One of the most important decisions any user browsing the Internet should make is to have the ability to use a virtual private network (VPN) and protect his privacy and be anonymous on the web. As part of endpoint security, firewalls, antivirus, antimalware—the VPN Client is the most critical component in today’s scenario. No business owner is comfortable in sharing information over an insecure Internet. In the game of leapfrog between threats and countermeasures, only the safeguards of solid cybersecurity with encryption through a VPN can reliably protect a business in the hugely unsecure territory of the Internet.
A secure, protected business has a greater potential for success and growth. This is especially true in the current climate of the digital transformation of businesses. This article will discuss each of the following propositions and demonstrate how a reliable VPN service can augment a solid cybersecurity posture to help a business to grow and be successful:
Success proposition 1: Cybersecurity promotes business growth and success.
Success proposition 2: A VPN adds value to a business’s cybersecurity profile.
So, it is all about digital transformation. Digitation must be part of business plans for future success. For digitation to succeed, the plan must include cybersecurity. The best information security can be the tiebreaker that makes a business successful, and VPN can add weight to the tiebreaker. Read this guide to learn about VPN.
How these propositions intersect and are interdependent
Success proposition 1: The strongest cybersecurity promotes business success
In his article on Information Age, Nick Ismail highlighted the “strong link” between cybersecurity and business success” . According to Ismail, cybersecurity cements the best relationship between the organization and its customer base by:
- promoting loyalty, privacy, and trust
- building the organization’s market reputation and attracting new customers
- becoming a “competitive differentiator” to help the organization to attract new customers
Ismail cites a cybersecurity report from Vodafone that reported overwhelming (86%+) agreement in surveyed companies that strong cybersecurity can enable the preceding, “rather than simply (be) a means of defense.”
Also, in this Forbes book review, the author further challenges the simplistic assumption on the role of cybersecurity in business success . The function of cybersecurity goes beyond eliminating the threats of hacking and viruses. Cybersecurity in business can be repositioned as “a growth (success) enabler.”
Breaches are bad for business
Conversely, when cybersecurity is not a priority, it becomes an inhibitor. Successful attention to security breaches saves money. Those savings could be diverted toward investments in growth and future success.
Nearly every organization must manage both personal and sensitive information. The well-known prevalence of security threats and the serious consequences of data breaches require airtight cybersecurity. Consider the following top two data breaches since 2013 and their subsequent repercussions:
- The Internet giant Yahoo compromised the personal data of 500 million users. Worse, a few months later, Yahoo had to admit that the number was closer to 3 billion user accounts compromised. For failing to disclose the data breach, Yahoo paid a $35 million fine .
- Marriott International, the hotel chain, compromised the personal data of over 500 million customers. Marriott now faces a class-action suit and as of December 2018 has seen its shares fall nearly 6% in value .
Small businesses bear the brunt of cyberattacks
While the above examples involve two businesses at the top of the heap, there is one alarming statistic that applies to small businesses. According to Inc.com, the majority of cyberattacks target small- and mid-size businesses, and about 60% of those businesses go under within just 6 months .
Even those businesses that survive face financial loss, reputation damage, and litigation/regulatory sanctions. Add to that, going dead in the water: stalled business objectives and missed market opportunities.
Digital offerings are vulnerable
As a business migrates to its “digital center,” more of its services and products become “digital offerings.” Those digital products need measures to protect them from threats and ensuring their delivery and execution. So, cybersecurity should be “priority 1” for all businesses.
Growth proposition 2: A VPN adds value to a business’s success
What a VPN does best
A business VPN provides an encrypted layer of defense with a secured web connection to all the company’s devices. Those devices may be located anywhere company employees connect to the Internet. The data that passes through the connection is private and protected against fake Wi-Fi, determined hackers, as well as intrusive advertising and poaching competitors.
Establishing both long-distance and secured network connections is what a VPN does best. In the business world, the protection of the online client base is a balancing act. Clients need both security and ease of access. The provider, in turn, needs tight security for its local network as it reaches out to its client base.
Why antivirus/malware programs are not enough
VPNs can prevent leaks in firewalls and antivirus programs. Virus protection programs struggle to keep up with continuously emerging malware. Without VPN end-to-end encryption, online connections can never be totally secure, nor can they reliably protect customer information as data passes through.
In fact, the most powerful business use of a business VPN is in data sharing. Consider files uploaded by email or passed around the company network. With VPN, those files share the encryption security both within and outside the company network. Secure file sharing alone justifies the addition of VPN services.
Major advantages of VPNs
In terms of business growth and success, a VPN has the following advantages:
- With VPN, proprietary and sensitive business data stays secure. Data is the lifeblood of the business. It is the foundation of business intelligence, which is the stepping stone to growth.
- VPNs provide security so that businesses can share resources. Employees and partners can be mobile, making the business more agile. Agility is the springboard to growth.
- VPNs are cost-effective. They are more affordable and are instantly available. Businesses grow quicker without the burden of capital investments. When capital investments become a reasonable cost of doing business, the business is poised for further growth.
Cybersecurity and VPNs intersect as a two-tiered value proposition. They contribute to business success and growth because cybersecurity is more than the sum of its parts. They clear playing field for businesses in their quest for digital transformation. When added to cybersecurity, VPNs provide a private encrypted tunnel to protect connectivity and the vital business data flow, which is the lifeblood of business.
About the Author
Naomi Hodges is a cybersecurity advisor and a contributing writer at Surfshark. She specializes in network security, VPNs, and privacy-related issues. At work, she’s busy fighting for a safer Internet and pushing privacy agenda forward, as well as helping a broad range of client to shape and refine their security efforts. Naomi is an engineering professional holding a Bachelors’ degree with a focus on information security from the University of Reading.