Users surfing the web on traditional browsers has been the thorn in the side of cybersecurity teams since the dawn of malware. Web isolation completely neutralizes this risk.

The influx of cyberthreats targeting organizations, their users and customers has made risk mitigation a top concern.

No matter what risk framework an organization uses —enterprise risk management system (ERMS), Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR), Service Organization Control (SOC) Type 2 or one of the many others — organizations tend to have a risk profile of “low” to “low-moderate.” At a small organization, this is not a hard proposition to achieve, but when an organization is larger, achieving that risk profile can be difficult.

One of the greatest risk drivers is the use of conventional web browsers. Any user has the potential to view a webpage that may cause harm to the organization. Increased user awareness and training has been a favored way to combat this risk. But homegrown and even specialized third-party training only reduces the risk slightly. There is still the potential for a user to click on a malicious link from an email, or they could browse to a malicious website that could download malware, such as ransomware, or cause a malicious redirect to occur.

There is a better way to reduce the risk in a more significant manner: web isolation.

Traditional browsers are the biggest cyber risk to organizations

When looking at the biggest cyber risk that organizations face, many would think it’s users.But in reality it’s that users browse the internet with conventional web browsers that offer no real protection against cyberthreats.

Keeping up with ensuring the latest version of browsers is in use, patching browser vulnerabilities makes for temporal, unreliable security. Indeed, vulnerability management is the greatest cybersecurity challenge many organizations face as they have to install, test, and validate patches before being deployed. That testing and validation takes time, all the while the organization is vulnerable to cyberthreats.

There are other aspects of an organization’s network infrastructure and architecture that are vulnerable to cyberthreats. One is the inability to accurately monitor or achieve the visibility necessary to combat the threats users face when browsing the internet. While many organizations are postured to remediate cyberthreats after they happen, the lack of real time monitoring when it comes to the accidental download of malware is cause for concern. This is due to the nature of network infrastructure and architecture in that it is meant to allow or deny an action on the network, not to conduct live monitoring of what is going on within the network.

Another concern is the amount and type of training that is offered by organizations to help combat cyberthreats and other cyber-related issues. Ever since the internet has been used by everyone in an organization, there has been training around how to spot certain threats like phishing links in emails or the attempt by a website to download a file that might be malicious.

While the training offered by many organizations or third parties hired to build the training programs is robust, it’s up to the users to understand that information and use it when the time comes. Since many organizations make users conduct this training annually, with it sometimes being the same training content every year, it can be seen by some as useless — they do not gain any new knowledge or understanding of what they should do when they inadvertently open a link in a phishing email or browse to a malicious link.

Web isolation: a better way to browse the internet

There’s a better way to browse the internet that ensures an organization is protected against the myriad of cyberthreats out there: web isolation.

Using a cloud-based browser allows for safe browsing of the internet while providing users with a familiar experience and much-needed protection against cyberthreats. By isolating a user’s session on cloud infrastructure, clicking on a phishing link in an email or malicious link from a web search or visiting a malicious website doesn’t put their organization at risk — the code from that website is never executed on the computer being used.

Instead, the user is merely seeing a benign video display of the web code rendered in the cloud.

Using Silo for Safe Access to isolate web browsing

Authentic8’s solution for cloud-based, isolated web browsing — Silo for Safe Access — delivers all of the security and user experience benefits described above. In addition, it gives IT administrators the ability to monitor and audit what users interact with through detailed logs which can be loaded into an organization’s SIEM. This allows for the audit of users’ activity to ensure they’re in compliance with their organization’s acceptable user agreement policy.

Reap the benefits of the web without risk or compromise

Isolated web browsing can significantly lower an organization’s risk profile. Cloud-based browser isolation allows users of an organization to browse the internet with the same experience as any traditional internet browser provides but with added protections and security. Executing all web-native code remotely ensures such codeit never reaches the endpoint, keeping an organization’s devices and network safe from malware and other cyberthreats.

To learn more about how Authentic8’s cloud-based web isolation solution can lower the risk profile of an organization, visit our website.

 

This is part one of a two-part post. To read the next installment, check out Mitigating risk in SOC investigations with managed attribution >

About the Author

Adam Huenke
Adam Huenke

Adam Huenke is an OSINT training lead at Authentic8. He has more than a dozen years’ experience as a cyber threat intelligence analyst including roles in the U.S. Marine Corp and U.S. Special Operations Command. 

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