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Google launches remote access service to rival the VPN

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Google’s cloud division has launched a new remote access tool, designed to help home workers access their web-based business apps more securely.

BeyondCorp Remote Access is based on the zero-trust approach Google has applied to its own increasingly remote workforce for years and could, according to some media, act as a replacement for a VPN.

“The root problem lies with the remote-access VPNs organisations normally use. Traditional VPN infrastructure can be difficult for IT teams to deploy and manage for so many new users in a short period of time, and they’re struggling under the load,” said Google Cloud's Sunil Potti and Sampath Srinivas in a joint blog post.

Perimeter-based security can also prove problematic when working with an extended workforce, including third-parties and temporary employees. Unlike traditional, perimeter-based security systems, BeyondCorp relies on user verification and device identity to grant access to applications, and all traffic is routed through a proxy.

The tool is currently only available to businesses, but Google plans to offer “the same capability, control, and additional protections for virtually any application or resource a user needs to access”.

The company understands it’s not easy for organisations to switch to a zero-trust access approach, but it does promise businesses can set up BeyondCorp in “days, rather than the months it might take to roll out a traditional VPN.