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Securing communication in a non-VPN China

This is how companies are safeguarding security of their data thanks to new encryption technologies

For companies with operations in China, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have so far been the most economic opportunity to protect transnational business communication against intrusion of third parties. However, the government in China seems to be bringing this to a close.

As early as January 2017, President Xi Jinping had ordered the Internet to be “cleansed” of free VPN access by March 2018. There seems to have been no second thoughts on this. By now, almost all commercial Chinese VPN providers have ceased their service.

Interestingly, even large companies and government agencies, such as Apple and the embassies of the European Union, have been forced to find alternative solutions. On February 1, 2018, the deadline, according to the popular media organization, The Guardian, has almost finally come to an end.

Small and medium-sized companies are now facing the serious decision to change location. Because with the loss of VPN connections, they now face a serious dilemma: How to secure data over the unprotected Chinese Internet or do not communicate at all.

Encrypt data. Not communication channels.

Companies may increasingly find themselves in a difficult spot. But this needn’t be if there is a ‘Plan B’. Why not secure the data yourself instead of relying on secure communication channels? In the age of the smart phone and big data, isn’t focusing on data silos and IT focused transmission routes outdated?

Microsoft is setting new standards here. Users who run their IT infrastructure on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform automatically have the option of using the Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) security software. It enables detailed data classification, the assignment of individual access rights and encrypted confidential files – regardless of location or recipient.

With only a few clicks and without disrupting the work processes of the employees, this creates secure exchange of data with colleagues, customers and partners – without any VPN connection. The security of the data is completely decoupled from the communication channel and confidential data such as payroll, financial data or CAD drawings are not visible in the free Chinese Internet for third parties.

SAP data can also be secured

Even SAP customers do not have to fall by the wayside when it comes to ‘Plan B’. With SECUDE’s HALOCORE all functionalities of Microsoft AIP can be transferred to any SAP data. The IT security software is the only solution in the world that combines the security concepts of Microsoft and SAP and enables cross-process and application-wide protection of sensitive data.

Integrated with SAP, the solution audits all SAP data exports that leave the system via standard functions or copy-paste operations. An intelligent context classification automatically determines the protection requirements of the data and applies them to the export files. Even before the files reach a device, they are encrypted and protected using Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP). Only those who are entitled to access the secured documents can access it.


Although the VPN ban in China is a legitimate concern for most small and medium-sized businesses, serious measures such as relocation should be taken before retracing internal IT strategies. Why not seize the opportunity to invest in a future-proof, data-centric solution that makes international communications completely independent of national laws and ensures competitive advantage?

Would you like to know more about the solution? Click here to read about HALOCORE  and here to know more about the Protect feature.


[1] China moves to block internet VPNs from 2018

[2] China Tells Carriers to Block Access to Personal VPNs by February


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