VPN

What is it and do I need one?

Hybridge configures and manages VPNs for many of our clients. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs are used to access systems and services remotely while outside of the corporate environment. A VPN establishes a secure tunnel between your system and a remote network, typically your office.


There are three main reasons why you may require a VPN and each case requires a different solution.

First, a user may need a VPN to remotely access office-based legacy file server or internal application(s) that have not yet migrated to the cloud. Often Quickbooks Pro or Enterprise is accessed this way. For these types of requests, Hybridge typically will set up a Cisco Meraki VPN with IPsec encryption in the client's office. This is a great solution that provides secure remote access to sensitive data.

The second reason why you might need a VPN is to access services that are banned or blocked in certain areas of the world, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Cuba. These blocked services include Facebook, Google, and many news outlets. In this case, the VPN acts like a network extension and encrypts traffic between the computer or phone and another endpoint, typically the client's office. This VPN connection both secures the data and hides it from censors or site blocking technology. For these cases, we suggest our clients use either a public VPN app like AnchorFree, or a Cisco Meraki client VPN that we set up back to their office in the US.

The third reason why you may need a VPN is to act as a gateway to secure resources such as Amazon Web Services or Google servers and administration consoles, to protect and control who can even get to a login prompt for those applications. In this scenario the user remotes into his/her office using a client VPN, and then we set up an encrypted VPN tunnel from the office into the Amazon or Google web services. Then direct access from the Internet to the Amazon or Google servers is disabled, further protecting the data.


VPNs can be a powerful tool to help protect customer data and your privacy. The challenge is knowing which solution will best meet your needs. As always, please contact Hybridge and we’ll be happy to discuss and advise you on the best technology solution for your business problem.


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