A secure SSL VPN gateway
Pulse Secure is a VPN security service tailored especially for businesses. It’s a desktop tool that serves as a protective umbrella for entire corporations, warding off malware, viruses, and speeding up Internet activity. Acquired by the IT software company Ivanti, the Pulse Client creates and maintains a secure connection on Windows, Android, and iPhone. Using the app, companies can seamlessly access their network from anywhere, no matter their device.
The VPN operates similarly to other business-oriented VPN applications, such as Zscaler, ExpressVPN, or Cisco AnyConnect. The app uses SSL to provide instant access to business applications and data from anywhere at any time, and it adds layers of protection to any and all activity within Pulse Secure’s protection. Although the VPN service is not free, Pulse Secure offers a free trial to get started.
Adaptable, configurable, and convenient
On Windows, Pulse Secure blends smooth performance with state-of-the-art security, all while maintaining a prompt, productive dialogue with its users. No two companies are alike, and Ivanti has made it their goal to ensure that their VPN is flexible. With industry-leading unified endpoint management, Pulse Secure can safeguard and manage your company’s data and devices.
This protection is not free, however, and while Pulse Secure is more expensive, it does offer a free trial. This is the recommended option, as the biggest strike against using Pulse Secure is that there are other strong VPN competitors on the market. Many of these competitors, namely ExpressVPN and Cisco AnyConnect, are also catered more towards servicing large companies.
Pulse Secure’s capacity to combine employee protection and management is the main draw of using it as a security solution. More than just an expensive layer of protection, Pulse Secure can provide a complete view of user, gateway, device, and application access. Any and all activity is centrally monitored and displayed on an interactive dashboard. Administrators can access information in real-time, detecting anomalies and mitigating threats.
These administrators can then identify anomalous or malicious users and devices at a glance. This allows for dynamic threat mitigation, leveraging proprietary risk scoring for each and every session, location, and application. Administrators can preemptively contain threats before they have the opportunity to spread to other employees. Better yet, it does so within the parameters of your company’s own existing infrastructure.
This means that, unlike other VPN solutions for Windows, Pulse Secure is adaptable, and configurable to the point that it requires little to no internal adjustments. It functions alongside any existing security and thrives in your own foundational ecosystem. It can then adjust and automate your preferred means of context sharing, enforcement, and threat response. You can further isolate unknown, unmanaged, or compromised endpoints and IoT devices with various preset policies.
A few key concepts comprise the Pulse Secure software package, each with the aim to help companies keep data private and secure.
- The Connect Secure program provides remote end-users with connectivity and security on any of their devices.
- Policy Secure is the more customizable aspect, allowing automatic onboarding and configuration of personal devices to your company network.
- For mobile users, Pulse Workplace extends VPN protection to employees who favor their iOS or Android devices.
- Finally, there's the Pulse Secure Client. This policy governs whether employees and contractors can access the company network via their corporate or personal devices. Be aware, however, that in order for employees to have secure access to their corporate network, the company must first have a Pulse Connect Secure SSL VPN gateway.
Pulse Secure vs. Cisco AnyConnect
Pulse Secure and major competitor Cisco AnyConnect, are very comparable. Both VPN services require a paid license but offer a free trial, and neither requires an entry-level setup fee. As such, the best way to decide with one is your preference is to simply download the free trial for each and see which better synergizes with your workplace.
The major difference between the two is that Cisco has more robust customization options. This is mostly an advantage in its favor, but for those less accustomed to Internet security, it can be off-putting. In many ways, Cisco AnyConnect can come across as overwhelming and falls short of the more straightforward, user-friendly experience Pulse Secure offers for Windows.
Safe, centralized organization management
Pulse Secure is a helpful application for companies looking to maintain safe and reliable remote access. As a desktop app, it is simple and effective, connecting personal devices to the corporate VPN for work on the go or ease of access. Its lack of configuration, when compared to Cisco AnyConnect, may be considered either a point against it or in its favor. In the end, it’s best to give the free trial a shot and decide for yourself whether this is the best security for your business.