Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced the availability of Amazon WorkLink, a fully managed service that enables companies to provide their workforce with secure one-click access to internal websites and web applications from their mobile devices without connecting to VPNs or using custom browsers.
End users simply download the Amazon WorkLink app to enable access to internal content through existing browsers on their mobile devices. IT administrators determine which internal content to make available, and Amazon WorkLink securely renders it behind the scenes using the compute and networking infrastructure of AWS, delivering a non-cached, fully functional, graphical representation of the web content to the user requesting it.
Amazon WorkLink removes the need to build and maintain complicated infrastructure and software deployments to secure access to internal content on authorized mobile devices outside of the firewall. Amazon WorkLink also reduces the risk of information loss or theft because content is never stored or cached on devices. There are no up-front payments, per seat licensing costs, or long-term commitments, and customers pay only $5 per active user per month. To get started with Amazon WorkLink, visit: aws.amazon.com/worklink.
Today’s workforce of employees, contractors, partners, and suppliers needs access to internal websites and web applications to do their jobs, but often lacks convenient means to connect when working outside the corporate firewall. With existing solutions, enabling access means IT administrators must invest in and deploy both Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to ensure secure connectivity, and mobile device management (MDM) software to configure devices and control user access.
For end users, these VPN and device management applications often require access fobs and tokens, one-time passwords, and custom web browsers – all of which can be cumbersome and significantly slow the process of connecting to vital corporate resources. As a result, simple tasks like looking up a colleague on the Intranet or checking the status of an open customer ticket are often delayed until an employee can return to the office, hindering the productivity of today’s global workforce.
IT administrators face the even more daunting challenge of setting up, operating, and maintaining VPNs and device management software deployments, which often requires the purchase of licenses for workers regardless of whether they are used or not. Even when these solutions work as advertised, information is still stored or cached on devices, leaving companies at risk of loss or theft of corporate data. And, because devices connect to the corporate network directly, enterprise resources may be exposed to device-based malware.
Amazon WorkLink was built to provide convenient access to critical content for workers and to make it easier for IT administrators to deliver secure access to mobile devices, all while providing greater security by ensuring that the corporate web content is never stored or cached on the device. At the core of Amazon WorkLink is a secure web browser hosted in the cloud that transforms web content into a fully interactive simple vector graphics (SVG) graphical representation. Once rendered, Amazon WorkLink sends that graphical representation to the web browser on an end user’s device.
At the end of the session, the ephemeral cloud-based web browser disappears, ensuring corporate content only resides within the customer’s network. Because Amazon WorkLink is fully managed, it removes the heavy lifting of software and infrastructure deployment, capacity planning, and scaling, as well as the need for custom browser updates. With Amazon WorkLink, mobile devices never connect directly to the corporate network, narrowing the path for device-based malware to reach enterprise resources behind the corporate firewall.
“When talking with customers, all of them expressed frustration that their workers don’t have an easy and secure way to access internal content, which means that their employees either waste time or don’t bother trying to access content that would make them more productive,” said Peter Hill, Vice President of Productivity Applications at AWS. “With Amazon WorkLink, we’re enabling greater workplace productivity for those outside the corporate firewall in a way that IT administrators and security teams are happy with and employees are willing to use.”
Amazon WorkLink can be configured directly from the AWS Management Console. Once configured, end users can download the Amazon WorkLink application from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store(available soon), log in with their corporate credentials, and start accessing internal websites, while Amazon WorkLink works behind the scenes to ensure data is delivered quickly and securely. Amazon WorkLink works with SAML 2.0 compliant identity providers including Okta and Ping Identity, and honors existing security policies. Amazon WorkLink supports devices running iOS 12+ (with Android 6+ coming in weeks) and works with Safari, with Chrome support to follow in the coming weeks. Amazon WorkLink is available immediately in North America and Europe, and will expand to additional regions in the coming year.
