Google productises its own not-a-VPN secure remote access tool

Zero-trust access to web applications with very fine-grained access controls

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Google has productised a remote-access tool it uses internally, because it thinks the world might be quite keen on this sort of thing right now.

The tool is called "BeyondCorp" and the search'n'ad giant deployed it in 2011 to provide access to its own web apps.

The company describes it as being able to pull off tricks such as: "My contract HR recruiters working from home on their own laptops can access our web-based document management system (and nothing else), but only if they are using the latest version of the OS, and are using phishing-resistant authentication like security keys."

Google decided to launch the tool now because it thinks organisations scrambling to deliver apps to suddenly remote workers will appreciate an approach it promises is faster than rolling out a VPN, according to Sunil Patti, general manager and veep of Google's cloud security business.

Google's BeyondCorp remote web app access tool

How Google's BeyondCorp not-a-VPN does its thing (click to enlarge)

"With BeyondCorp Remote Access, we can help you do this in days rather than the months that it might take to roll out a traditional VPN solution," Potti added. "Using BeyondCorp Remote Access, you can offload some of the strain on your existing VPN deployment, saving critical capacity for the users who already have access and need it most."

For now BeyondCorp can only enforce access controls for web apps, but can do so on-prem, or in clouds including Google's own.

Pricing has not been revealed, but Google has named a few customers – including Airbnb – that have already used it in production to access the G-Cloud. ®

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