Four things to consider before buying a business VPN
Cyber security presents perhaps the single greatest risk to any business, particularly small and medium-sized business (SMBs). For any business, a cyber attack can not only result in immediate financial and data loss – the public fall out and reputation damage can have devastating long term implications.
To keep clients’ data and activities secure and private online, managed service providers must include a VPN Service for securing public WiFi and online privacy.
But before you partner with a VPN Service Provider and deploy it across your customer base, there are a few things to consider!
1. Does VPN usage require usernames and passwords?
As mentioned in a previous blog post, most of us are terrible when it comes to passwords and password management. We use the same or similar passwords for an array of services – and even when those passwords are compromised, we reuse them (or variants) elsewhere.
So look for a business VPN Service that at the very least integrates with Active Directory or SSO providers. Many MSPs will have clients though that don’t use AD or SSO in which case, look for a Business VPN Service that doesn’t use usernames and passwords to authenticate devices.
Privatise, for instance, uses automated public key infrastructure (PKI) authentication to whitelist devices. Unique digital certificates are issued to specific devices and are then used to identify and authenticate log ins. Without these certificates, devices cannot connect to and use the VPN. The whole process is automated, so there is no need for usernames or passwords.
2. How easy is the VPN to activate and deploy?
Nothing irks clients more than new software and/or technology that they have not bought into.
Regardless of how “good” a VPN is, if it’s difficult to deploy, activate and manage, your clients (and their employees) will be unlikely to use it. They might not even get their employees on board with it!
And if your IT department struggles with it before deploying it to client networks… then maybe it’s time to use something else.
Truth is, any business VPN you use should be easy to deploy, activate and configure for your clients.
3. Can the VPN be deployed across a client’s entire business?
As your clients expand and hire new employees, those employees will need to have the VPN installed to the devices they use. However, a lot of VPNs on the market have a cap on the number of devices that can be connected at any one time, making them a nightmare for MSPs.
This means that…
- If your client wants to add more devices, you will have to purchase additional user subscriptions for them;
- You may have to speak to one of VPN vendor’s account managers for help if you need to configure new users.
If you have a large IT team, managing the above is entirely possible – but if your team is small, scaling your security and privacy package to multiple clients will prove troublesome.
If you plan to deploy a VPN to all of your clients’ business devices, ensure it has the capability to do so quickly and with minimal fuss.
4. Are monitoring and usage tools available?
When it comes to VPN Service apps, businesses typically struggle to determine whether employees have it installed to their device and, if so, whether it is actually being used.
Without any real-time device monitoring, solving the above can be tricky. Employees could have it installed to their device but not actually use it, or some employees could be using it but not regularly.
These challenges aren’t made any easier by the fact that not all business VPNs have real-time device monitoring, so they can’t tell you if the VPN is installed to a specific device or in use.
For your clients to feel confident about compliance and security, you must be able to offer a business VPN with real-time device monitoring and management. The solution should (at a minimum) include at-a-glance dashboards for usage, traffic reports and devices currently connected.
You can then use the information provided to collate usage reports for your clients to see just how effective the VPN is, as well as use those reports to increase cyber security buy in and awareness across your clients’ businesses.
There are a lot of business VPN Service solutions available, but the vast majority have limitations that make them impractical for your SMB clients. Enterprise-grade solutions fare better but can be costly and incredibly difficult to configure for SMB environments outside of a LAN.
At Privatise, we have developed a business VPN solution specifically for the needs of SMBs. It’s rapidly deployable, scalable, easy-to-use, always-on and requires no usernames or passwords.
To find out how you can make managing your client’s online security and privacy easy with Privatise, while growing your business, download our eBook “Protect Your Clients and Grow Your Business as a Privatise Reseller” by clicking here or the button below.