What Is Browser Isolation?

Written by Guise Bule, Editor at Secjuice

What Is browser Isolation?

Browser isolation is a cybersecurity model used to physically isolate an internet users web browser and their browsing activity away from the local machine and network, it is the underlying model and technology that supports a remote browsing platform.

According to Gartner, more than 50% of enterprises will actively begin to isolate their internet browsing to reduce the impact of cyber attacks over the next three years (Gartner BIT Report 2016). Gartner are also recommending browser isolation technologies as one of the most effective ways that an enterprise can reduce web based attacks. With this in mind, lets take a closer look at exactly what browser isolation is and why remote browser isolation is being adopted so quickly by security conscious organizations.

Browser isolation was an invention borne out of necessity, our current security tools (anti-virus, firewall, intrusion detection and prevention) are failing to protect us from malware, ransomware and browser based cyber attacks. Browser based attacks are increasing in frequency, with Gartner estimating that 98% of external information security attacks are carried out over the public internet and of those attacks 80% of them are targeted directly at end users through their browsers as they use the internet normally.

Over time and beneath the weight of regular cyberattacks many organizations realized that their browsers (along with all of the associated browsing activity and risk) do not really need to be connected to their internal networks and infrastructure. In fact they realized that letting their users browse the internet from their work machines (or their internal networks) was a bad idea from a cybersecurity perspective.

The endpoint is now considered to be the new perimeter and many organizations are physically isolating their users browsers and the associated cyber risk away from their internal networks using the browser isolation cybersecurity model.

We know that most cyberattacks begin with the browser, we understand that the browser is the window through which cyber-criminals climb into your local machine and networks, but our browsers are so useful to our every day work and lives that we leave the window open. There is a better way, you can physically isolate your browsers and the associated cyber risks away from your local computer and networks by putting an air-gap between you and the internet. We call this model browser isolation cybersecurity and the WEBGAP remote browser platform is underpinned by this browser isolation cybersecurity model.

The browser isolation cybersecurity model recognizes that the vast majority of cyberattacks begin with the browser and seeks to physically isolate the browser, along with all of the associated cyber risk, onto a platform built to handle that risk and safely way from your IT infrastructure.

Browser isolation solutions provide their users with 'disposable' (non-persistent) browsers, once a browsing session is closed the entire browser environment is destroyed and its resources returned to the pool for use by other users. Any malicious code encountered during that session is thus prevented from reaching the endpoint or persisting within the network, regardless of whether or not any threat was detected. In this way, browser isolation proactively combats both known, unknown and zero-day threats, complementing other security measures and contributing to a defense-in-depth, layered approach to web security.

A quick and easy way to physically isolate your users browsers is to give each of them their own cloud hosted remote browser, a fully functional browser hosted on a cloud server and delivered to the user over the internet. Users logon to their hosted remote browsers and browse the internet through them rather than the browser on their local machines, physically isolating themselves from web based cyber attacks. This is a highly effective model which allows you to quickly shut down the most common infiltration points on your networks, but without worrying about setting up and configuring the associated server infrastructure.

Over the last two years my team and I have been busy building WEBGAP, a browser isolation cybersecurity platform built using a completely containerized and grid distributed architecture, one that is both highly scalable and cost-effective. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to physically isolate your users browsers and internet browsing activity, have a browse through our website and check out our remote browsing solution. Get in touch for a conversation with us, we have been isolating browsers longer than most and love talking about browser isolation models, technologies and platforms.

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