Whether conducting research on the internet, sharing files internally, or emailing clients and vendors, business operations now rely entirely on computer networks. There are countless connections bridging any large company to the general public. That thought can inspire anxiety in regards to two drastically important factors: security and privacy.
Proxy IP addresses and Virtual Private Networks – colloquially, proxies and VPNs – are two tools that are often used to keep these connections secure. But which is the better solution for the enterprise customer?
A complicated reputation
Depending on who you ask, proxies may not be seen in a positive light. They are commonly associated with questionable activities like avoiding regional blocks on streaming services and circumventing website bans. Proxies do allow their users to access content and websites that may otherwise be unavailable to them, but that is the very least of what they can do. It is unfortunate that proxies thought of so simply because they have been used to provide stellar anonymity and security to users for many years.
At its core, a proxy hides the user’s IP address. When a device with an IP address connects to a website or service, the service accessed sees the proxy’s IP address instead of the device’s. It is that simple. The proxy does not touch the data. It works only as an intermediary. The information passes through it so the destination does not know who is accessing it.
How proxies keep you anonymous
It may seem like a small detail that users have proxies to get around regional blocks on websites and online services. However, it is important to remember that it works. When these services and sites see who is accessing the content, they see the proxy. The IP address itself is not suspicious. It is simply from the proxy server’s location. This same idea keeps your company’s activity private.
It is not usually a good idea to broadcast your daily business dealings online. When your activity involves the direct IP addresses of your employees, that is exactly what is happening. Every request is seen as coming from your company. And while each individual account may not be important, they tell a story when seen together.
Competitors and other sharp-eye observers could piece together enough web traffic information to assume some valuable data. They may see that you are participating in market research in a particular city or country. From this, they may figure out that you plan on conducting business or expanding to that location. With a proxy, this kind of activity is far more difficult. There is no direct way to track what you are doing online, because your IP address is only accessing the proxy.
How proxies affect security
Even the strongest businesses can take a hit if a hacker finds proprietary information. It goes deeper than that, though. Even something as simple as employee training strategies could be information your competitor could use. Using a proxy gives an extra level of security to help prevent leaks like this. Potential hackers who follow your data trail will end up at your proxy instead of your own servers.
Can a proxy guarantee all of your information is completely safe from hackers? No, it cannot. Neither can anything else, though. The most advanced security is constantly fighting against the most advanced intrusion software. However, since many hackers stick with easy targets, adding in a proxy could mean they turn their focus to someone else.
How proxies lighten the load for your servers
If you have in-house servers, you know keeping them up and maintained takes a team of experienced professionals. Anything that goes wrong with them makes waves that affect every department and team. You can use proxies to help with the incredibly large amount of traffic your own servers encounter every day.
There is no encryption process with a proxy, because proxies do not look at the information at all. Also, encryption takes time. The proxy keeps things moving at fast speeds. They can also be configured to avoid troublesome content and cache commonly downloaded files. With a proxy, your network administrators have access to a new tool to help monitor activity and block access to annoying websites or ads.
How proxies connect your team
Today’s enterprises commonly span the globe. It is a usual occurrence to see companies with offices from Dallas, Texas to Bangalore, India. The world has come a very long way in global business. This move has made it much easier to conduct business abroad and give your company access to a larger pool of top talent. There is a slight hiccup, though. What is the best way to keep everyone connected?
Initially, you are stuck relying on your offices to connect directly with each other and the business servers. This can lead to a few issues in regards to connection speed and consistency. Varying connections from around the globe can struggle to establish connections with each other. This leads to slower productivity, increased chances of miscommunication, and an overall poor experience for your employees and management. Also, whichever offices are further from your business servers will have slower access to them. This adds another element to the problem. The good news is that proxies can help.
On a fundamental level, proxies are built to pull people and offices together. Each connection gets routed through the proxy. This means that you can have all of your offices connected to the same place. This does wonders in helping establish connections with each other and the business servers. If you have your proxy in close proximity to your business server, that means every office connected through that proxy will have the same, fast, easy access to that server. When you take a step back, you can see that a proxy can go a long way to the performance and connection of international offices.
Now, you likely have a greater understanding on how proxies can help with enterprise. They are much more than a casual tool to watch streaming video and visit blocked websites. Your tools are only as good as how you use them. In the right hands, proxies from professional providers like Blazing SEO, can provide privacy, increase security, and enhance productivity.