Wednesday, June 19 2024

What is Browser Security and how does it work?

Browser Security is a subcategory of cybersecurity that focuses on minimizing a user’s vulnerability to cyber threats while they use the worldwide web. These cyber threats include phishing web pages, session hijacking and malware, which can be injected onto a device by means of tamped-with web pages, malicious web pages and digital popups. There are three main types of browser security products. These are enterprise browsers, browser-agnostic platforms and local browser isolation.

Enterprise browsers are created by a company and embedded with cybersecurity features such as authentication and application, system-as-a-service visibility, threat prevention and identity mapping. The goal of an enterprise browser is to allow workers to use the worldwide web in a more secure fashion while also minimizing the productivity friction that can be caused by some cybersecurity solutions. For instance, it does not help a worker’s productivity to have an overly sensitive browser add-on tell them a website they know is safe is a phishing link.

Browser-agnostic platforms are applications that a company can add to its current browser to provide browsing security. Unlike enterprise browsers, browser-agnostic platforms do not require employees to learn a new browser. These types of browsers have a minimal impact on user performance but do not provide as much device visibility for cybersecurity professionals monitoring a company’s internet traffic. They also do not have on-device file processing or on-device browser-isolation, which would limit cybersecurity threats even more.

Local browser isolation applications isolate users from risky websites by having all web page content loaded on a cloud before sending it to a user’s device as opposed to having the content load directly on a user’s phone. This zero-trust method prevents users from cyberattacks like malware and phishing links. However, the tradeoff for the high rate of cybercity when using these applications is often a slower user browsing experience. The slower internet is often a result of the extra step the application puts into loading a website by going through a cloud.

Why is Browser Security useful?

According to information technology services and consulting firm Accenture, 63 percent of high-growth firms use a “productivity anywhere” model. A global survey conducted by remote meeting services company Owl Labs states 62 percent of workers have a hybrid work model.

As work becomes and stays hybrid, more businesses rely on the worldwide web for tasks like finding data in a company’s cloud, conducting research or using an online application. Hybrid work means more people are using their personal devices for professional reasons, so companies must find a way to secure their digital assets across their workers’ professional and personal devices.

However, the hybrid reality gives cybercriminals new ways to steal a worker’s data by creating a deceptive web page or tampering with a legitimate one. Browser security offerings allow companies to defend themselves from internet-based threats, despite the world wide web being a digital space comparable to the wild west, uncontrolled by any one person, business or government agency.

What companies provide Browser Security services? How do they differ from each other?

Browser security is a relatively new subset of cybersecurity. However, many options are available on the market due to the high threat potential from cybercriminals using the internet for their purposes. Below are some offerings available for browser security that have been well-reviewed in recent months across different review websites. These pros and cons lists are all created using the general sentiment of customers across review websites.

Talon Enterprise Browser

Many users have a lot to say about the Talon Enterprise Browser by Talon Security. However, given its recent acquisition by Palo Alto Networks in January 2024, what users say may change. With this being said, general customer insights over multiple review websites state the following:

Benefits

·  Great control and insight into user activity, especially for individuals’ personal devices

·  Consistency and speed in developing new features

·  Great at analyzing for embedded malware

·  Easy to deploy and use

·  Responsive customer support

Challenges

·  Can take awhile to get use to how information is loaded

·  Difficult to navigate the admin page

·  Newer product so less complex features then users would prefer

·  Slower to load pages then traditional browsers like Chrome

Island Enterprise Browser

Island Enterprise Browser is a zero-trust browser security product by the cybersecurity company Island. Many people are happy with how customizable the product is. However, users also think that the enterprise browser’s ability to detect sensitive data could be improved.

Benefits

·  Easy to set up advanced configurations and policies

·  Highly customizable

·  Easy to use for both administrators and users

·  An agentless and simple browser install that provides flexibility

·  Minimal performance impact

Challenges

·  Built-in watermark feature interfered with worker productivity

·  Alerting feature could be improved.

·  Descriptions for certain elements like robotic process information modules are unclear

·  Not great at detecting and masking sensitive data

Ermes Intelligent Web Protection

Ermes Intelligent Web Protection offering by Ermes Cyber Security has many features. Users are impressed by how seamlessly the browser works but think its usability on mobile devices could be improved.

Benefits

·  Easy to deploy user base

·  Compatible with other cybersecurity solutions

·  Clear metrics to see the number of cyber incidents prevented

·  Protection against novel, zero-day internet threats

·  Responsive user support

Challenges

·  Dashboard could provide more insights

·  Protection on iPhone Operating Systems is limited compared to protection on Android

·  A mobile device management platform is needed to deploy the offering on mobile devices

·  Incognito browser windows dodge the internet assessment features

Zscaler Internet Access

Zscaler Internet Access is one of many products created by Zscaler but one of the few focused on browser security. The offering is well-received for its robust cybersecurity features. However, deployment is reported as “confusing” by various users.

Benefits

·  Great real-time content scanning and sandbox features

·  Good services regardless of location due to being based in a cloud environment

·  Internet Security button provides system security information by version so that it is easy to see what is secured and when it is secured.

·  Robust security features for malware, ransomware and phishing attacks

·  Analyzes the secure sockets layer for malicious activity well

Challenges

·  Confusing deployment

·  Not transparent about what the offering is doing

·  Service support is lacking

·  Impacts network speed

·  Updates mean that some previously acceptable websites get blocked affecting users

·  Requires strong and stable internet connection to be effective

Barracuda Web Security Gateway

Barracuda Web Security Gateway by Barracuda pleases users with its ability to allow or deny specific websites. However, many wish that its advanced threat detection abilities were improved by the developers.

Benefits

·  Easy to see why certain websites may have been blocked and resolve access issues

·  Clear application control access logs

·  Great at preventing personal information leaks, even on social media websites

·  Effective content filter

·  Cost-effective

Challenges

·  Support tickets could be dealt with quicker

·  Advanced traffic recognition is mainly done using domain URLs, which is not effective in the current threat environment

·  Integration into systems could be improved

·  Reporting could be more detailed

·  Pricing structure is subscription based

The Future of Browser Security

In its 2023 report, “Emerging Tech: Security – The Future of Enterprise Browsers,” Gartner projects that in 2025, enterprise browsers will make up 25 percent of the most competitive web security solutions and that by 2030, enterprise browsers will be the main way hybrid companies provide productivity and security for hybrid workers.

The projected significance of browser security products reflects the growing importance of the internet to many businesses, who increasingly use online applications to go about their operations. While the internet will never be free from cyber criminals, browser security is one step in the right direction.

Read more cybersecurity product reviews. Explore CISOstack for in-depth insights, practical tips, and expert interviews on the latest cyber threats. Subscribe for regular updates to keep your company ahead in digital defense. Stay informed and secure with us.

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