Using VPN to Secure Your Remote Work Environment


Work norms and culture are constantly evolving. According to the flexjobs Blog, work from home was an early and long used way of working. Combining work space and living space was a natural way for families and communities to efficiently pool resources. The trend to centralize workplaces started in the Renaissance period and picked up rapidly during the Industrial Revolution. Starting in 2010, remote work transitioned from a business perk to a business strategy. By accommodating their staff to work remotely, organizations and businesses can move the needle by saving:

  1. Work commute time.
  2. Office space rental or ownership cost.

At Cloud 77, all of our staff members work remotely. We are not the only company that employs this business strategy. Companies with full remote staff include Defiant and Automattic.

The Challenges of Remote Work

Of course, turning staff members into a remote workforce does not guarantee everything to turn into rainbows and roses. There are advantages of a centralized workplace, like in-person interactions and a better security infrastructure. In this article, we are going to discuss about a security challenge:

Remote workers in particular are vulnerable to internet attacks, given how many opt for the unsecured internet of coffee shops or cafes when they get bored or feel claustrophobic working at home.

Adam Row from Tech.co

On an unsecured internet, a remote worker may be vulnerable to:

  • Router or DNS Hijacking
    In my personal experience, there was one time when the mobile security app on my Android phone warned me about not using the free wi-fi at a McDonald’s I’m visiting because the router in that particular McDonald’s had been hijacked.
  • Man in the Middle Attacks
    A malicious actor may listen in to unsecured traffic going through the network using the insecure http protocol.

Protecting Yourself or Your Remote Workers from Unsecured Internet using VPN

VPN is one of the most effective methods to protect yourself or your remote workers from an unsecured internet. Think of it as a secure tunnel.

How does VPN protect you from router or DNS hijacking?

When you are connected to VPN, you will use the DNS servers configured by the VPN provider instead of the possibly malicious ones configured on the compromised router.

Keep in mind though, a compromised router may block you from connecting to VPN. So, if you are unable to connect to VPN on an unsecured network, you may want to limit your activities to just browsing Reddit. Don’t even think about logging in to Facebook 🙂

How does VPN protect you from man in the middle attacks?

When you use VPN, your traffic will be encrypted by its secure tunnel. That way, anyone trying to listen in to your traffic, will not be able to decipher its contents.

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