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13 Apr 2020

The remote work face off: VPNs vs Cloud

Whilst the world’s been working remotely for a while, now might just be the first-time many businesses have seriously considered how to optimise it. Cloud computing and VPNs present themselves as solutions to the challenges of secure file sharing and remote collaboration. VPNs are a proxy network that serve as a safe access point to a server or a website. Cloud computing is essentially an on demand and scalable supply of IT; databases, storage and computing power. Both VPNs and cloud computing increase security when working remotely. But both are very different. Here’s why, along with their pros and cons.

 

VPNs are great because…

 

They give employees opportunities to use a secure encrypted connection to share and use resources on a company network. Perfect for BYOD and providing an extra layer of security. Now employees can remotely access work files securely – even on airport WiFi. But Because no connection is 100% bulletproof, VPNs are equally useful for your typical office connection. VPNs can also bypass international censorship regulations that can hamper productivity; what do you do if you can’t access your enterprise CRM in China?

 

However…

 

Using VPNs can be slow because all traffic is being forced through an encrypted connection. They are not entirely legal everywhere so on some business trips one may be back to square one and open to security threats. Also, business VPNs require time and energy to correctly integrate with a business’s current network. If you’re not using a managed, cloud VPN, then you’ll need dedicated manpower to help manage security operations and perform updates.

 

With cloud computing…

 

Accessing company resources is similarly straight forward. Difference being, storage providers like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS hold your organisation’s resources in their remote location. It’s their responsibility to manage the storage. They protect it from cyber-attacks, backup and encrypt it etc. Another benefit is the scalability of cloud computing. It can accommodate changes in the business quickly, without hefty costs. Unlike VPNs though, a business won’t need to invest in extra servers and server management when it wants to scale. Then there’s the added benefit of being able to work with apps that seamlessly integrate, such as the Microsoft 360 suite.

 

However…

 

Because they’re looking after everything from backup to maintenance, you’re playing by their rules. So, there’s far less customisation on offer than with a private VPN. Related to this is the fact that since you’re not in control, if the company changes its service or system, your data does with it. There’s also debate about how secure many cloud solutions actually are. Short answer; potentially not quite as secure as private VPNs.

 

Which solution you choose will depend on finer details and the state of your business. One consideration; why not try both? Combine the utility and security of cloud storage with the added security of a VPN. Little else will give remote work the same security belt + braces approach.

It's not too late to start using cloud computing or VPNs to ensure your team are working securely. Talk to our team today about using either, or both options simultaneously to bolster your security.

OryxAlign

By OryxAlign

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