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VPN Security: Trick or Treat?

20 October, 2020

As businesses increasingly shift to digital work environments, ensuring web security has become a top priority. Amidst this changing landscape, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have emerged as popular solutions, promising enhanced security and unrestricted access to online content. In this installment of our Cyber Security Month series, we will explore the true benefits and limitations of VPN security, aiming to provide an objective assessment of their effectiveness.

Understanding VPNs: The Sweetness of Free Candy

Before delving into the intricacies of VPN security, let’s first clarify what VPNs are. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it establishes a secure connection by directing web traffic through a local server. This encryption conceals your online activities and makes it appear as if the server, rather than you, is browsing the internet.

VPNs offer several advantages to users. For instance, even if someone were monitoring your network, they would only see connections to the VPN server, unaware of the specific websites you visit. Additionally, by changing your IP address, you can access region-restricted content and bypass internet censorship. Many VPN services are affordable, with the option of free basic services and premium features at a cost. The appeal of these benefits is evident, but are there any caveats?

Limitations of VPN Security: A Razor in Your Apple

While VPNs provide an additional layer of security, it is important to recognize their limitations, particularly when relying on free versions or overlooking inherent vulnerabilities.

Firstly, it is crucial to understand that VPNs do not guarantee 100% security on the web. Websites can still track your activities through cookies stored on your computer, regardless of your VPN usage. Additionally, the security protocols employed by the websites you visit vary, and VPNs can foster a false sense of security, leading to complacency. It is essential to remain vigilant and exercise caution, as VPNs cannot protect against data breaches if sensitive information is willingly provided to malicious actors.

Moreover, VPNs can inadvertently increase the target size for hackers. In recent years, cybercriminals have shifted their focus to larger targets, aiming for greater rewards. VPN services present an attractive target, as compromising their servers grants access to the browsing information of numerous users. Notably, in 2019, NordVPN experienced a breach, exposing all traffic passing through their servers for several months. This incident highlights the vulnerabilities associated with relying solely on VPN security.

Optimizing Security with Virtual Offices

While VPNs have their merits, there are alternative solutions that offer even greater security. One such option is the use of virtual offices, which provide complete virtual desktops accessible through secure login credentials. Virtual offices encompass a range of features, from productivity software to secure data storage. This dedicated and centralized approach ensures a higher level of security. Real-time administration by human experts enables a swift response to any potential threats.

Although VPNs contribute to safer internet browsing, it is important to recognize their limitations. Relying solely on VPN security is akin to believing that consuming five pieces of candy instead of six prevents diabetes. For businesses planning remote or virtual connections, exploring virtual office solutions is highly recommended. With tailored setup and administration, virtual offices offer enhanced security and connectivity. To embark on a secure and efficient remote work environment, contact us today to explore the benefits of virtual offices and navigate the complexities of VPN security.

20 October, 2020