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Corel announced today that it has acquired Awingu, a leader in providing secure remote access technologies, adding the acquisition to the Parallels brand portfolio. The acquisition of Awingu brings zero trust security at the browser level to customers who need to access the cloud, legacy and workspace-based apps and resources. 

Adding Awingu to the Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) tech stack also solves their customers’ challenges of securely working with legacy apps, on-premise assets, hybrid cloud architectures and the fast-growing base of software-as-a-service (SaaS)  applications all organizations have. Awingu is a browser-based Unified Workspace that allows users to work and collaborate virtually anywhere using any device compatible with HTML5 browsers.

Why Corel made a zero trust move now 

Corel is best known for its professional creativity and productivity solutions. Its Parallels RAS business has become a go-to enterprise solution to the challenges IT teams face in connecting to digital workspaces from any device or OS, enhancing data security and compliance of remote workforces and deploying applications and scaling quickly with access to 24/7 support. Corel’s competitors include Citrix, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and other virtual desktopinfrastructure (VDI) providers. 

Enterprises have standardized on the Parallels RAS platform for decades and need zero trust security added to their technology stacks with little to no complexity or costly integration work. Awingu is multitenant and runs on six of the most popular hypervisors and public cloud platforms, including Amazon AWS, Google Compute, Hyper-V, KVM, Microsoft Azure and VMWare ESX. 

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Awingu's cloud-based architecture is designed to protect browser sessions as the most vulnerable threat vector an organization has, backing that up with usage audit, anomaly detection, a context engine that provides contextual awareness, support for MFA and encryption over HTTPS.
Awingu’s cloud-based architecture is designed to protect browser sessions as the most vulnerable threat vector an organization has, backing that up with usage audit, anomaly detection, a context engine that provides contextual awareness, support for MFA and encryption over HTTPS.

Acquiring Awingu positions Parallels’ RAS as a single source enterprise solution for organizations that need to access legacy and cloud-native applications with greater security. Awingu’s secure remote access platform has proven to be an effective VPN alternative by taking a browser-based, clientless approach to enable secure access to applications, desktops and files from anywhere. 

“The future of work is now; we are living it. The pandemic further accelerated the need for organizations to determine and shift their remote and hybrid work infrastructures,” said Prashant Ketkar, chief technology and product officer at Corel. “Now, organizations are figuring out how they can cater to the flexibility that employees want with their workplaces while also ensuring secure and efficient access.” 

Another factor driving Corel’s decision to invest in zero trust now is that doing so provides their enterprise base of customers with the new cybersecurity technologies its competitors are also starting to offer. Awingu slots into an enterprise security stack are sold on a subscription model and have proven their stickiness over years of enterprise sales. The Awingu 5.0 release in late 2020 added enterprise-grade zero trust security features and positioned the company well to move into browser-based and endpoint security. In my discussion with Ketkar, he indicated that Awingu may be the first of a series of acquisitions on the horizon for the Parallels’ product portfolio.

Chase Cunningham’s white paper, Zero Trust: what, why and how explains the fundamentals of zero trust and how the Awingu’s platform supports zero trust principles, including microsegmentation, least privileged access and multiactor authentication for improved identity and access management and more. 

Bringing zero trust for unified workspaces

IT teams invest much of their time, energy and staff in keeping unified workspaces, virtual teams and the myriad of remote conference apps and tools up and running. Unified workspaces provide cost-effective remote access to applications and are considered essential for supporting virtual workforces. 

By relying on secured browsers, they provide access to the cloud, legacy and proprietary apps and data without needing virtual desktop infrastructures and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS). In addition, by aggregating SaaS, web and virtualized applications in a unified workspace, workers, can get more done by reducing how much context switching they need to do.

Enabling zero trust principles at the browser level helps to solve one of the main vulnerabilities of unified workspaces. Recognizing that every identity is a security perimeter, regardless if they are in a unified workspace or not, must happen to secure virtual workforces and the people who comprise them. That’s one factor leading to rapid growth in zero trust. 

Gartner predicts global end-user spending on zero trust solutions will reach $830 million this year, growing to $2.03 billion by 2026, reaching an impressive 19.61% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In addition, end-user spending for the information security and risk management market is projected to grow at a 10.4% CAGR from 2021 through 2026, reaching $254.1 billion in market value.

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