Meta Networks thinks it has a better way to securely connect remote users to corporate and SaaS applications.
Able to work with both managed and unmanaged laptops and smartphones, Meta Networks lets administrators control access specifically to those applications a user needs.
Unlike a typical VPN client, which plops a user directly onto the corporate network, Meta Networks enables fine-grained access to company resources including corporate Web apps, applications that use RDP and SSH, and SaaS applications.
Two elements enable this control: a cloud-based network that enforces policy and encrypts remote traffic; and a device-based element, i.e. client software for managed devices or a browser-based solution for unmanaged devices.
How It Works
Meta Networks has built a virtual private network among a number of Points of Presence (PoPs) at local and regional infrastructure providers around the world. The network runs over the public Internet and is secured via IPSec tunnels.
When a remote employee using a managed device such as a laptop wants to access a corporate application, client software on the laptop connects to the nearest Meta Networks PoP. Based on administrator-defined policies, the user is presented with a list of applications he or she is allowed to use.
When the user selects the application, traffic is carried across Meta Networks’ overlay network to the PoP closest to the destination, which could be an application hosted on premises in a corporate data center, or a SaaS application such as Salesforce or Office365.
Traffic destined for a SaaS application does not first have to pass through a corporate data center and then back out to the cloud, eliminating potential performance degradation that might otherwise occur from backhauling the traffic.
Meta Networks partners with third parties including Symantec and Cyren, allowing customers to send user traffic through these companies’ cloud-based security services for features such as malware detection and restricting access to inappropriate sites.
For unmanaged devices, a browser-based option is available. Users can log in to Meta Networks from the browser, authenticate themselves, and then be presented with a list of allowed applications.
Note that at present, Meta Networks can only enforce access to corporate applications, not SaaS applications, via the browser option. The company says it plans to incorporate SaaS applications for unmanaged devices, but at present this is a roadmap item.
Meta Networks charges per user rather than per device. Thus, one user account can cover multiple devices, such as a laptop, smartphone, and tablet. The company charges $15 per user per month.
About Meta Networks
Meta Networks was founded in 2016 by CEO Etay Bogner, Chief Architect Shmulik Ladkani, and VP of R&D Alon Horowitz. Bogner has founded three other companies including Stratoscale, Neocleus, and SofaWare.
Meta Networks has raised $10 million in seed funding to date. It is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.