Richard chats to Paul Rosenthal, the CEO of Appstractor Corporation, the company behind Trusted Proxies and the Privatise VPN tool. Privatise is a managed VPN product built from the ground up for MSPs.
They talk about how Paul came to create his two solutions, how to deploy Privatise VPN and the importance of using them in a corporate setting. They also talk about why a VPN is better than 4G, and why MSPs may not want to rely on the VPN in their existing offerings.
An Interview with Paul Rosenthal
Who is Paul Rosenthal?
Paul Rosenthal is the CEO of Appstractor Corporation, the company behind Trusted Proxies and the Privatise VPN tool. Privatise is a managed VPN product built from the ground up for MSPs. Paul started out in tech and then combined it with marketing, which led him to SEO (search engine optimisation), online anonymity, proxy servers and finding solutions for businesses.
What is ‘Trusted Proxies’?
Paul explains that he was looking for a proxy service solution for his own SEO tools but couldn’t find anything he thought would be reliable enough. This led to him setting up Trusted Proxies, and he realised that it would be helpful to other businesses, particularly corporates where anonymity was important.
Privatise VPN was also born from a need he had within his business, when his remote staff needed a VPN solution but it would have been a big deal to implement one and give the responsibility to an individual.
What is a VPN and What are the Benefits?
A VPN encrypts data to different endpoints of a communication channel. For instance, they can be used to connect to an endpoint in a different country to the one the user is in, allowing them to have an IP address in a country where streaming isn’t restricted.
They are also used for online privacy, for people who don’t want their ISP (internet service provider) to track them and for extra security when encrypting connections. This applies for consumers and corporates. The additional benefit for businesses is that you can secure your remote access for staff not based in the office.
Why MSPs Should Offer VPNs to Their Clients
Offering a VPN allows MSPs (managed service providers) to show their customers that they take their security very seriously, which helps to build relationships. Providing a solution that secures WiFi connections and cloud access demonstrates their value, particularly as a lot of MSPs aren’t doing this at the moment.
Some MSPs are including VPNs in their top tier packages to clients as standard, which is an easier sell than providing it as a standalone solution. However, many consumers are aware of VPNs now, and will be prepared to pay a bit more to have one available.
Read more on How To Secure Clients with a Managed VPN for MSPs.
How Privatise VPN Make it Easy for MSPs to Deploy the Tool
With the traditional VPNs, there’s one licence per employee, and they get a username and password. The software has to be manually installed, and sometimes it’s the end user who has to do it, so they VPNs are often not deployed or used.
If the MSP is implementing the VPN, it’s another task for an engineer and another admin headache. And then the credentials have to be managed, with the risk of people reusing, forgetting or sharing passwords.
Privatise does not require username and passwords; instead, it has an automated PKI solution so that each company has a portal with personalised executables. Each user is created within it and there’s one click for downloading. And it integrates with PSA and RMM tools.
Why to use a VPN Instead of 4G
While 4G will ensure security and is preferable to free WiFi, employers can’t guarantee that staff will use it. They would have to remember to turn their mobile hotspot on and off and set it not to connect to WiFi automatically. And it’s easier to manage.
How MSPs can Manage Their Deployed VPN Solution
The key is having procedures, and to check what’s going on. Decide how often you’ll review the reports, and stick to the review dates. There’s a risk that you deploy the product and sign people up, but if you don’t regularly review, 12 months later 50% of staff have stopped using the VPN. Just as with other MSP tools, keep an eye on the VPN once you’ve got it up, and have a procedure or system so you can manage it on an ongoing basis.
Connect with Paul
Connect with Paul on LinkedIn: Paul Rosenthal
Mentioned in this Episode
Richard and Paul mentioned the following companies during their conversation:
- Paul’s proxy provider, Trusted Proxies
- Paul’s VPN solution, Privatise VPN
- TunnelBear VPN
- Express VPN