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A deep dive into Browser Security


In today’s ever-changing world of digital transformation, organizations grapple with new challenges in keeping their day-to-day operations secure. A big part of the puzzle is the web browser, which according to Forrester, the typical enterprise worker spends 75% of their “device time” on. This article takes a closer look at browser security, highlighting its vulnerabilities, and suggests solutions to protect your organization against evolving cyber threats.

Understanding Browser Security: An overview

The browser, integral to daily work, has become a prime target for threat actors. This section categorizes browser security solutions into three main types, shedding light on Local Browsers, Browser Extensions, Traditional Remote Browser Isolation, and Cloud-Based Browser Security.

Local browsers

  • Mainstream Browsers: (e.g., Chrome, Edge, Safari) with continual security enhancements.
  • Enterprise Browsers: Chromium-based, tailored for enterprise policy enforcement.
  • Enterprise Browser Extensions: Add-on solutions to enhance browser functionality.

Traditional remote browser isolation (RBI)

  • A Zero Trust approach to prevent web-based malware, but with bandwidth and user experience challenges.

Cloud-based Browser Security

  • A hybrid solution combining the strengths of Enterprise Browsers, Browser Extensions, and RBI.
  • Enables security for any device and browser, providing a seamless user experience.

Three key capabilities of Browser Security

To comprehensively address browser security, we identify three key capabilities: managing the browser, protecting the user, and securing access and data.

Managing the browser

  • Browser management platforms like Microsoft Intune and Google Chrome Enterprise Manager offer hundreds of control parameters.
  • Best practices involve configuring a minimal set of parameters, focusing on versioning, extension management, and essential security configurations.
  • Strategies for supporting unmanaged endpoints, balancing user experience, deployment overhead, and legal considerations.

Protecting the user

  • The epicenter of browser security, preventing exploitation, malware, and phishing attacks.
  • Highlights the challenges of maintaining browser security amid evolving attack techniques.

Securing access and data

  • Integrating browser security with zero-trust network access strategies.
  • Granular access control, data leakage protection, and infrastructure cost savings.
  • Overcoming challenges posed by legacy web applications and immature Software as a service (SaaS) solutions.

In-depth analysis of Browser Security solutions

A detailed examination of how local browsers, browser extensions, traditional RBI, and cloud-based Browser Security manage, protect, and secure access and data.

Local browsers (Mainstream and Enterprise)

  • Managing and protecting browsers through centralized platforms.
  • Addressing vulnerabilities, malware, and phishing risks specific to local browsers.

Browser extensions

  • Leveraging extensions to enhance security features.
  • Balancing security capabilities with potential risks and adapting to browser vendor policy changes.

Traditional remote browser isolation (RBI)

  • Examining how RBI manages vulnerabilities, malware, and phishing threats.
  • Limitations of the user experience and bandwidth requirements.

Cloud-based browser security

  • Managing browsers agnostically with a focus on security.
  • Addressing vulnerabilities, malware, and phishing threats while ensuring a native user experience.

Choosing the right solution

While many solutions aim to protect browsers, the business's unique needs must guide the selection process. As the industry shifts towards cloud-based solutions, Cloud-Based Browser Security emerges as the scalable and holistic approach to mitigate threats. Explore the comprehensive insights in our full white paper for a detailed understanding of the evolving landscape of browser security.

Read the full white paper here.

Menlo Security

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