Cloud VPNs offer advantages for businesses in a number of industries, (yes even the creative sector!), where you’ll find a vast range of digital media, marketing, advertising, and performance-related businesses.
According to Business Insider, 41% of marketing roles are being advertised as fully remote. Graphic design roles are registering a 49% remote work rate, while editing and writing are being touted at 56%. The creative industry, in general, is freer and less regulated in IT security terms — but it’s still just as appetizing a target for cyber attackers looking for weaknesses to expose.
Major companies such as Spotify and Facebook have announced that they’ll be scaling back their offices in the near future with up to 50% of their workforces functioning remotely over the next ten years. It’s plain to see that the way this industry works has changed forever.
So why do businesses use Cloud VPNs at all?
Cloud VPNs provide security and compliance to networks that have transitioned to the public cloud and which use SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. So if your company uses G-suite, for example, to host email, create and store documents, and manage contacts — then you could be vulnerable to the unwanted attention of cyber attackers if unprotected.
Similarly, sales and CRM applications that parts of your organization may use, such as Salesforce or Hubspot, hold valuable client information and financial data that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands. Often, creative agencies will also use apps such as Dropbox to share client-sensitive proposals and work-in-progress assets. If these materials are stolen or released, then future activities, campaigns, or events could be jeopardized on a number of levels — including falling into the laps of key competitors or suffering significant commercial repercussions as a consequence.
Data breaches can have a significant impact on a business — they can be an embarrassing PR nightmare when stolen data is listed publicly or for sale. However, the most significant knock-on-effect is often financial, where data is used as leverage to hold companies to ransom in order to get it back.
You may or may not already know that businesses in all sectors typically use a Cloud VPN for three primary use-cases, which we’ll outline again briefly.
Safeguarding your cloud network
Whilst a cloud provider offers the network infrastructure, it does not implement access point security into the network, i.e., devices. In this ‘shared responsibility model’, it is up to the business to secure access on top of the cloud environment they utilize for different activities.
Secure remote access to corporate resources
Employees need to connect from multiple devices when working remotely, from various locations, and during all hours of the night and day in order to produce, share and communicate. A Cloud VPN allows employees to securely access the organization’s private network so that they can do their job — whenever and wherever they are.
Advanced data protection & security
Using a VPN with AES-256 bit encryption and tunneling protocols means that all data, regardless of device or location, is completely encrypted. This level of security ensures that only authorized connections are established and can’t be accessed by any malicious actor.
Added value vs. common challenges in these industries
A Cloud VPN, however, can also assist agencies and their clients in this sector with a number of key challenges that they face in terms of their day-to-day work and where they are often impacted by geographical location or digital infrastructure constraints.
Because of IP addresses (a device’s ID tag), competitors are able to ban certain IPs to restrict you from researching target audiences and markets that are relevant to your business.
Marketers often encounter geo-restricted content, which reduces their ability to access certain websites, forums, blogs, and other content that’s relevant to the work they deliver.
In some cases — even your entire product or service can be blocked because of performance and IP monitoring restrictions.
So how can a Cloud VPN help your creative industry get more...creative…?
What you might not know about is the additional value that a Cloud VPN service can bring to the creative sector.
Here’s a brief top-line on each one before we go into a little more detail further below:
Optimizing SEO and advertising rankings from other locales
Bypassing IP address banning
QA testing and competitive review in other markets
Increasing productivity within the business for both your IT admins and the wider workforce
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies and how to mitigate the risks effectively
1. Optimize SEO Rankings & Ad Campaigns
In order to achieve optimal results, it’s important that your team is able to view, monitor, and manage your ads and keywords in international markets with minimal fuss. With a Cloud VPN, you can connect to a variety of servers in a number of countries — meaning you can keep an eye on your or your clients’ performance in target markets.
2. Avoid IP Banning
Many websites and social media networks can block your IP address if you are contributing more often than others. With a Cloud VPN, you can change both your location and your IP address which disables tracking, monitoring and blocking from platform owners — allowing you to focus on providing content to those who need it.
3. Quality Assurance
With a Cloud VPN, your QA team can simply change their geo-location and effectively check the quality of your and your clients’ output in different markets around the world. Effectively view assets as if you were in that market.
4. Increasing productivity via IP allowlisting
IP allowlisting is based on the Zero-Trust principle (deny all, permit some) and allows you to manage which IP addresses can access your network, certain applications, and even website URLs. By adding trusted devices to the whitelist, all other users are blocked and denied access, ensuring your network is safe — particularly with the vast majority of workforces connecting remotely.
With NordLayer, IP allowlisting can be configured automatically saving IT admins a lot of time with the manual process usually being quite time-consuming. Increasing employee productivity can also be achieved by blocking access to outlets that aren’t work-conducive.
5. Safe & secure BYOD Policies
A Cloud VPN such as NordLayer allows your employees to secure their online traffic via powerful AES 256-bit encryption — no matter where they’re browsing from. Many companies in the creative sector use a large number of freelancers and often they are using their own devices to connect to the company network. IP allowlisting can again be employed here to ensure that certain devices can access your network, meaning that even if companies have BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in place — they are still protected by robust security measures.
IP allowlisting is set up through network access management — giving IT admins greater visibility and control over their user access permissions.
IP allowlisting works to protect a variety of third-party tools, including:
An added layer of security
With NordLayer, you can encrypt network traffic, deploy private servers, manage network activity and distribute global IP addresses.
From our intuitive Control Panel access management console, IT admins can create private gateways that are dedicated to specific teams and company branches. You can also assign specific company servers, whitelist your fixed IPs, and customize team-gateway access, allowing you to easily manage permissions and protect sensitive business data.
Pairing zero-trust capabilities such as IP allowlisting with Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and Single Sign-On (SSO) adds simple yet effective added layers of security that are pain-free for IT admins, employees, and freelancers alike.
Fortify your cloud security with NordLayer — learn more about IP allowlisting and protect your team with Zero Trust capabilities.