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VPN usage surges; helps boost cybersecurity

VPN usage surges; helps boost cybersecurity

If you’ve been reading any of my blogs as of late, you’ll know that cybersecurity has been my main focus and for good reason. With more and more of us working from home — approximately 4.7 million in the U.S. — cybercriminals are cleaning up, wreaking havoc on individual’s lives and businesses alike. In fact, IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report” pegs the average cost of a security breach at $3.92 million.

However, people across the world are fighting back, using VPNs, Virtual Private Networks to hide their Internet Protocol (IP) address and their geographical locations from prying eyes. New research by Atlas VPN found H1 2020 filled with 134 million VPN applications downloaded from 85 countries. Here’s the key findings from this research:

  • United Arab Emirates citizens use VPN services the most, with over 38 percent of the 9.89 million of the country’s population downloading a VPN during H1 2020.
  • The lowest adopters of VPN services were Madagascar, Kenya and Uzbekistan.
  • Most downloads were from the U.S., reaching 19,935,032 downloads in the first half of 2020.
  • In H1 2020, one out of every 16.6 people downloaded a VPN service in the U.S.

Here’s how consistent VPN usage can boost cybersecurity:

  • When companies offer VPN access to their employees, communications become harder to hack because VPNs automatically encrypt; thereby, offering secure remote access.
  • Remaining anonymous while online protects not only protects against identity theft and fraud, but allows sensitive transactions to take place safely and securely.
  • Hackers track IP address activity and use their research to plan how to hack a system. VPNs designate new IP addresses each time it is launched, making users’ activity untraceable.
  • VPNs send data privately via a process called tunneling and use encapsulation that places data packets inside another data packet prior to traveling through the internet, creating layers of protection around the data.

As I always have said, cybercriminals aren’t dumb, they are extremely intelligent, using their knowledge to launch sophisticated attacks. However, as with us, their time is also valuable, so using a VPN can make their attempts to penetrate a system more difficult, which increases their time commitment of hacking the system, forcing them to move on to other unsuspecting systems that aren’t as protected.

Whether you work from home or just simply use the Internet, I encourage you to use a VPN. If you work from home for a company and you don’t know if a VPN is used, reach out to your company’s security department. If you don’t use your home internet for work, I encourage you to research the various VPNs offered and choose one that best fits your cyber lifestyle.


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