Are Your Endpoint Devices Giving Hackers the Keys?

DANIEL MILLER on January 09, 2018 | 1

The business of cyberattacks is white-hot. In 2017 alone, bulked-up malware strains have compromised progressive, security-centric enterprises at a dizzying pace. We saw prevalent ransomware outbreaks such as WannaCry affecting more than a third of the NHS, and Petya / NotPetya taking out companies ranging from Maersk to Merck. In a much-delayed revelation, Uber announced that it, too, fell victim to ransomware, paying hackers $100,000 to hush a breach in which the personal information of 57 million customers was stolen. The incident – and the company’s reaction to it -- underscores the flaws of today’s security frameworks, the high cost (financial and otherwise) to companies, and the pressing need for new methods and techniques.

The ubiquity of cloud applications for businesses, combined with the need for Internet connectivity to support all types of tasks, creates ample opportunities for hackers to gain entry through the weakest links -- browsers and their users.  Today, the most vulnerable and frequently exploited attack vector is the Web browser. Employee devices can easily become infected by malware when users click on a rogue link in an email or initiate a seemingly friendly file download from a website. According to its 2016 Security Bulletin, Kaspersky Lab solutions identified and repelled 758 million malicious attacks launched from online resources located in 212 countries all over the world.

Cyberattacks can cripple an organization, with consequences ranging from downtime and lost productivity to fallout from a public relations crisis. At its core, a breach impacts the trust between an organization and its customers, investors and business partners, especially if sensitive information was exposed. It can be extremely difficult to re-earn trust once it has been violated.

Detection-based security solutions like secure web gateways, firewalls, antivirus solutions, and sandboxes are essential but not failproof, especially as hackers become increasingly clever. Signature-based solutions are powerless against zero-day attacks, and malicious agents have become expert at designing malware that feigns good behavior until it clears heuristic-based solutions and sandboxes. So, given the frequency of attacks, the vulnerability of users and browsers, and the financial impact of successful attacks, what are enterprises to do? 

Browser Isolation, the Next Frontier in Cybersecurity

Security-minded enterprises are augmenting existing frameworks with a multi-pronged, defense-in-depth approach that integrates remote browser isolation along with detection-based solutions. The rationale for remote browser isolation is to prevent malicious content from ever entering the network.  The safest, most secure way to ensure that ransomware, drive-by downloads and phishing attacks are kept out is to make sure they never even get close.

With remote browser isolation, web browsing is fully isolated from the endpoint device.  Web pages load in a virtual browser in a one-time-use remote container located away from the organization’s network, in a “safe zone.” The remote browser renders active code as a clean content stream that is transmitted in real time to the user’s local browser, providing a seamless, natural, and interactive browsing experience. A newly created container is allocated for every remote browsing session and tab, and then destroyed once the user exits the session or tab.

Remote browser isolation offers an added layer of security, enabling enterprises to lock down endpoint vulnerabilities while providing users with full access to the Internet.  The effectiveness, native user experience and transparent browsing functionality offered by RBI are just a few of the reasons why it was named a top technology in 2017 by Gartner

As you plan your 2018 cybersecurity initiatives, and consider how to keep the keys to your network away from the hackers who want them, be sure to explore remote browser isolation. Because it’s safer to keep hackers far from the door, where even jimmying locks is beyond their reach, than to just keep the keys out of their hands.

 

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 Browsers are the Target: A Massive Information Security Challenge

 

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Author | 32 Blog Posts

Daniel Miller

Director of Product Marketing | Ericom Software

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