Hackers or cybercriminals often target web browsers when they want to steal data or resources from an individual or a company. This is because, in this modern era, the web browser serves many purposes for individuals and organizations. Most individuals use the web browser to buy and sell things online, work, and even for educational purposes. On the other hand, the browser is the major gateway most businesses have in reaching out and selling to their customers.
A scenario like this presents massive opportunities for cybercriminals to steal resources and data. Browser isolation is a trusted and competent security method employed to fight these cyber threats. In this article, you will learn more about how browser isolation works and how it guarantees endpoint security for individuals and organizations.
Table of Contents
What are Browser Isolation and Endpoint Security?
Browser isolation is a form of security technology that allows users to carry out their browsing activity in an isolated environment, in the form of a sandbox or virtual machine. There are two primary ways this can occur in the process of isolating users’ browsing activity. One is through isolation on the computer, and the other is what is known as remote browser isolation.
On the other hand, endpoint security is protecting the data and workflows of the individual devices connected to a personal or an organization’s network. Many devices, such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and even IoT devices like smart homes, can be connected to a network. Endpoint security is all the practices, platforms, and solutions that help safeguard devices from being hijacked by cybercriminals.
Browser isolation and agnostic platforms like LayerX are often one of the security methods employed to safeguard these endpoints. Browser isolation is a web security tool gaining much traction from organizations due to the wide range of threats it can prevent from being successful. The usage of browser isolation is not limited to organizations, but most individuals don’t use it because they don’t understand how it works.
How Does Browser Isolation Work?
Those who use the internet are prone to make mistakes at any time due to how complex and expansive it is. For instance, one of the essential security practices is not to visit a page that does not have an updated SSL certificate. In simple terms, users shouldn’t visit pages that start with “http” and only those with “https.” However, mistakes are bound to happen when using the internet, and visiting an unsecured page can lead to a massive cyber attack.
To prevent scenarios like this from happening, there’s a unique method that browser isolation employs, and that’s the zero-trust approach. This is a process where the browser isolation solution automatically terms every website as a potential threat, isolating it from the user. But how does this isolation work?
Browser isolation builds a boundary or walls around all the browsing or network activity of the user, with the sole aim of isolating them from the actual internet. This means that the browsing process does not actually occur in the user’s device but in a virtual environment. The significance of this is that assuming there’s a cyber attack, the effect will never reach the user’s actual device but only around the virtual environment. Moreover, many browser isolation solutions ensure they scan a web page of any cyber threat before granting user access to the virtual environment.
Nevertheless, browser isolation can first occur by removing the actual browsing activity from a user’s device and moving it to a virtual environment. Secondly, the browser isolation solution can also automatically delete or destroy a user’s browsing data and environment after each session. The implication is that a user can connect back to a clean or free browser image for another browsing session.
Types of Browser Isolation
Client-side Browser Isolation
Client-side browser isolation is the type that loads web pages and the browsing activity of users through special software that has been installed on the user’s device. This special software also employs the method of creating a virtual environment for each browsing session.
On-premise Browser Isolation
This is another type of browser isolation that organizations mainly use as they are the ones who fully take over the administrative roles. It still offers the same service of administering isolated browsing sessions, but the organization internally manages it.
Remote Browser Isolation
Remote browser isolation is growing to become the most popular form of browser isolation due to the ease and fastness it offers to users. Moreover, this browser isolation allows smooth usage for individuals and organizations. The significant difference between this type and the others is that it uses a cloud server to isolate user browsing sessions. Any interaction between the user and elements on the internet happens in the cloud, meaning there’s no interaction with the user’s device.
Common Cyber Threats Which Browser Isolation Can Prevent
Below are some of the cyber threats that can be kept at bay whenever a user or organization uses browser isolation:
Drive-by downloads are a cyber threat whereby malicious content is downloaded when a user visits or loads a web page. Browser security solutions like LayerX and browser isolation prevent drive-by downloads from happening.
Browser isolation also prevents users from clicking or visiting a website they didn’t intend to visit. Click-jacking is a technique that cyber attackers employ to generate ad revenue and sometimes initiate drive-by downloads.
Redirect threats are when a user is forced to visit a website they didn’t intend to visit, which is one of the things browser isolation prevents.
When a cross-site scripting attack happens, it often allows a cybercriminal to steal things like session cookies and login tokens. However, browser isolation helps prevent cross-site scripting from happening, preventing any form of impersonation.
Browser isolation is a top browser security solution offering a wide range of services to protect users from many cyber threats. There are three major classifications of this type of browser security tool, and they include client-side, on-premise, and remote browser isolation. Assuming an organization starts using browser isolation, some of the threats it can protect against are cross-site scripting, drive-by downloads, and redirect attacks.