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VPN Security: How to Prevent Cybersecurity Attacks

Last updated: 25 Jun 2023

Cyber security has become a business necessity. Driven by globalization and the increasing usage of cloud services. Companies now harness the power of virtual private networks (VPNs) to keep their business and employees safe. There are many benefits to using a VPN. It ensures safety for remote workers and enables staff to connect to public networks without the risk of security breaches.

Even though VPNs are great security tools, they do have some limitations. Using a VPN alongside other cybersecurity best practices is necessary for complete security.

In this post, we’ll go over some best practices for how to prevent cybersecurity attacks using the power of a VPN. These tips will help improve your cybersecurity, keep your business private and protect your remote employees.

Why Do You Need to Defend Against Cyberattacks?

 

Cyberattacks come in many forms and are a threat that every modern business must consider. They can be a minor nuisance at best, and at worst, they could threaten your entire company. Many cybercriminals focus on financial gain, but perpetrators commit cyber crimes for several other reasons. These preparators may also be hacktivists with a political or social agenda or industry spies looking to gain a business advantage.

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing threats. The increased personal information on the web drives this exponential growth. Besides information theft, some cybercriminals aim to compromise data integrity to create distrust in organizations.

Threats are not only external. Attacks can also come from the inside in the form of current and former employees, vendors and partners. The rise of remote working means that inside threats often go undetected before it’s too late.

If you’re left unprotected, a cyberattack can damage your brand and reputation. Customers and business partners may not trust that their data is safe with your company and take their business elsewhere.

Cyberattacks can target your revenue stream. A disruption in your operations, theft of intellectual property and the cost of repairing damaged systems after an attack can all hurt your revenue. Your company must also follow data breach laws to avoid regulatory fines or sanctions.

 

Does a VPN Protect Against Cyberattacks?

 

A VPN is software that encrypts your data and hides your IP address from outsiders. It protects your identity and allows you to use the internet safely and anonymously.

Does a VPN stop hackers? Yes, a VPN adds an extra layer of security to your business network by running your internet connection through a virtual tunnel. It disguises your IP address, masking your location and making it difficult for corporations, government agencies and hackers to access your data.

A VPN allows remote employees to safely connect to your company network and look at sensitive information. When employees work from a local coffee shop and connect to public Wi-Fi, sensitive data is vulnerable to attack. A VPN protects your information even while working on other networks.

Even though home Wi-Fi networks are more secure, internet service providers (ISPs) can still see when, where and how you browse online. They can collect this data and sell it to advertisers. A VPN protects you by hiding your IP address from your ISP.

VPN software protects against spyware, but viruses can still enter your computer through channels such as phishing or a fake VPN link. Combine your VPN with other cybersecurity measures for added protection.

 

Top Tips for Cyberattack Prevention

 

Using a VPN boosts your security, but you can do more. Starting with a cybersecurity audit is wise to learn where your vulnerabilities lie. This audit will help to expose your weaknesses and high-risk practices. Once you have this knowledge, you can put in place measures to mitigate risks and prevent attacks.

Here are some more tips for leveraging your VPN for enhanced cybersecurity

Put in Place Two-Factor Authentication

Many organizations use two-factor authentication (2FA) as a security measure. This system goes beyond a simple password rule and uses two methods to confirm that you are the correct user. These methods can be a combination of something you know, such as a password, a device you have or your identity, such as your fingerprint.

Some examples of two-factor authentication include the following:

  • Text or email with a one-time code
  • Biometrics such as fingerprint or facial recognition
  • Authenticator apps

If your password falls into the wrong hands, then having a second form of authentication can prevent them from accessing your network.

2FA is incredibly helpful, but it isn’t a bulletproof plan for VPN cybersecurity. A stolen cell phone could be all it takes to hack into a 2FA-protected VPN. Businesses must take extra precautions to isolate and mitigate these attacks once detected.

Use Machine Learning

Machine learning is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The increase in cyberattacks makes machine learning essential for businesses. Machine learning is evolving to detect and address new threats from cyber attacks. Today, companies are using machine learning to protect their VPNs by detecting unusual employee behavior such as:

  • Logins from new locations
  • Logins on new devices
  • Accessing different files than usual
  • Accessing sensitive data

Machine learning can detect nuances in user behavior. It uses previous datasets and analysis to make assumptions about a computer’s behavior. If it senses any behavior changes, it will flag them as a security concern and notify anyone involved. That way, potential breaches are detected sooner. Machine learning can help businesses do the following:

  • Identify threats early: Machine learning can sort through millions of files and identify malicious ones. With this ability, it can detect threats and stop them from wreaking havoc.
  • Uncover vulnerabilities: Rather than wait for attacks to happen, it takes a proactive approach. Machine learning can execute penetration testing to simulate attacks. It then applies solutions to enhance security.
  • Reduce IT workload: Companies can automate security updates, threat detection and device monitoring. This automation frees IT teams to focus on more pressing security issues.

Manage User Privileges

Only some employees in your organization need access to certain apps and files. Granting designated employees access to sensitive data gives you better control over your cybersecurity.

Limiting administrative abilities to a select few people will reduce the number of access points through which a cyber criminal can enter. Closely track the behavior of system administrators and any other staff who attempt to access restricted files. Prohibit employees from sharing data outside your organization and encourage them to lock their computers when not in use.

Employees should also have unique login credentials for every application and program. When several users use the same login details, it risks your business and makes monitoring activity difficult. Individual logins will reduce the number of attack fronts.

Another threat to security is staff installing software that could compromise your systems. You can increase security by preventing staff from installing unauthorized applications.

Your business should have a password policy in place that each employee follows. A robust password policy prevents staff from choosing easily guessed passwords and locks accounts after too many failed attempts. Employees should create strong passwords that contain letters, numbers and symbols.

Keep Software Updated and Perform Regular Testing

Keeping everything up to date is crucial to maintaining cybersecurity within your VPN. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, they learn to exploit weaknesses in older software. Vendors often release updates for businesses to fix and address any weaknesses.

Make sure you update your software and replace it if needed. Routine testing and assessments of your cybersecurity solution can help identify threats and vulnerabilities in your VPN. You can automate software updates through a patch management system that will keep your systems robust.

 

Get a Cybersecurity Assessment

 

Cybersecurity is essential to protect your business’s sensitive information. A security breach can damage your reputation and revenue. As cybercriminals become smarter, your business must be well-protected. Staff training is also a necessity for workplace cybersecurity best practices. Consult with the experts for robust and advanced protection against cybersecurity attacks. BlackPoint IT offers comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that protect your organization against cyber threats. Our advanced solutions include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and protection
  • Malware detection
  • Threat isolation and lockdown
  • Dark web scanning
  • Employee training
  • Backup and disaster recovery

Proactively protect your business — contact us today for a cybersecurity assessment!

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