What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. In simplest terms, a Virtual Private Network is a secure connection to your office network. Think of a VPN as a secure or encrypted tunnel between your off-site laptop or computer and your secure network server at the office. Having this secure tunnel means that employees can access your office network from public internet sites without the risk of someone spying on their activities or stealing transmitted data.
Why would you need a VPN?
Employees that are required to work off-site or allowed to work from home often need to interact with business applications such as Practice Management solutions, accounting/tax applications, HR systems, or even secure file shares. While any one of these may have a secure (HTTPS) link to their site, if your employees are accessing it from a public site or from an unsecured home office, the data they transmit is at risk of being stolen.
A virtual private network extends our private office network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared on public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. By requiring employees to access company systems and data, via a secure VPN connection, you help to ensure your client information, business data and employee information is kept secure.
It is not uncommon for a client to tell me that their critical business applications (EMR, Practice Management, accounting, HR, etc.) are accessed on the cloud and the connections are supposed to be secure. While that may be true, don’t be fooled into thinking that everything you do on that connection is safe. The best and most effective form of security is to use a secure VPN tunnel to make sure you maintain control of your secure communications. Don’t leave it to chance, talk to your IT provider today about securing your remote workers and protecting your business.