Becrypt security platform is driving a new service aimed to help organisations save on costs and raise agility in using cloud-based services and online applications. More businesses are on the hunt for user device services that are cost-effective, all while staying secure and agile.
“Organisations are increasingly moving to cloud-based and online services for the cost, security and scalability benefits, but also want to replicate that in the internal infrastructure,” according to Bernard Parsons, co-founder and CEO at Becrypt.
The Goal of the Becrypt Security Platform
To meet the demands of this market, endpoint security provider, Becrypt, has developed a desktop-as-a-service offering base on its Paradox security-focused “cloud client” operating system. Paradox Edge is a managed service. It allows organisations to extend the value of cloud adoption across the enterprise. This is done by reducing the infrastructure cost and the software complexity associated with user devices.
The purpose of Paradox Edge is to allow businesses to outsource the complexity of third-party client applications on user devices. This includes devices such as antivirus, intrusion detection systems and personal firewalls. This means that the third-party software is eliminated and patch management for the operating system and any authorised apps is simplified. This reduces complexity, cost and time management.
“Paradox Edge allows organisations to adopt a user device strategy that is optimised for cloud – and be able to consume that as a service – including the operating system and applications running on devices as well as an application management platform hosted in the cloud so they can focus on the core business,” said Parsons.
Paradox Edge is device agnostic to enable organisations to repurpose devices that already exist. It can also set up new users within minutes to access familiar tools of choice such as Office. The service means that businesses can choose their preferred infrastructure such as Amazon Web Service. They can then deploy the cloud client services and manage users through a web management console.
“At Becrypt, we believe that not all the benefits of cloud reside in the cloud,” said Parsons. “Organisations aiming to realise the cost savings and flexibility offered by the cloud are finding that the burden of provisioning and managing user devices is a barrier to success.
“By eliminating the need for third-party software on devices, Paradox Edge removes that management pain point, reducing the cost of ownership and complexity to provide a more easily managed environment,” he said.
Reduce Cost, Increase Agility
Despite the aim to reduce the cost of ownership and increase agility, Becrypt’s Paradox security-focused operating system is a basic building block, according to Parsons.
“The key objective of Paradox is that each time you switch it on, you know it is in a known good state, which is validated by the system carrying out a series of health checks or cryptographic checks that have a root of trust in hardware in the form of a trusted platform module [TPM].
“So, there are cryptographic checks of the firmware, the operating system and all of the applications that are authorised to run on a particular user device. This gives the user confidence that it is unaffected by malware, which has a significant impact on the effort required to maintain security,” he said.
Parsons says that this approach moves the focus from detection to defence, “By using a platform architecture that you can validate is healthy means you don’t have to invest a lot of effort in trying to detect whether some anomaly exists in your environment.”
The Paradox operating system has its origins in a research project funded by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
Making things Simpler
“The aspirations of the ‘cloud client’ research were around finding ways of implementing universal access for public sector organisations to be able to share IT infrastructure more easily,” said Parsons.
“To achieve that, you need a user device that has a robust architecture so you can trust it every time it is turned on, you need the ability for those devices to be able to prove their healthy state to whatever services they are accessing through a remote attestation protocol, and you need collaborating organisations to be able to set up trust relationships between them, which is achieved through federated.
“The three elements – the secure endpoint, the ability to prove it is secure and the ability to share trust information between organisations – led to Paradox, which we were able to commercialise out of the research project and has been accredited for running on classified environments within government,” he said.
With Paradox as a basic building block, Paradox Edge comes with integrated security controls. This includes things such as personal firewalls and malware prevention. “The whole security requirement for a user device is bundled into the service,” said Parsons.
East West Rail is an early adopter of Paradox Edge. It is essentially a start-up with approximately 50 employees and a greenfield IT environment that is cloud-focused, he said.
“They don’t want to build up anything substantial in the way of internal IT resources, so they have offloaded the requirement for establishing a user device infrastructure in a scalable and agile way so they do not have to assign any of their own resources to that.”
Paradox Edge is well-suited for start-ups that wish to deploy a fast user device infrastructure for a low cost. However, Parson said it use also useful for established enterprise environments that wish to roll out secure access to their cloud-based infrastructure to mobile workers or contract employees to boost productivity.
“All organisations will benefit from reduced desktop management costs and the peace of mind associated with deploying a robust, security-focused operating system designed in collaboration with UK government,” he said.
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