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With all of technology’s advances, one thing remains the same: the rise of unsecured internet cyberattacks and data breaches. And according to recent data, 61% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) experienced a cyberattack in 2021.

As cyberattacks keep climbing, so has the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With the increasingly important need to secure a hybrid remote workforce, VPNs allow you to connect to the internet via a private server, which encrypts your connection and adds an extra layer of privacy.

To help navigate the VPN world, SpyGlass technology expense management experts provide the answers you need for the big picture of security and hidden savings.

🚨VPN 411: Does my business need a VPN?
The short answer is yes. Regardless of the size of your company, a business VPN will secure your traffic and offer several additional security benefits for companies with a remote staff. A VPN creates a safe way to access corporate data online over networks that aren’t encrypted or secure, such as free public Wi-Fi networks, making it very hard for hackers to pry into confidential data.

According to OpenVPN, 68% of companies have either started using VPNs for the first time or increased their use since the onset of the pandemic — and 29% of companies are first-time users. VPNs work by creating a “secure tunnel” that can only be crossed by encrypted data. This tunnel “bores” its way to the receiving end by using tunneling protocols to encrypt sent data and decrypt this information for the receiver.

VPN software is valuable for small to medium-sized businesses that may lack the IT resources to set up and maintain the service. But it’s important to remember a VPN service actually increases your cellular data usage. While VPN encrypts and protects your online activity, it doesn’t stop cell phone providers from being able to measure how much data you’re using.

🚨VPN 411: Can a VPN prevent a cyberattack?
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes. VPNs are an effective way to maintain online privacy and boost cybersecurity, but not all VPNs are secure and anything can be hacked.

Determining if your VPN is secure is based on encryption and how much your VPN “leaks” — or when your unique Internet Protocol (IP) address should be hidden by a VPN but it’s not. Any third-party VPN seems to work at first by giving devices a new IP address, DNS servers, and a tunnel for new traffic, but sessions and connections established before a VPN is activated do not automatically terminate, and can still send data outside the VPN tunnel while it’s active.

Added privacy insight: Recent research shows an Apple iOS device can lead to data leaks — even with a VPN. While a VPN service is expected to kill existing connections before a secure connection is re-established inside the tunnel, be aware an iOS VPN is currently unable to do this.

🚨VPN 411: How much does a business VPN service cost?
According to Security.org, businesses and organizations pay for 24 percent of all VPNs used. There are many affordable and reliable VPN services to choose from but with the spike in VPN usage, it’s important to get the best VPN service for your buck.

Most business VPN software solutions range from $8 to $12 per month, but costs vary from provider to provider. Even though you shouldn’t skimp on a business VPN, you need to be smart about what you’re paying for.

Instant savings tip: An annual technology expense management SnapShot Audit can help make sure a VPN is benefiting your bigger tech expense picture.

Long-term savings advice: Keep an eye on your VPN feature/price ratio and make sure your business is paying for what you truly need. For ongoing insight and savings, SpyGlass offers SpyCare with an exclusive portal for clients to evaluate all of their data services by viewing the inventories as they make adjustments to their VPN. SpyCare clients can also view the status of data contracts at any time and can also often view a pdf of the contract.