What hasn’t changed in the cybersecurity world is the way most enterprise networks are hacked. Employee-clicking-malicious-links continues to be the top challenge. High-profile security breaches start with phishing campaigns to which employees and third parties fall prey. This time-tested modus operandi continues to work without fail. All thanks to the 4 percent of users who will click on a malicious link in a phishing email, no matter what.[i] Despite all measures, organizations have failed to stop phishing.
The user is always the “problem”
We want perfect security for our organizations, but our users aren’t perfect. The SANS blog RSA: The Human Element [ii]captures the essence of the problem. To paraphrase, humans are a high risk yet cybersecurity is not the average user’s primary job. Don’t expect employee training, by itself, to fix this problem. Hackers just need one user to click on the mischievous link to triumph.
Fortunately, productivity must no longer be a cost of security. Now organizations can prioritize protecting users from the bad things that happen when they click links. More than 80% of organizations today rely on web-hosted services [iii] for which the browser acts as the endpoint. Simply shifting our focus from detection to prevention will have far-reaching effects. [iv]
When the horse has left the barn
Unfortunately, most organizations bolt the door after the horse has left the barn. Organizations need to take steady steps to prevent suspicious clicks. Becoming cyber resilient by gradually investing in cybersecurity helps. Regulations or breaches alone shouldn’t drive security investments because reinventing our ways faster than hackers wins the cat-and-mouse game. And realize that cyber resilience is a war, not a single battle.
Stop bad things from happening
While we can’t stop users from clicking links, adopting a proactive approach beats being reactive. Take, for example, one of our customers, Grant Langhus, whose biggest problem was users clicking links. He chose to prevent attacks by embracing remote browser isolation to keep threats away roughly four years ago. He no rebuilds machine due to internet exploits.
“I love showing browser isolation to people; you can navigate anywhere you want and know nothing malicious will ever touch you. You are just safe,” remarks Grant Langhus, IT Operations Manager, Luana Savings Bank.
Grant couldn’t stop users from clicking because users have to click to do their work. But he could stop bad things from happening when users click links.
Ready to challenge the status quo of endpoint security?
Let’s not wait for a security product to tell us what’s bad. Embracing prevention while we continue to detect and respond empowers us. Grant’s story simply proves that.
In the click security scenario, the web browser is the endpoint that needs to be tamed. Browser isolation is simple and robust. No matter what your users click, ransomware and phishing attacks can’t reach your endpoints or local network if you’re using browser isolation.[v]
Figure 1 Browser Isolation stops the malicious code from reaching the end-user device
Gartner suggests that the best way to do prevention is with remote browser isolation (RBI).[vi] Founded on the principle of Zero Trust, RBI is a preventative cybersecurity architecture where the web browser runs isolated from the local network and endpoints. With RBI, the web objects are fetched and executed in isolation, not on the endpoint. Only the display, streamed as harmless pixels, reaches the endpoint. (Figure 1).
(The blog post includes inputs shared by John Klassen and Onkar Sharma.)