Daily Buzz: The Rise of the VPN

A tech tool that’s gaining ground among work-from-home users is the virtual private network, an Okta study finds. Also: Panels still matter, even in a virtual context.

During the COVID-19 saga, apps focused on collaboration and videoconferencing, like Zoom, have gotten all the attention. But a whole different category of apps has become a fact of life these days, although they generally fly under the radar: network security tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs).

The single-sign-on platform Okta recently reported that while Zoom experienced  by far the largest growth in demand in March (110 percent), a number of VPN tools got nearly as big a boost, including Palo Alto Networks’ GlobalProtect (94 percent) and Cisco AnyConnect (86 percent).

VPN tools are proving popular in part because they allow for consistency. “These VPN tools provide security and ensure business continuity as organizations move workforces to the cloud at scale,” according to the Okta report.

Other tools growing in popularity over the period include the app-security platform Citrix ADC (56 percent), the training platform Proofpoint (40 percent), the communications suite RingCentral (39 percent), and the video platform Cisco Webex (37 percent). A number of other popular services, including LinkedIn Learning, DocuSign, and Slack are also reporting growth right now.

The Panel Persists

Just because meetings are happening virtually doesn’t mean that old standby of events—the panel discussion—is going away anytime soon. And that means you need to have some strategies for making those discussions stand out, writes Kristin Arnold on her Powerful Panels blog. She says that a story is key.

“When listeners hear a well-told story, they take a journey with you, correlating their own experiences with yours,” she writes. “Your story becomes their story—or it reminds them of a very similar story from their own lives.”

Other Links of Note

How can chatbots help improve the workplace experience? CMSWire has a few ideas.

Malware alert. PCMag warns about EventBot, a dangerous new type of Android malware that can steal data from your financial apps.

Back up your Facebook photos. The Verge reports that the social network just launched a new tool that will allow users to move their Facebook photos to another widely used cloud service: Google Photos.

(Ksenia/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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