banner-blog.jpg

BLOG

Social Distancing and Isolation—A Good Idea for You and Your Browser

Just as physical isolation helps keep us virus free in the age of COVID-19, browser isolation does the same thing for your laptop or mobile device. The basics of the technology are that another computer is placed between you and the big bad Internet. That other machine spins up in a cloud and does the risky browsing for you. Your device receives a sanitized version of the web, free from any threats that may be hiding on otherwise trusted sites. Browser isolation provides a “zero trust” approach to web browsing.

 

Most people don’t realize how much potentially risky JavaScript runs on modern websites. In addition, modern websites cause your browser to call out and request a whole bunch of scripts and other elements from third-party domains. When you click on your favorite news website, for example, your browser gets instructed to reach out to third-party domains for everything from ad banners and social media icons to tracking cookies and more. This is where some of the hidden threats lurk.

 

Let’s look at the numbers from some well-known news websites:

 

  • cnn.com—125 scripts, 40 other domains

  • abcnews.go.com — 88 scripts, 32 other domains

  • nbcnews.com—196 scripts, 51 other domains

  • bbc.com—107 scripts, 26 other domains

  • reuters.com—121 scripts, 37 other domains

 

(Disclaimer: These sites are listed for example purposes only, and Menlo Security is not suggesting these particular sites are untrustworthy.)

 

Here is a screenshot of cnn.com, where you can see the sources (third-party domains) that make up elements on the home page (the list was too large for a single screenshot).

 

cnn_sources_1

 

As companies struggle to handle the sudden shift to a remote workforce, some are turning to cloud-based solutions to protect their users. Some of the advantages of using a cloud-based security service:

 

  • No hardware and no expensive appliances to manage

  • No extra software to install—you can use your normal browser

  • Auto-scaling

  • Low latency

  • User-based pricing models

  • Ease of deployment

 

Companies are quickly learning that their legacy VPN doesn’t have the horsepower or sophistication to protect a workforce that is suddenly 100 percent remote. Slow Internet service forces users to ditch the VPN and go rogue out on the Internet with nothing but endpoint software to protect them from web-borne malware, phishing, ransomware, and other threats.

 

The Menlo Security solution is a cloud-based security service that features web isolation. All Internet traffic is sent first to the Menlo Security cloud, where a virtual machine spins up and acts as an intermediary between your machine and the website you’re visiting. All the active content and scripts are executed in the Menlo cloud, and only a clean, sanitized version of the site is presented to the user. The result is a rendered site that is absolutely free of malicious content, while retaining the native user experience.

 

So wherever you go on the Internet, the websites you visit are completely sanitized by the Menlo Security isolation rendering process, providing a truly “zero trust” posture in action.

Tags: remote browsing, browser isolation, social distancing

Connect with us

Lists by Topic

see all

Recent Posts