With more remote employees diving into the world of cloud computing through their browsers, concerns are being raised about the security of their access. In recent years, browser isolation technologies have become more popular as a way for companies to enhance their security measures to protect both their own data and that of employees working remotely. The technology used in browser isolation comes in the form of a security-enhanced browser locally or by connecting to a remote virtual machine running a proprietary browser.
The average worker now spends around 75% of their workday in the cloud or in virtual meetings, according to the Forrester report. This shows that browsers are emerging as one of the main areas of focus when taking protective measures. The transition to cloud infrastructure and remote work has made companies rely heavily on browsers, exposing them to a broad attack surface where cybercriminals can easily access the system to steal valuable data.
Amit Jain, Senior Director of Product Management at Zscaler, has flagged the rising necessity for browser isolation as modern enterprise applications increasingly depend on the internet as a new corporate network. Jain noted that the internet has opened up new opportunities for remote working and has enabled workers to access the information needed for their jobs wherever they are, on any device. But the dire consequences of an expanded attack surface and potential data exposure cannot be ignored.
The adoption of additional defenses like browser isolation has become very important to protect both the users’ devices and services. A survey carried out by a marketing and market-research firm showed that over 50% of companies already deployed some form of browser isolation by 2023, a percentage that is expected to continually rise in the years to come. Although estimates of the popularity of the security measure vary widely across different industry reports, a 2018 Gartner report estimated that approximately a quarter of these companies would use browser isolation to secure some employees before 2022.
Forrester Research has not provided specific data on the widespread implementation of browser isolation, but the company noted more than half of the users of their survey indicating doing all their work in the browser.
One critical decision organizations have to make, however, falls under the choice of whether to run the isolated browser remotely or locally. Large organizations in regulated sectors tend to opt for remote browser isolation because of how easy it is to deploy, while small and mid-sized businesses tend to prefer local browser isolation since it offers more flexibility and choice.
Besides, security firms are recommending more assistance in developing a zero-trust architecture and raising employee awareness of cybersecurity to mitigate the rising threat of cyberattacks. The need for better measures against these attacks is due to the constant development of new hacking techniques and targets that require new strategies and approaches.
By implementing a browser isolation ecosystem, firms can adopt zero-trust architectures that offer protection for web activity and prevent data loss from sanctioned SaaS and private apps. Companies may also prefer to use endpoint detection and response solutions for browser isolation, and some anti-virus software can offer cloud-based isolation.
Organizations that want to implement browser isolation should work with their employees to make them understand why this security measure is being taken and the necessity of additional security measures. Furthermore, choosing a platform that doesn’t interfere with the user’s digital experience is crucial for overall user adoption