HashiCorp launched a free beta version of HCP Boundary. The solution allows organizations to secure user access to data and apps. HCP Boundary is comparable to VPN, but more effective for multicloud environments.

HCP Boundary is a managed version of Boundary. HashiCorp introduced the open-source project in 2020. The managed version runs on the HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP), which means you don’t have to worry about the underlying infrastructure. The beta is available for free starting today.

Goodbye, VPN

HCP Boundary tackles an important problem. Organizations with multi-cloud environments have few options for access security. VPNs and SSH bastion hosts are popular choices, but both options fall short. Each new user and application requires a set of login credentials. Maintaining firewalls takes time, because multicloud workloads and data rarely stand still. If a user’s login details end up in a data breach, the entire network is at risk.

HCP Boundary addresses every flaw. The solution has the same goal as a VPN or SSH bastion host. Users gain fast and secure access to applications, regardless of their location. Unlike VPNs and bastion hosts, Boundary isn’t accessed through login credentials. The solution integrates with multiple identity service providers, including Azure Active Directory, Okta and Ping. Employees identify themselves through the provider.

The second difference is that Boundary does not provide access to network locations, but direct tunnels to applications and systems. An organization’s cloud platforms, services and databases are automatically recognized and connected. An administrator then determines which user has access to which systems and data. If a user tries to connect and his or her identity checks out, Boundary generates a token. The token is valid for a single session, and thereby unusable for future attacks.

HCP Boundary

The beta version of HCP Boundary is free. According to HashiCorp, users can set up and test the system within 15 minutes. The organization shared the news at HashiConf Europe, an annual conference. At the same event, HashiCorp unveiled a major update to infrastructure-as-code solution Terraform.