What is a VPN? Internet Services Home Office seeks to ban and worries India Inc

New Delhi: In a recent proposal, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs urged the government to block VPNs in India citing cyber threats. This report has raised concerns among companies who fear that a ban on VPN use could interfere with the safe conduct of their business.

What are VPNs?

Known as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are commonly used by businesses to secure their digital assets, especially in the event of a lockdown, the network has facilitated seamless homework situations. One can easily download a VPN as several websites offer such facilities in addition to advertising their benefits.

VPN services manage to encrypt the data thus hiding the IP address and another reason is that blocked sites can be assessed using a VPN. VPN services make it possible to hide online identity even on public Wi-Fi networks.

What are the uses of VPNs?

About 30% of internet users end up using VPNs at least once a month, according to the Forbes report. The tool is effective in securing networks and data against hackers, especially businesses. It also ensures that data remains secure when using a public connection in places like cafes and restaurants.

In India, VPNs were primarily used when the popular mobile game PUBG was banned last year.

Why are prohibited VPNs offered?

The proposal was brought up because VPNs help criminals stay anonymous online and the committee said India needs to develop a coordination mechanism to block VPNs permanently, according to the Hindustan Times report.

The committee said technological challenges posed by VPN services and the Dark Web can bypass cybersecurity walls, allowing criminals to remain anonymous online.

The committee recommended that the Home Office coordinate with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to identify and permanently block these VPNs with the help of Internet service providers. The action aims to block VPNs protecting criminals.

He insisted on strengthening monitoring and surveillance mechanisms by improving and further developing cutting-edge technology, to control VPN and dark web usage, according to the report.

Why Are Businesses Worried?

Companies allow employees to work remotely and connect to the company network from any location and secure company data through the encrypted network. Prohibiting VPNs can affect remote work for employees, as employees may then be required to work over a secure internet connection provided by the office. Experts believe privacy and data protection issues will also be affected.

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