encryption, ACLs, and SSH, and its zero-config deployment, cross-platform compatibility, and use of the Wireguard protocol make it fast and easy to deploy and use. Moreover, Tailscale has been designed to protect your privacy and leave you in control of your own network while providing failsafes in case of network failure.
If you want to enhance the security of your organization without sacrificing the productivity of your teams, consider Tailscale as your business VPN solution.
Get started with Tailscale today.
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