Pulse Secure Appliances Available on Microsoft Azure

The company's security-enhancing technology now enables customers to extend secure access to applications, data and other cloud-computing resources.

Microsoft Azure

Pulse Secure is bringing its security-enhancing, hybrid IT-enabling access technologies to Microsoft's cloud.

On June 19, the San Jose, Calif., security vendor and Juniper Networks spin-off announced the availability of its cloud-based Pulse Secure Appliance (PSA) technology on the Microsoft Azure marketplace, listed as Pulse Connect Secure, allowing customers to extend secure access to applications, data and other cloud-computing resources with minimal disruption to their established IT workflows.

PSAs, available as both physical hardware and virtual appliances (PSA-V), provide network access control (NAC), Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network (VPN) and integrated enterprise mobility management (EMM) services, helping organizations keep snoops in the dark while their application, user and device data traverses networks. Embracing Microsoft Azure—Plus Secure already supports leading cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS)—aligns with increased business demand for cloud services by smaller organizations, explained Dan Dearing, senior director of product marketing at Pulse Secure, in email comments sent to eWEEK.

"Small and medium enterprises are quickly moving to a cloud-first strategy for new services and applications while reserving the traditional data center for legacy, mission critical applications," Dearing stated. "The cloud-based PSA enables customers to adopt this agile strategy without having to make security tradeoffs or disrupt user productivity."

Although the move opens up new options for Pulse Secure customers, they won't have any trouble adapting to the new status quo.

Dearing assured that the same policies, device health checks and security software they have come to rely on "are used to protect application access in both the data center and Azure." End users, meanwhile, can expect a "transparent and frictionless" move to the cloud, added the Pulse Secure executive. Using the same VPN client single sign-on capabilities, PSAs connect users to the data and applications they need regardless of where they are hosted, effectively blending "cloud and data center applications into a single, seamless user experience."

Beyond securing and simplifying access in application environments backed by Microsoft Azure, Pulse Secure PSAs provide a heightened level of application agility, enabling businesses to "use the cloud where they can and the data center when they must," Dearing said. In some cases, this empowers organizations to completely deploy an application on Azure without security tradeoffs or upending the user experience, he added.

For organizations operating under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regulatory regimes, the product can help Azure customers strengthen their compliance efforts. Using a single ruleset, Pulse Secure PSAs allow IT departments to protect critical applications by verifying device security and authorizing users before connecting to sensitive systems and placing enterprise data at risk.

Finally, IT administrators won't have to scramble to adapt to their newly cloudified application environments, Dearing said. Pulse PSA enables customers to preserve their IT training and experiences as they venture on their hybrid-IT journeys.

The company also recently announced the 9.0 release of its underlying Pulse Secure software platform, which powers the company's Connect Secure and Policy Secure offerings, along with its desktop and mobile clients. Key updates include a threat-aware firewall integration with Palo Alto Networks firewalls, new remote session federation capabilities, also across firewalls from Palo Alto Networks, and on-demand VPN capabilities for Android devices, among other new features.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...