The definitive buyer’s guide to business browsers

Enterprise Browser

Security stakeholders have come to realize that the prominent role the browser plays in the modern business environment requires a reevaluation of how it is managed and protected. While not long ago, Internet risks were addressed by a patchwork of endpoint, network and cloud solutions, it is now clear that the partial protection these solutions provide is no longer sufficient. That’s why more and more security teams are now turning to the emerging category of purpose-built enterprise browsers to address browser security challenges.

However, because this category of security solutions is still relatively new, there is no established set of best practices for browser security, nor common evaluation criteria.

LayerX, the User-First Enterprise Browser Extension, addresses the needs of security teams with the downable Buying guide for business browsersthat guides its readers through the essentials of choosing the best solution and provides them with a useful checklist to use during the evaluation process.

The browser is the main working interface and most targeted attack surface

The browser has become the most important workspace in the modern enterprise. The browser is not only the gateway to approved SaaS apps and other non-enterprise web destinations, but it is also the intersection between cloud web environments and physical or virtual endpoints. This makes the browser both a target for multiple types of attacks, and a potential source of accidental data leaks.

Some of these attacks have been around for more than a decade, for example by exploiting browser vulnerabilities or drive-by downloading of malicious files. Others have recently gained momentum alongside the surge in SaaS adoption, such as social engineering users with phishing web pages. Still others take advantage of the evolution in web page technology to launch sophisticated and difficult-to-detect changes and abuses of browser features to capture and exfiltrate sensitive data.

Browser Security 101 – What Should We Protect?

Browser security can be divided into two different groups: preventing accidental data exposure and protecting against various types of malicious activities.

From a data protection perspective, a corporate browser enforces policies that ensure sensitive corporate data is not shared or downloaded insecurely from sanctioned apps, nor uploaded from managed devices to non-corporate web destinations.

From a threat protection perspective, an enterprise browser detects and prevents three types of attacks:

  • Attacks that target the browser itself, with the aim of compromising the host device or data contained within the browser application itself, such as cookies, passwords and others.
  • Attacks that use the browser via compromised credentials to access corporate data residing in both approved and unapproved SaaS applications.
  • Attacks that use the modern web page as an attack vector to attack users’ passwords, through a wide range of phishing methods or through malicious modification of browser functions.

How to choose the right solution

What should you consider when choosing a business browser solution for your environment? What are the practical implications of the differences between the different offers? How should deployment methods, solution architecture, or user privacy factor into the overall consideration? How should threats and risks be prioritized?

As we’ve said before, unlike other security solutions, you can’t just ping one of your colleagues and ask what he or she is doing. Enterprise browsers are new and the wisdom of the masses has yet to be formed. In fact, there’s a good chance that your colleagues are now struggling with the same questions as you.

The definitive buyer’s guide to business browsers – what it is and how to use it

The buyer’s guide (download it here) breaks down the high-level headline “browser security” into small and digestible chunks of the concrete needs that need to be solved. These are presented to the reader in five pillars: implementation, user experience, security functionalities and user privacy. For each pillar there is a brief description of the browser context and a more detailed explanation of its capabilities.

The most important pillar, in terms of scope, is of course the security functionality, which is divided into five subsections. Since this pillar would in most cases be the first motivation to pursue a browser security platform, it is worth discussing them in more detail:

Deep dive into the Enterprise browser

The need for an enterprise browser usually stems from one of the following:

  • Attack surface management: Proactively reduces the browser’s exposure to various types of threats, eliminating the ability of adversaries to execute them.
  • Zero Trust Access: Tightening authentication requirements to ensure that the username and password were indeed provided by the legitimate user and have not been compromised.
  • SaaS monitoring and protection: 360° visibility into all users’ activities and data usage within approved and unapproved apps, as well as other non-business web destinations, while protecting corporate data from compromise or loss.
  • Protection against malicious web pages: Real-time detection and prevention of all malicious tactics that adversaries have embedded in today’s web pages, including phishing credentials, downloading malicious files, and data theft.
  • Secure third-party access and BYOD: Ability to securely access corporate web resources from unmanaged devices of both internal staff and external contractors and service providers.

With this list, anyone can easily identify the purpose of the search query in the business browser and discover the capabilities required to achieve this goal.

The Buyer’s Guide – A simple evaluation shortcut

The most important and useful part of the manual is the concluding checklist, which for the first time provides a concise summary of all the essential capabilities that a business browser should provide. This checklist makes the evaluation process easier than ever. All you have to do now is test the solutions you shortlisted and see which one scores the highest. Once you have them all sorted out, you can make an informed decision based on the needs of your environment as you understand them.

Download the buyer’s guide here.



#definitive #buyers #guide #business #browsers

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