IDVector Emerges From Stealth to Offer Alternative Approach to VPNs

Security startup IDVector builds ephemeral connections though cloud providers to help provide security and some anonymity for users.

IDVector VPN alternative

Security startup IDVector, which provides an alternative approach to VPNs to help ensure secure access to internet resources, emerged from stealth mode this week.

With most VPN technologies, user traffic is encrypted and routed through a gateway, but IDVector's goal is to go beyond a basic VPN by providing additional security assurances and even a degree of anonymity for users, Ben Baumgartner, co-founder and CEO, said. Rather than simply encrypting and then tunneling user traffic through a single gateway, IDVector sets up ephemeral paths through cloud providers. Both shared and private network paths are available on the IDVector system, Baumgartner explained.

"The paths are ephemeral on-demand, cloud redirection egress nodes," Baumgartner told eWEEK. "When I say ephemeral, I mean the paths are built on cloud assets that are set up and taken down in a short period of time."

The shared path option is a set of resources that can be live for up to 12 hours, while a private path might only be live for a few minutes. Users can get access to the IDVector platform either by way of a mobile application or with a USB hardware appliance.

Andrew Boyce, co-founder and CTO of IDVector, explained that the company uses Amazon, Rackspace and DigitalOcean cloud resources to enable the shared and private network paths. The deployment automation piece of IDVector is enabled by way of the open-source Ansible configuration management tool.

The idea of using cloud resources to build a VPN service for security access isn't entirely unique. In December 2015, privately held startup Dispel launched its service providing private cloud connections and systems to enable user privacy.

Beyond just providing encrypted paths through the internet using ephemeral hosts, IDVector has built additional capabilities to help users stay secure. The USB hardware IDVector Pro device, for example, includes its own hardened Linux stack that provides more security for initial network access than a traditional integrated network interface card provides.

Additionally, the Pro device has the ability to randomize the media access control (MAC) address of a user's device.

"You go to Starbucks, and the thing they use to track you, to make sure you accept the WiFi usage agreement is your MAC address, which also happens to be a great way to also learn how often you go to Starbucks," Boyce said. "The IDVector Pro will create a completely fictitious MAC address every time you connect."

IDVector is backed by cyber-security incubator Kyrus Tech, which has had previous success helping to launch security firm Carbon Black.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.