VPNs: defining the future of internet access

VPN technology is the future of Internet access — for the everyday netizen and small business owner to the largest corporations and global enterprises. On the personal VPN front, the need for consumers to turn to VPN applications is increasing by the day. 

Originally, when we began our business, we found that expats were seeking a way to access their favorite content while abroad, but now, with the growing popularity of unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, and the new regulations regarding Net Neutrality and Internet privacy rights — the need for accessible, easy to use and holistic cybersecurity services is undeniable.

Customers are turning to us because their personal accounts have been hacked when they’ve traveled and connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, or they fear their personal data will be sold by their Internet Service Provider. 

Kaspersky Lab’s Travel Report revealed that one in 5 people have fallen victim to cybercrime while abroad and people are more likely to be robbed of their data than their travel money. Meanwhile, a study last January revealed that Americans are more concerned about data privacy than their personal income.

With the number of public Wi-Fi expected to grow 700 per cent by 2020, and the recent regulations stripping consumers of their online browsing privacy, the increasing demand for personal VPN solutions is guaranteed.

VPNs for businesses

For businesses, like individuals, VPNs are becoming a must — and evolving quickly to suit the needs of the modern workforce. Companies today essentially have two offices, their physical address and now, anywhere their employees go. 

Obviously, a business can control the security of their network and their employees’ access while employees are in the office, but what happens when employees step out the office doors? With today’s mobile workforce and popular BYOD policies, there’s now another workspace to consider — and that’s the virtual cloud. 

Employees are connecting to critical company resources services (like Office 365, AWS, Salesforce CRM, Zendesk, Github, and more) on-the-go, but doing so without taking the necessary security precautions to protect these valuable accounts. Any business is vulnerable and small and medium businesses, without established IT departments are particularly at risk. 

The 2016 State of Cybersecurity Report revealed that half of American small businesses had suffered from cyber breaches in a period of 12 months; and furthermore, the National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 per cent of small businesses that suffer a cyber security attack go out of business within 6 months.

Given this, we anticipate rapid innovation on the business VPN front. New business VPN technologies will evolve from complicated traditional hardware and manual configuration solutions, that were initially built to meet the needs of occasional business travel, to simplified and scalable software services designed to suit today’s dynamic and cloud-cantered business world. 

Expect more cloud-based, business-focused offering from the main players in the market, it will be exciting to see what the evolution of the industry landscape will bring, and be at the forefront.

Sagi Gidali is CPO and Co-founder of Perimeter 81.