Even the most security-aware users make mistakes and can accidentally expose their organizations’ networks to malware and other cyberthreats. Web isolation provides steadfast security and helps IT maintain control of web access without interfering with users’ browsing habits, workflows and productivity.
When it comes to cybersecurity, humans are every organization’s biggest vulnerability. IT teams spend endless hours securing perimeters, updating firewall configurations, keeping up with new threats, patching up legacy software applications and implementing the latest encryption mechanisms. But still, despite advances in traditional security measures, malware finds its way into corporate networks — often by exploiting the weakest link in the enterprises’ security infrastructure: their users.
Granted, most users are not naïve or careless. Many companies and government agencies have strict protocols and policies for using the web, opening attachments or sharing information. Security awareness is baked into many mandatory training programs, and users receive regular updates on how to avoid becoming an unintentional accomplice in a phishing scheme or a malware attack.
But that’s the thing about us humans — we often tend to think that some policies simply don’t apply to us, we get easily bored and distracted when required to read lengthy procedure documents, fail to follow rules when they interfere with our preferred way of doing things, and invent clever shortcuts to get our work done, even if it means bypassing mandated security measures. Usually, it’s not the lack of knowledge or awareness that makes users vulnerable — it’s our desire for convenience and occasional carelessness that can cause serious trouble, despite IT’s best effort to keep a tight security seal on the corporate infrastructure.
Access is denied, long live safe access
Cutting off users’ access to the internet or restricting the sites they visit to a small number of approved pages are not particularly viable or effective options. Most employees use the internet for their daily work, and strict access controls can severely hinder their productivity. Similarly, not allowing users to occasionally check their personal email on a work computer will likely force them to find ways around restrictive policies, inviting even more potential problems for security teams.
Web isolation is the most effective way to give users the freedom to use the web without fear of accidentally downloading malware or exposing sensitive corporate data. When traditional network controls are insufficient to thwart potential security problems, browser isolation and zero-trust application access can give organizations the peace of mind that their users are no longer their greatest vulnerability, even when they do make mistakes.
Out of control
As information is increasingly accessed over the web, conventional security measures that focus on the network, the endpoint or the edge can no longer provide reliable levels of control over data security. With users roaming around, connecting remotely through untrusted networks and personal devices, and sharing access with third parties, even proven tools that have been the gold standard of enterprise security for years can no longer support decentralized workforce and web-centric workflows.
Read the blog, Remote work is just work: securing the new normal.
Even organizations that stay on top of browser security — patching or mitigating against known vulnerabilities — it’s a process that takes time. In order to maintain system availability, each patch, update or change requires weeks of testing and careful implementation, all the while leaving open the possibility of an exploit. And new issues can arise at any time, with users inadvertently clicking on malicious links that add to the pile of SOC to-do lists.
When mission-critical business activity constantly shifts across devices, networks and applications, organizations need to consider the next level of security: a layer of protection that can isolate their assets from web-born threats and manage access to high-value applications from anywhere without compromising data security.
A security-conscious network for the enterprise
Web isolation is a radically different approach to protecting against malicious exploits. A cloud-based browser allows all users to safely access the internet without restrictions or changes in familiar workflows, while protecting corporate networks and devices from cyberthreats. Each user’s session is isolated on the cloud infrastructure, so even when employees click on malicious links, visit suspicious websites or download unknown attachments, malicious code is rendered in the cloud, never reaching the user’s device, eliminating web-based attack surface.
5 reasons a purpose-built enterprise browser is awesome
- With isolation, organizations can airgap their devices and networks from any malicious web content, and establish and enforce policy controls over data transfer with full audit and oversight abilities.
- Web isolation provides complete protection that works anywhere, or on any device.
- Security teams can choose to direct all their web traffic to a cloud-based browser or select specific risky actions or sites (like social media or webmail, for example) that need to be routed through an isolated environment, implementing the rules and data transfer policies that work within their compliance frameworks.
- Organizations can achieve company-wide visibility over web usage, including user actions off-network, solving many potentially risky scenarios with a single solution by configuring user experience, app access controls, authentication steps, data policies and more.
- And for the users, it's the same browsing experience that they are used to with traditional browsers — without the need for cumbersome VPN connections or restrictive blacklists.
Learn more: Zero Trust Application Access delivers the above benefits of an enterprise browser with flexible user experience, offering a dedicated application or web client to isolate links within an existing browser, giving users a frictionless, secure experience.
Zero-trust application access
Along with securing against malware creeping into corporate networks through careless user actions, today’s organizations need to keep a close eye on what’s happening when users access SaaS applications that exist outside the corporate perimeter and security controls.
A cloud browser can help organizations manage access to their high-value applications from anywhere — even untrusted and potentially compromised devices and networks — while safeguarding sensitive data. Security teams can lock down access to essential applications for untrusted devices, set policies to secure networks, manage authentication and centralize audits to ensure compliance with corporate and industry security policies. By enforcing access permissions, IT can establish granular controls over what users can do with the data while they interact with the app, lowering the organization’s risk profile and adding a layer of security where it matters most.
Take down the hurdles
Online users will always be at risk of carelessly clicking on links or downloading files. But IT no longer has to attempt to control their actions by instituting draconian policies or severely restricting access to what they can do online. Cloud-based browser isolation offers the users a familiar browsing experience while adding protections and security that follow the user wherever they go online. When all web-based code is executing remotely, never reaching endpoints or networks, security teams can keep their infrastructure secure without interfering with the users’ workflows and productivity. Browser isolation gives organizations the foolproof security they need to keep their users, devices, networks and critical data safe from malware, data leaks and other cyberthreats.Phishing/malware Secure web access Zero-trust app access