The Basics of a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Why It Matters to Endpoint Security

The Basics of a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Why It Matters to Endpoint Security

What is a virtual private network (VPN)? How does a VPN affect your endpoint security? What does it mean for enterprise cybersecurity, mobile devices, and infrastructure scaling?

The answer to these questions could radically affect your endpoint security effectiveness. Moreover, your enterprise could benefit from the scalability facilitated by VPNs. Therefore, we answer these questions and more below!

What is a VPN? 

We can’t begin our exploration of VPNs without defining a VPN in full.  

A VPN functions as a secure connection between a less secure network and a more secure one. More specifically, it allows devices on a public network to operate as if connected to a private one. For example, a mobile device on a VPN and public WiFi could connect to your enterprise’s network securely; your endpoint security basically extends out through the VPN to remote devices, creating a wider net of functionality and cybersecurity. 

Through a virtual private network, employees can send and receive data even on shared networks with private network security; your data loss prevention works even on remote devices. Additionally, VPNs typically use encryption to prevent interception, only allowing authorized users through authentication.  

What Can This Capability Offer Your Endpoint Security?

Essentially, VPNs enable you to scale your endpoint security capabilities to encompass the cloud and remote employees. The cloud poses numerous difficulties in endpoint security, especially legacy solutions. After all, the cloud continues to accumulate more sensitive data and the normal protections of legacy solutions don’t prove adequate.

Especially in a cloud environment, each device forms a new mode in your digital perimeter. In fact, as you transition to the cloud, the number of endpoints connecting to your enterprise expands exponentially. In turn, each device constitutes a potential attack vector that requires a consistent layer of endpoint security.

However, in a cloud and remote IT environment, maintaining visibility can prove a significant challenge. Using VPNs can help you protect endpoints even if your visibility does waver. Also, a VPN can help bridge any gaps between security confidence and actual security for remote employees.

This becomes incredibly important when considering the growth of remote workforces and decentralized business locations and hours; remote employees can still suffer hacks and serve as gateways to hackers. With virtual private networks, you can ensure they benefit from the same level of cybersecurity as your on-premises employees. This applies even in scenarios involving public WiFi, a perennial problem for mobile devices. 

Of course, different VPNs offer different levels of security and different integrations. Your use case may not resemble that of even your competitors. Factors including connecting devices, operating systems, industry, and your workforce size can all affect your use case. Instead, you need a VPN that fits your needs and can integrate with your other cybersecurity solutions. Indeed, you need to consider your identity security for proper authentication security. 

How to Learn More  

Therefore, you should check out our 2019 Buyer’s Guide for Endpoint Security. We cover the top solution providers and their key capabilities. Also, we provide each vendor with our Bottom Line analysis. You can check it out here. 

 

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Ben Canner

Editor, Cybersecurity at Solutions Review
Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner
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