Check Point Abra: Your Office In Your Pocket
One of the products I was most excited about finding out shortly after I joined Check Point was Abra. I’d be more excited if we were shipping the product–that is expected to happen at the end of March–but at least it’s announced so I can talk about it a bit more freely
The product is pretty simple: you can walk up to any computer, plug your USB stick in, and access a secure virtual environment complete with connectivity to your corporate Intranet, access to applications installed on the host computer, hardware encryption, and simple, centralized management. Abra gives you all this and more!
The technologies that are being employed here are not entirely new. What is unique is how it is all tied together. SSL VPN products (including Check Point’s own Connectra) have had the concept of a “Secure Workspace” for quite some time. When you connect to the SSL VPN gateway, you are allowed to run local applications and connect to remote resources. However, the apps operate in a kind of sandbox that restricts how you can get data into and out of the sandbox and what happens to the sandbox after the connection terminates (usually, it disappears).
Now, instead of writing the sandbox data on the local drive, move that onto a USB thumb drive that contains both hardware and software encryption. Add autorun capabilities so that when you insert the thumb drive, you are immediately prompted for authentication, taken into the secure workspace, and automatically connected to the corporate network. Meanwhile, the secure workspace and VPN settings are centrally managed using your existing Check Point Security Gateways.
I’m really excited about the future of this product! You can find out more on the Check Point Abra product pages.