Four years have passed since the UK passed the Investigatory Powers Act - AKA the Snooper's Charter. For the uninitiated, this law gave the British government the power to monitor the online activity of businesses and individuals.
This means the British government now knows which sites you visit, and how long you stay there. This happens with the help of local ISP providers that collect and store your data for up to one year. Luckily, there are ways to protect your business from the inquisitive eyes of the government.
One of the best solutions is a VPN, a tool that comes with these benefits for your UK-based business.
1. Protection from security breaches
This might come as a surprise but according to Verizon 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses. No industry is safe from attacks. However, healthcare, finance and retail businesses are the most frequently targeted sectors.
A VPN can protect your business from cyberattacks by masking the IP addresses of all the computers in your office. And, in doing so, it becomes difficult for attackers to identify your business let alone breach your data.
Speaking of which, VPNs also encrypt data transmitted by your employees. The best VPNs use military-grade encryption techniques to secure your data. This is the same method the government uses to store classified information. As a result, a VPN can protect your business' data and prevent you from joining the 60% of businesses that close down within six months of a cyberattack.
2. Reduce the risk of working from home
Working from home is no longer a new concept for thousands of businesses in the UK. It's the most convenient way for companies to operate amid a nationwide lockdown. Even without a lockdown, working from home is a growing concept.
Unfortunately, allowing your employees to log into office web apps through their home-based computers can expose your business to security risks. Think about it. If your employees don't use a VPN, your start up's data could be intercepted by ISP providers, hackers, or the government.
Your employees could also be targeted with malware that could lead to a breach on your company's systems. These risks can be avoided by purchasing a VPN subscription for all your employees regardless of where they work.
3. Remote data access
So, your salespeople need to access files back in the office while they are on the road? They don't have to return to the office to get it. Instead, they can use a computer connected to a VPN to access all the data they need from the office remotely.
A VPN will protect your business by encrypting data as it's transmitted around different computers and mobile devices. So, when your employees activate a VPN and access information stored in office computers, it's hard for outsiders to intercept it.
4. Beating geo-restrictions
In this age of the global village, its businesses are increasingly working with other businesses and people in other countries and continents. Some of these people live in nations that prohibit social media, streaming networks or browsing the internet entirely.
Luckily, a VPN makes it possible for small British businesses to work with experts and clients in all parts of the world, even where geo-restrictions apply. Clients and employees can use VPNs to hide their identities. VPNs can also unblock sites and apps to help workers access sites and apps not offered in their own countries.
5. Safety around public Wi-Fi networks
Do some of your employees use public Wi-Fi? This is possible if they travel to visit clients and close deals. If that's the that case, you can't afford to let them access your office network without using an online security tool. Public Wi-Fi might be free and convenient for people with unreliable mobile data connections, but it comes at the risk of exposing your data to hackers. Everyone who uses public Wi-Fi can access all the data transmitted by anyone using it.
That means your business and clients' data isn't safe if transmitted through public Wi-Fi. Fortunately, a VPN can eliminate most of the risks that come with using public Wi-Fi through a VPN. It hides the IP addresses of your employees. In turn, they can work without worrying about hackers. Additionally, it encrypts their data to keep it safe.
6. Providing anonymity
There are times when anonymity is needed at the workplace. Picture this. You want your staff members to give feedback, comments and possibly even complain about working methods, policies, or fellow staff. You want them to be able to make suggestions without any fear of repercussions. Naturally, you could ask them to write their complains and place them inside suggestion boxes.
However, that might not be possible for employees that work from home. It could also deter some people who think their identities could be exposed even after using a suggestion box. An alternative is to allow your employees to post on an office forum anonymously, usually through a VPN.
Another reason to encourage some of your employees to browse the internet anonymously is when you want them to research on your competitors. Maybe they want to check your competing businesses' prices, new products, and services. A VPN can help you make this sort of research without revealing your identity.
7. Improved bandwidth consumption
Does your business involve plenty of downloads and uploads? There's a chance your Internet Service Provider slows your connectivity down sometimes. ISP providers are notorious for throttling people's Internet connection to lower their bandwidth.
If you have been experiencing this problem, consider shopping for a VPN for business. It will help hide everyone's IP address in your office. And as a result, your ISP provider won't have a way of determining the amount of bandwidth you use.
Of course, you need to select a fast VPN too. Some companies provide slow uploads and downloads, which could impact your business' performance over time.
Copyright 2021. The article was made possible by site supporter Marko Rinaldi of Betexposure.