Tailscale raises $100 million for its zero-trust VPN

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Today, zero configuration VPN Tailscale announced that it had raised $100 million as part of a Series B funding round led by CRV and Insight Partners. 

Tailscale aims to give enterprises the control over who has access to critical computing resources to reduce the risk of unauthorized access in remote working environments.

The organization’s solution has generated a lot of investment interest because its solution enables security teams to control user access to resources remotely by having them login through an existing identity management solution provider with G Suite, Okta, Microsoft, GitHib or OneLogin. 

This approach makes it easier for enterprises to apply multi-factor authentication across multiple users and enables automatic key rotation, daily, and hourly to make it more difficult for threat actors to hijack keys or steal login credentials. 

From legacy corporate VPNs to zero-trust access

In the past, when it came to securing access to resources remotely, corporate VPNS were one of the main tools that security teams had at their disposal. The problem is that these technologies haven’t been updated, and not only create extra admin for users, but also have significant security vulnerabilities. 

“Corporate VPN technology (distance from consumer “privacy” VPNs) have not significantly improved for about 20 years. They still rely on complex key management and single points of failure: a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model where everyone connects to a single central “VPN concentrator” device,” said Tailscale CEO, Avery Pennarun.

Pennarun argues that this VPN technology was inadequate to deal with the monumental shift toward remote work that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“When workers suddenly started working remotely en masse starting in 2020, many companies found their VPN infrastructure overloaded with unexpected demand, because physical VPN concentrator devices have physical capacity limits,” Pennarun said. 

Tailscale meets this challenges head on by integrating with enterprise’s existing identity management systems so they don’t need to manage VPN certificates and separate accounts. 

The global VPN market 

The announcement comes as the global VPN market is set to grow, with researchers valuing the market at $35.4 billion in 2020, and estimate it will reach a size of $107.6 billion by 2027 as consumers and businesses attempt to prevent their data from being exposed to malicious threat actors. 

Out of all VPN providers, one of the organization’s main competitors is OpenVPN, a business VPN that enables organizations to route traffic on-premises or in the cloud.

OpenVPN gives administrators the option to configure and manage resources through a single centralized portal, apply access controls, and ensure zero-trust access to critical resources remotely.  

Another key competitor is Cisco, which raised $12.70 billion in revenue last year, and offers a business VPN for enterprises called Cisco Anyconnect, which offers multi factor authentication for verifying users, as well as endpoint security analytics to give security teams the ability to detect and respond to zero-day malware before data loss. 

One of the key differentiating factor is Tailscale’s onboarding process. “Tailscale has focus on extremely fast and simple onboarding, so that any individual developer can download it from an app store and have a working connection in less than 5 minutes, on a free-forever Personal plan,” said Pennarun. 

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