Solving The Big Problems In Browser Isolation

Anyone can physically isolate their browser and browsing activity, the trick is to do it at vast scale for millions of simultaneous users and make it cost effective by bringing the price down to low single digit dollars per user.

People sometimes ask me how WEBGAP is different from our competitors and I tell them that we are trying to solve the big problems in browser isolation, whereas our competitors are mostly unaware of the big problems ahead. The problem with the browser isolation space is that, on the surface, everyone has already solved the problem and all the competitive solutions look pretty much the same from an end user perspective.

It is fair to say that everyone in the space has solved the 'main problem', the problem of isolating your browser and the associated cyber risks away from your local networks and infrastructure, but most of our competitors then go on to ignore the bigger problems and begin signing up new users without much thought to the future. Its only when they get past the 100k user mark do they start noticing these bigger problems. Because the team behind WEBGAP have been isolating browsers for longer than most, we see further than most and built our platform with these big problems in mind.

The first big problem in remote browser isolation is scale. Our potential user base is not 5k users, or even 10k users, its 100 million users in the US workplace alone and any browser solution has to be able to scale to accommodate at least one million simultaneous users in order to be viable. The solution has to be able easily scale to accommodate lots of users without giving the infrastructure team brain hemorrhages when building out the infrastructure.

We solved this problem by moving away from having a centralized architecture, unlike our competitors who are built on top of centralized architectures, we take the grid distributed approach and our platform scales out, rather than scales up. To add more capacity, you simply stretch cluster more server resource into our grid and the increased load is distributed across the grid, making us massively scalable, with no single point of failure across the grid for high availability at scale.

The second big problem in remote browser isolation is cost. Organizations can adopt any number of browser isolation solutions, but the problem with most of them is that they can get incredibly expensive, sometimes costing as much as $35 per user (per month), making these solutions prohibitively expensive for anyone without a significant cybersecurity budget. Most organizations do not have significant budgets, making browser isolation mostly for the few rather than the many.

After spending close to a decade building non-persistent virtualization browser isolation platforms, we solved this problem by moving away from virtualization and towards containerization. Virtualization is not fit for purpose, in the sense that it is not the right tool for handling the browser compute load and as a result gets very expensive at scale. By adopting a completely containerized architecture, we massively reduced the resource overhead and need approximately 10x less resource than our virtualization based competitors, translating into huge cost savings across any amount of users.

Through a combination of containerization and grid distribution, WEBGAP has managed to solve the really big problems in remote browser isolation and when it comes to handling the browser compute load of millions of simultaneous internet users, the WEBGAP platform is fit for purpose. WEBGAP has lowered the cost of browser isolation for the many.

After figuring out the really big problems of scale and cost, we moved onto the 'hidden' problem of the browser isolation market. The browser isolation markets dirty little secret is that isolation alone is not enough. Which is why WEBGAP does not just physically isolate the browser, we go a step further to deliver a cleaner and purer internet to our users.

WEBGAP has a unique web page pre-rendering feature, one that request web pages on behalf of the user and destroys them, before then rebuilding them tag-by-tag, element-by-element, stripping out any 'malicious' code (any code the web page does not need to be a fully functional web page), before rebuilding them in real time for display to the end user.

Unlike competitive solutions that display the real webpages and their code to end users (albeit isolated pages), WEBGAP displays web pages that have been 'sanitized' beforehand and contain just 15 lines of code behind them, rather than the hundreds of lines of code that you would normally find in the original web page. This web page pre-rendering is really what sets WEBGAP apart from its competitors and makes WEBGAP a safer way to use the internet for our users.

Whereas most of the players in the remote browser isolation space are based upon SAN centralized, virtualization based platforms, what we would consider to be a legacy approach, WEBGAP is solving the biggest problems in our space, cost and scale, by building a remote browser isolation platform for the many rather than the few.

We have been isolating browsers longer than most and we think it shows in our approach, pricing, architecture and infrastructure. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to physically isolate your users browsers check out our remote browsing service, have a look at our browser isolation technology, or get in touch for a conversation!

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