Intuit Inc. is a business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software and related services for small businesses, accountants, and individuals. “Our DevSecOps team at Intuit expects instant access to key internal resources anywhere, anytime,” said Shannon Lietz, Director, Information Security at Intuit. “We are excited about making these mission-critical employees more productive than ever, regardless of where they are. Being able to promptly act on security tickets without any worry or friction, even when away from our desks, allows us to ensure Intuit products remain secure and our employees more efficient.”
Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments on Earth. “Our clients frequently say they struggle with securing mobile access to internal web resources without restricting employee productivity,” said Mickey Davis, global vice president of Managed Workplace Services, Unisys. “With Amazon WorkLink, end users can securely perform important tasks – such as resolving customer support requests, reviewing important business reports and approving budget requests or expense reports – in seconds using just their phones. We are testing Amazon WorkLink at Unisys to access our training wiki and trouble ticketing system, and we’re excited at the prospect of using it to empower our clients and their workers as well.”
Oak Hill Advisors is a leading alternative investment firm with approximately $32B under management across performing and distressed credit related investments in North America, Europe, and other geographies. “Our business and technology teams rely on a set of services providing dashboards and project management tools, running in our data centers to complete their day to day activities,” said Sajawal Haider, Chief Information Security Officer at Oak Hill Advisors, L.P. “Currently, to provide anytime access on mobile devices, we use a combination of mobile device management and VPN solutions, which are complicated and expensive to maintain. Amazon WorkLink being a managed service solves this problem for us by providing mobile access to critical web content, while securing sensitive data. And the best part is our users love the experience.”
Brillio is a global technology consulting and business solutions company dedicated towards modernizing IT infrastructures to facilitate agility for enterprises in the consumer goods, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. “Our customers consistently tell us one of their biggest challenges is enabling secure mobile access as they move their legacy content to a mobile-first world. Amazon WorkLink will allow us to help our customers keep pace with the speed of markets by delivering both productivity and security on the go,” said Siva Perubotla, Associate Vice President & Head – Digital Infrastructure at Brillio. “We have leveraged Amazon WorkLink for our own internal use cases which involved productivity enablement for our global workforce by building capabilities through secure, cross platform, on-demand and seamless access of internal knowledge base, learning modules, and intranet resources. We are excited with the results and convinced that we will be able to replicate the benefits for our customers at scale.”
Privo is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with practices across a wide range of services including DevOps, End User Computing, and Cost Optimization. “When AWS introduced us to Amazon WorkLink, we saw the opportunity to deliver both security and productivity on mobile devices, while also enabling our customers to both complement their MDM solutions with more secure and seamless Web access, and open up secure access to end users who do not have any access at all today,” said Doug Heestand, Partner at Privo. “We use Amazon WorkLink ourselves today to help our own employees access our internal training intranet and now we’re excited to help new customers take advantage of Amazon WorkLink’s unique capabilities.”
8K Miles is one of the leaders in providing a wide range of expertise ranging from Enterprise Cloud Transformation, Big Data Analytics, Identity Access Management, and other Managed Services to maintain continuous compliance regulations and security of the enterprise. “Health Care and Pharma companies work with some of the world’s most sensitive data on a daily basis, and we have been helping them securely navigate the move to the cloud for over a decade,” said Sudish Mogli, CTO for 8K Miles. “Our AWS customers are all at different points in their digital transformation, with some already all-in on the AWS cloud, others in a hybrid state, and others just starting from their on-prem infrastructure. Amazon WorkLink will allow us to help all of these customers enable their end users with secure one click intranet access no matter where their origin servers are located. Our customers tell us that their workers are spending more on more time away from their desks, and Amazon WorkLink will be an exciting part of making that time more productive and secure.”
Eplexity is a cloud services provider focused on cloud acceleration, devops as a service, managed cloud services, and cloud security, all designed to accelerate customers’ AWS journey. “We are thrilled to work with AWS to enable our customers with cost-effective, secure connectivity to their mobile workforce for critical line of business services,” said John Clendennen, Eplexity CEO. “Amazon WorkLink provides organizations who are not in a position to redevelop legacy applications the ability to deliver full mobile access to end users.”