How (and Why) to Secure Your Cloud Interface with OpenVPN

Don’t let the name fool you. OpenVPN is anything but.

OpenVPN is the name of an award-winning VPN solution. OpenVPN is a virtual private network system that implements techniques to create secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities. It implements both client and server applications and has excellent applications for the MSA FieldServer.

In this fifth and final part of our third-party integration series, we’ll answer questions about OpenVPN, including: What are the benefits? How does it work with MSA FieldServer? Does it help protect against hackers? Will it complicate or enhance connectivity and productivity?

BENEFITS OF OPENVPN

According to the creators of OpenVPN, thousands of organizations, including Google, Amazon, and Disney are protected on-site, in the cloud, and in the field with VPNs for 4 key reasons:1

  1. Limited access to the outside: By their very nature, virtual private networks (VPNs) limit access to public networks, thereby decreasing the chance of a cyberattack.
  2. Improved productivity: Because VPNs allow for remote access to systems, devices, and components, employees can do more and produce more – regardless of what time it is or where they’re located in relation to the devices.
  3. Better data protection: Every organization has data that is attractive to cyberthieves. VPNs leverage encryption technologies to create more secure connections and keep data hidden from unauthorized users.
  4. Budget-friendly security: VPNs are highly conductive to upgrades and updates to help you keep up with, and stay ahead of, hackers.

HOW OPENVPN WORKS WITH THIRD-PARTY INTEGRATION

As you can tell, VPN is a very logical way to securely connect and access networks and devices. MSA FieldServer leverages OpenVPN and has been developed specifically to deliver secure, reliable connectivity.

With 140+ communication protocols, MSA FieldServer lets you connect a wide variety of disparate devices, allowing for full and secure communication in the Cloud. Using only the software on your computer, MSA FieldServer lets you safely, securely, and remotely access any connected device and:

  • Monitor and maintain devices
  • Perform diagnostics and troubleshooting
  • Reprogram or reconfigure devices
  • Update firmware

WHY VPN IS MORE SECURE

According to research, 65% of cyberattacks are made toward small- to medium-size businesses with energy organizations, educational institutions, and healthcare systems following high on the most-attacked spectrum.2

So, how secure is a VPN? MSA FieldServer with OpenVPN delivers proven, penetration-tested security. In fact, our advance OpenVPN interface is an encrypted, authenticated, and secure tunnel that lets you connect from your local laptop or mobile device to the FieldServer, which then acts as a proxy so you can access any of your connected devices from anywhere in the world.

More importantly, our OpenVPN technology helps protect your business processes, equipment, data, and facilities from hackers and threats. Because it operates on both ends of the internet tunnel, supporting unique IP addresses at each endpoint, you can be assured of robust and reliable data security. However, because no device or protocol can guarantee 100 percent protection from cyberattacks, our solution also offers cloud alarming by email or text, alerting you at the first sign of a threat.

In addition, MSA engineers are constantly evaluating, testing, and upgrading our OpenVPN technology to fix bugs, protect against hackers, and prevent intrusion.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIRD-PARTY INTEGRATION

We’ve covered a lot in this five-part series on third-party integration. Here are some quick links to help you catch up or revisit any or all of the posts in this series:

  • Read Part 1: Overview here.
  • Read Part 2: Notifications here.
  • Read Part 3: Remote Device Management (RDM) here.
  • Read Part 4: Data Visualization here.

And, as always, if you need help integrating your devices and moving to secure, reliable, cloud-based communication, please contact us using the form below.

References:

1 OpenVPN.net. (n.d.). 4 ways your business can benefit from a VPN. https://openvpn.net/4-ways-your-business-can-benefit-from-a-vpn/

2 CybintSolutions.com. (2018, Nov. 29). 4 industries likely to get hacked. https://www.cybintsolutions.com/industries-likely-to-get-hacked/

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Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for FieldServer at MSA, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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