Many organizations require their employees to use VPNs (Virtual private networks) to secure connections between remote users and digital assets and comply with security policies. So, what exactly is VPNaaS (VPN as a Service), and should you consider it for your business?
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What is VPNaaS (VPN as a Service)?
Many businesses have turned to cloud VPN, or VPN as a service (VPNaaS), to enable remote access, support better scalability, and increase business security.
VPN as a service is a cloud-delivered IT solution for encrypted and safe connections between private IT resources and remote employees. A VPN is an encrypted tunnel between users and digital resources that allows a network to assign a user with a new public IP address so all the incoming and outgoing data goes through the VPN. The goal of this is to both disguise your online traffic and protect it from eavesdropping (preventing cyber criminals and hackers from misusing your logins and other sensitive data).
By using VPNaaS, customers can just tap into a pre-configured infrastructure operated by the VPN provider, so they do not need to build their own hardware or virtual infrastructure. This results in better security, easier management of the VPN solution, and also in lower costs.
How Does VPNaaS Work?
VPNaaS or cloud VPN can provide employees with remote access to your company's systems no matter where they are or what devices they choose to use to access private data, systems and networks. The principles that rule this type of technology are the same as traditional hardware VPNs, but they also offer additional capabilities we'll soon cover in a little more detail.
Let's first quickly go through what happens in cloud VPNs. When a user connects to one, they first get authenticated. Once this is done, the VPN establishes an encrypted tunnel so all data can be secured during transit.
There are several components to a cloud VPN. These include:
- A VPN Gateway: The gateway is a type of networking device that provides secure connectivity between clients and a company network and apps in a VPN structure.
- VPN Clients: Client apps that run on a user’s device, allowing them to connect to a private network.
- A Control Panel: The control panel is an interface from which a person can manage, configure, maintain, and monitor their cloud VPN.
The Difference Between VPNaaS and On-Premise VPN
As we hinted above, there are shared principles between both types of VPN.
However, on-premise VPN (or “On-Prem”) is a hardware-based platform that uses a dedicated server or VPN gateway device and runs on the edge of your network. Therefore, an on-premise VPN requires you to maintain the whole system yourself, including performing all maintenance and updates.
There’s a higher reliability on physical hardware, too, which means you might need to upgrade your server stack frequently to accommodate for growth and shrink in demand. Cost-wise, on-premise infrastructure is also more expensive to run as it requires an IT administrator to continuously supervise the system.
Cloud VPNs such as GoodAccess, on the other hand, are services supplied completely by a third party. More information on this topic can be found in a blog dedicated to the topic hardware vs software VPNs.
The Benefits of VPNaaS
VPNaaS can allow your organization to access remote resources while protecting your network, apps, and users. We mentioned that this technology is considered more scalable, affordable, and efficient than traditional VPNs (hardware VPNs or "in-house" VPN solutions running on on-premise infrastructure).
Let's now look at some of the benefits of VPNaaS and why they are a particularly good solution for businesses facing today's dynamic environment - which involves challenges such as distributed remote workforces that need fast and low-latency 24/7 access and an exponentially growing number of devices, and an unfortunate lack of skilled IT experts to keep networks protected.
VPNaaS Allows for Global Reach
With cloud VPNs, you can use pre-configured gateways all from anywhere around the globe, so you can access systems and apps no matter where you are. Traditional VPNs route end-users to a data center before they let them access tools. VPNaaS ensures fast, secure, and direct access to cloud-based systems, public internet interfaces, and apps.
Moreover, a modern VPNaaS delivers not only a dedicated virtual private infrastructure, but also other services, such as firewalls, access control, secure web access, and authentication services. This means that all files, communications, and data files can be kept safe, and employees can remain connected to their resources when they are working from home or on a business trip.
VPNaaS Is More Scalable and Affordable
Using a cloud VPN allows your organization to avoid having to spend time and money building and maintaining your own VPN infrastructure. All the administering and engineering is the responsibility of the provider and, as your business grows, your VPN can also adapt while still preserving your network and user configurations.
VPNaaS Provides a Better User Experience
Cloud VPNs are designed to be user-friendly, so users don't have to spend valuable time figuring out how to configure things manually. Everything is either handled by the provider or can be easily configured through a control panel. Plus, there is no need for specialized software and hardware, except for the client apps. This results in higher-speed connectivity and a smoother running of daily operations within your organization.
VPNaaS Works for Companies of All Sizes
VPNaaS is highly suitable for smaller companies that don’t want to build and sustain their own VPN infrastructure (for instance, due to a lack of skills or budget). Remote-friendly businesses and cloud-first companies can both benefit from the freedom a cloud VPN provides, allowing them easy and secure access to various cloud repositories and SaaS apps, among others. VPNaaS is also a great solution if your company works with contractors and outsourcers that use their own devices to access your network.
Deploying VPNaaS for your Business
Decentralized IT infrastructure and remote work have become commonplace for any modern business. VPNaaS is a flexible solution for any organization that needs to securely access network, apps and other digital resources from any location while providing ease of use, scalability, cost-efficiency, ease of deployment, and agility.
With VPNaaS, you no longer need to worry about investing time and money into building your own VPN system. Your employees will be able to access all applications, services, and online tools no matter where they are, all with an extra layer of security.
If you’re looking for global, cost-effective, and secure remote access for your business, check out GoodAccess’ business VPN today. You can create a free account and test all premium features for 14 days; no credit card required.