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Google Launches Cloud-Based Remote Access Solution

Google this week announced the availability of a cloud-based solution meant to help work-from-home employees securely access enterprise resources.

Google this week announced the availability of a cloud-based solution meant to help work-from-home employees securely access enterprise resources.

The newly launched BeyondCorp Remote Access is based on a zero-trust model and provides employees with the ability to remotely access internal web apps from almost any device, from anywhere, even without the use of a VPN (virtual private network).

“Over time, we plan to offer the same capability, control, and additional protections for virtually any application or resource a user needs to access,” Google says.

According to Google, one of the issues that organizations face when looking to connect remote workers to dashboards, call center applications, software bug trackers, employee portals, and other web apps via VPNs is that VPN infrastructure can be difficult to deploy and manage for a large number of users.

Users, on the other hand, might find VPNs to be complex, especially if they haven’t used one before. Such issues, Google argues, deepen when organizations attempt to roll out VPN access to contractors, temporary employees, and partners.

“VPNs can also increase risk since they extend the organization’s network perimeter, and many organizations assume that every user inside the perimeter is trusted,” the Internet giant says.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced numerous organizations to ask employees and extended workforce to work from home, and Google did the same.

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However, the company says that the BeyondCorp zero-trust access approach it started implementing internally since 2011 has provided its workforce with the required access to apps from a broad range of devices, without having to use a VPN.

BeyondCorp, Google claims, was designed to offer not only a VPN replacement, but also to ensure that access to resources is available to the right users only, in the right context.

“For example, you can enforce a policy that says: ‘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.’ Or: ‘My timecard application should be safely available to all hourly employees on any device, anywhere’,” the company explains.

With BeyondCorp, Google argues, users have the same experience that helps them be productive inside the office, to which heightened security and control required outside are added.

The company claims that BeyondCorp Remote Access can help organizations solve the issue of remote access within days, rather than the months that would normally be required to deploy a traditional VPN solution.

“We’re committed to helping you meet the immediate need for rapid rollout of remote access today, while enabling you to build a more secure foundation for a modern, zero-trust access model tomorrow. If this is something that might be useful for your organization, get in touch, we’re eager to help,” Google concludes.

Related: Enterprises Showing Increasing Backing of Zero Trust Authentication

Related: Cloudflare Launches Remote Access to Replace Corporate VPNs

Related: Google Announces New Security Tools for Cloud Customers

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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