For Google, all network traffic is untrusted

Google's security architecture has been changed, with the company saying it will save money and increase security levels.

The new architecture has been detailed in a paper entitled BeyondCorp: Design to Deployment at Google (PDF), and basically it treats all network traffic equally – as completely unsafe.

Basically, everything revolves around the user, while its log in location means almost nothing.

"BeyondCorp considers both internal networks and external networks to be completely untrusted, and gates access to applications by dynamically asserting and enforcing levels, or 'tiers,' of access," it says in the paper.

The new architecture logs all staff devices into a device memory, containing trust information and device screenshots.

This 'trust' is at the heart of the new system – each device is placed at a specific trust tier, and a system called Trust Inferer evaluates the state of connected devices and assigns them their trust level.

"Unlike the conventional perimeter security model, BeyondCorp doesn’t gate access to services and tools based on a user’s physical location or the originating network; instead, access policies are based on information about a device, its state, and its associated user.”

This basically means that even some Google-owned and Google-operated machines might not have high trust levels. A laptop that's centrally managed by the company but that hasn't been connected to a network for some period of time may be out of date," the company says.

The paper, BeyondCorp: Design to Deployment at Google, was written by engineering managers Barclay Osborn and Justin McWilliams, together with technical writer Betsy Beyer and programme manager Max Saltonstall.

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