With remote work becoming the new norm, businesses are constantly looking for ways to provide secure remote access to their employees. The two widely used technologies for remote access are cloud-based access and Virtual Private Network (VPN) access. While both these technologies enable remote access, there are significant differences between the two.
For Repair Shops, a repair and retail shop management software can help businesses achieve their business goals and inject efficiency, but is cloud access the way to go, or is VPN the better option still?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
Cloud-based access means accessing company resources over the internet through a third-party provider. Through this, owners and employees can access the company’s resources via the Internet from anywhere across the globe. Imagine you are on a conference or a holiday away from your shop and your employees need your assistance on an urgent repair. Using cloud-based access, you will be able to access your repair ticket management system and help them out from anywhere in the world by only having a stable internet connection.
in contrast, VPN access requires the use of a company-approved device and a stable internet connection, limiting the accessibility of remote employees.
Another major benefit of cloud-based services is their ability to scale with the changing business trends. Cloud-based services can be scaled up or down easily depending on the needs of the user. For example, if your organization experiences a sudden increase in traffic, you can quickly scale up its cloud-based resources to accommodate the increased demand. On the other hand, if your company experiences a major dip in demand or needs to cut down on costs as we witnessed during Covid lockdown, you can easily scale down its resources. This level of flexibility allows organizations to optimize their resources and reduce costs while still meeting the needs of their users.
With VPN access, however, scalability can be an issue as it typically requires additional hardware or software configurations to support an increase in demand. VPNs work by creating a secure connection between the remote user and the company’s network using encryption protocols. This connection requires a good amount of processing power and bandwidth to maintain, which limits the scalability of the system.
As more users are added to the VPN, the demand for processing power and bandwidth increases, causing the system to slow down and become unstable. To support additional users, organizations may need to invest in additional hardware or software to increase the capacity of the VPN, which is not only expensive but also time consuming.
Cloud-based service providers invest heavily in security measures such as encryption, access controls, and data backups to protect the data of their users. These measures help protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, theft, or loss.
Some common features of cloud security are:
1. Data encryption
All data stored on the cloud is encrypted, and only authorized personnel can access it. This assures that it has the ability to handle sensitive information.
2. Access controls
Cloud-based services have strong access controls in place to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive data. Cloud providers use sophisticated authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
3. Data backups
Cloud service providers regularly backup their data to prevent loss due to hardware failure or natural disasters. This ensures that even if one server fails, the data can still be retrieved from another location.
4. Regular security audits
Cloud service providers regularly conduct security audits to ensure that their systems are secure and up to date with the latest security standards. This means that their systems are continuously monitored, and any potential vulnerabilities are addressed in a timely manner.
5. Dedicated security teams
Cloud service providers have dedicated security teams who are responsible for ensuring the security of their systems. These teams are staffed by security experts who have experience in dealing with potential threats and can quickly identify and respond to any security issues.
In contrast, VPN access is only as secure as the security protocols that are implemented. If the VPN is not configured correctly, there is a risk that unauthorized users may gain access to sensitive company data. In such a case your customer’s sensitive data such as contact numbers, devices owned, home addresses and more can fall into the wrong hands and create potentially dangerous situations. Not to mention, a possible end to your repair business operations.
In terms of cost-effectiveness, cloud-based services are usually cheaper than managing your own computer system. When you use cloud-based services, you only pay for what you need, which can save you money. But if you use VPN access, you have to pay for extra things like hardware and software, which can make it more expensive to run your own computer system.
When you set up an on-premises VPN infrastructure, you have to buy hardware and software upfront, which can be expensive. But with cloud-based services, you don’t have to buy anything upfront and can spread out the costs over time. Cloud-based services also only charge you for the resources you use, so you don’t have to pay for anything you don’t need. This can be more cost-effective than the fixed costs associated with an on-premises VPN infrastructure.
Maintaining an on-premises VPN infrastructure can be time-consuming and expensive, with ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and repairs. Whereas with cloud-based services, the cloud service provider handles these tasks, freeing up your IT staff to work on other things.
In conclusion, it is evident that cloud-based access is a better solution to VPN access for several reasons. Cloud-based access provides greater accessibility, scalability, security, cost-effectiveness, and customization. While VPN access is still popular, its limitations, such as unstable internet connections and security risks, make it less favorable. Therefore, organizations seeking to provide secure remote access to their employees should consider cloud-based access as a viable alternative. Furthermore, cloud-based access can provide a more integrated and seamless remote work experience, making it a better option for employees. Overall, cloud-based access is the way to go for organizations looking to enhance their remote work capabilities.