By Dennis Jones
We get it. Free Wi-Fi is convenient, widely accessible in hotels, malls, coffee shops, public venues, airports, you name it. Unfortunately, convenience isn’t the end of the story. Why, you might ask? Well, free Wi-Fi is a bit of a misnomer. It’s anything but free. Unsecured, yes. Free Wi-Fi, by its nature, is unencrypted, meaning that anyone, even the least sophisticated hacker, can access anything that you send over free Wi-Fi.
So for mobile workers, iPass is enhancing the security of our offering with the Last Mile VPN (Virtual Private Network). The Last Mile VPN delivers global hotspot security, providing VPN tunneling between the user and iPass’ secure Internet gateway. The proverbial “last mile” is where a user’s data is most vulnerable to security risks. But the Last Mile VPN masks and encrypts data, which protects users from unwittingly exposing personal information and company critical material to malicious actors.
You might be asking how our Last Mile VPN differs from a corporate VPN. A corporate VPN is an end-to-end solution, meaning it creates a VPN tunnel all the way back to the corporate firewall. The Last Mile VPN is slightly different, because it protects a user’s data between the device and the iPass server. Users who have a corporate VPN should clearly use their corporate VPN. But the Last Mile VPN is perfect for users in small and medium-sized businesses that do not currently have a corporate VPN.
Moreover, the Last Mile VPN still makes a lot of sense for users who do have access to a corporate VPN. Only 27% of people globally, and only 16% in the US, have actually used a VPN. I’m pretty sure buried in those numbers are people who have access to, but do not actually use, their corporate VPN.
And that makes the addition of the Last Mile VPN to the iPass service great news for IT managers, who have grown accustomed to (and tired of) their users not deploying the corporate VPN, especially on their mobile devices. Activating and using the Last Mile VPN is as simple as flipping a switch. Users just have to “turn on” the Last Mile VPN in their iPass app to enjoy enhanced security over the iPass network.