Industry knowledge can make a difference. While most network access solutions can be implemented for any business, you may benefit from working with a company that understands your industry, particularly if you deal with highly sensitive data. For example, security requirements in the financial sector, healthcare and the public sector are often more stringent than in other industries. Ask if the manufacturer has experience developing products for your industry. Do they have customers within you industry area that you can talk to about their products?
Consider implementation and running costs. The cost of a secure networking system will no doubt be a key factor in your purchasing decision. The ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ of a system includes the implementation and running costs, not just the purchase price. Make sure your IT department has the bandwidth to run your system of choice. Many sophisticated security solutions require constant management and maintenance, so you may want to choose a solution that’s easy to maintain. Remember, whichever remote access solution you choose, it must complement existing equipment without increasing overall business costs.
Do your homework. Choosing the right secure network solution is an important decision, so take the time to learn about the available options. Each product, such as Secure Socket Layers VPNs, IPSec VPNs and application layer security gateways, has ideal user scenarios and offers specific benefits depending on your company’s requirements. Make sure you understand the technological distinctions between different products (VPNs, firewalls, intrusion detection, virus checking, user authentication, etc.) and take the time to research vendors and their support options. Have a clear understanding of what you will use the product for – secure collaboration and information sharing, data separation, application access, etc.
The emergence of VPNs and networking technology has changed the way we work and makes it easier for professionals to collaborate and share information no matter where they’re located. As the number of network products on the market continues to rise it has become more important than ever before to choose the right solution for your business. If your networking solution doesn’t facilitate flexible working and protect confidential data, then you’re doing a disservice to both your business and your customers.
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