Embedded hardware VPN
The Task: This was a follow-up to the Monolit box. Clients started to ask, “so now that my data is safe in the office, how can I safely work out of a public Wi-Fi network at the airport?” So we built a hardware VPN unit that creates a secure tunnel to the Monolit box.
The Challenge: Make a hardware VPN box that looks like the little brother of the Monolit box. Have as few buttons and as little user interaction as possible. Give it at least four hours’ worth of battery. Recharge through a micro-USB connector. Any common smartphone, laptop, or tablet should be able to use it without requiring software installation. No critical VPN authentication information should be stored on the client’s devices.
The Project: As the little brother to the big box, the approach was similar: much more stripped-down Linux on an embedded, low-power platform. The battery charging and management required some special hardware, and finding the right Wi-Fi components proved not so easy. Thanks to amazing open source software we were able to reliably create a very secure tunnel from box to box, no matter how open the Wi-Fi is that it sits on. Being essentially a secure Linux server, security and access are not compromised by anything happening on the user’s device. It connects to the box through Wi-Fi, like it would to any other hotspot. I will add a link here once the unit is available from distributors.