Isolation: Necessary to secure web browsing, get ahead of cyber attacks

The word “browsing” sounds so harmless. When we’re browsing the Web, it feels like we’re all just wandering the aisles of some bookstore. But given the new-age sophisticated nature of cyberattacks it’s more like walking down a dark alley in a strange city. Web browsing is an activity that exposes us to many cyber threats, most of which we can’t even imagine are lurking behind friendly-looking web pages. Secure web browsing through Remote Browser Isolation offers a strong strategy to reduce risk of Breach.

Understanding the need for web isolation
We tend to think of web pages as media experiences or sources of information rather than what they actually are. The richness of the interface and their ubiquitous use lures us into a false sense of security. In reality, visiting a Web page connects your workstation or laptop with software on a remote server. There’s an exchange of data between the two machines. The Browser essentially fetches code from a remote server, executes it on your end point and renders it on your browser to deliver the browsing experience. And, in this exchange rests a number of potentially serious threats.

Websites set up by hackers seed malware and ransomware that hops from the hacker’s servers to your endpoints. Sometimes known as “drive-by downloads,” these quiet, stealthy attacks form a major Internet security concern. Other times attackers embed malware into well-known, trusted websites via advertising channels, known as “malvertising”. Alternatively, a URL embedded in an email can lead us to phishing sites that deliver malware to our machines. Cleverly disguised as serious emails and links, you intuitively click on it and with that single click, you have fetched code from an unsafe source and allowed it to execute on your endpoint, compromising your credentials and perhaps your entire organizational network.

As these new breeds of attacks grow more sophisticated, the scare is no longer ‘if’ you will get breached, but rather ‘when’. And unfortunately, the traditional approaches of detecting the threat and responding to them in a timely manner also bring a host of problems – such as continuously evolving threat landscape, volume of false alerts, and shortage of skilled security teams to respond in an expedient manner.

With the risk of a breach increasingly accelerating, it’s time to shift our approach to be successful in this new world of cyber conflict! It’s time to adopt a strategy of proactive security – a strategy that ensures security by design.

Popularly known as “Remote Browser Isolation” or “Web Isolation”, isolation prevents malware from entering your network without any material change for the end user in terms of their browsing experience while securing your network from up to 78% of malware that uses the browser to enter your network.

How does remote browser isolation work?
Remote browser isolation products establish a separation between the end point and the servers from where the web content is fetched, executed and rendered. They isolate the entire browsing session. They open URLs in a safe, contained virtual environment thereby preventing any web code from even entering the network. The most secure isolation technologies even factor rendering outside of the network thereby keeping all potentially “untrusted” code from ever touching the susceptible endpoints.

Benefits of isolation
Isolation of web browsing results in a significant reduction of attack surface that cyber criminals have to cause a breach in your network, given over 80% of traffic on the network is web browsing. This results in improved security and an actual reduction in risk. Specifically, isolation reduces vulnerabilities against ransomware, phishing attacks, malversiting, and drive-by-downloads and protects web, email and documents when you use the browser.

In business terms, CIOs and CISOs can, for a change, draw their analytics from malicious activity that is already contained and prevented even before it entered the network. Adopting isolation as a strategy helps break free from a cycle of reactive security and a loop of detection based technologies and helps improve the effectiveness of security teams.

Isolation is a must-invest area for anybody who wants to focus on improving security without hampering productivity of a business.

To learn more about isolation and remote-browsing technologies visit:

Rajiv Raghunarayan

Vice President - Products