Granting access to critical data or business apps in a zero-trust security model hinges on having granular context around users and their devices, networks, apps and data. Web isolation opens up a simpler path for IT to securely grant app access with precision.

Today’s business environment increasingly encompasses hybrid and remote workers, unmanaged ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) users and outsourced third parties or vendors/suppliers — all requiring access to your critical data on a daily basis. As phishing and malware grow more sophisticated and more adept at subverting traditional cybersecurity measures, companies face a more complex challenge to minimize risk — with an increasing number of variables that are difficult to control

For years, cybersecurity has relied heavily on block vs. allow, a black-and-white response to a technicolor world. But many access scenarios exist in a shade of gray: an employee downloading an email attachment on an unknown Wi-Fi network; the unmanaged device of a supplier copying sensitive data from a cloud app. 

That’s where web isolation comes in. Also known as remote browser isolation (RBI), web isolation can be easily inserted in these risky scenarios, acting as the control point to streamline application access. With this approach, IT can enforce zero-trust application access for any user, on any device, from any network, while protecting your data.

The rising challenge of security in the cloud era

More and more, people are accessing critical data and business applications in the cloud. Strict security measures may be in place at the office; but what about the growing numbers of remote workers, BYOD users and third parties, and the unmanaged devices or untrusted networks that come with them?

This presents a considerable amount of web-based activity outside the control of traditional security measures organizations have relied on for decades.

Look at some common, everyday examples. An employee is away traveling and needs to perform remote work, but they don’t have their corporate laptop with them. Or maybe their company laptop is out of commission. In either case, they might temporarily use their personal (unmanaged) device to get work done, or a third-party device. Accessing the web or network resources like email, Google drives or Sharepoint could introduce risk, and IT has been left with blunt or cumbersome solutions to mitigate it.

Common solutions — and their drawbacks

  • Virtual desktops (or remote display) gives users access to enterprise data and applications from anywhere. But it’s difficult for users to use and requires the installation of all of your standard security controls, which increases cost.
  • VPNs create secure connections to a corporate network, but provide a user with too much access (as opposed to access to just the resource needed) and do not protect organizations from a potentially compromised device.
  • Enterprise browsers are a new option, but they are installable software applications. And the implication is that users must install a special browser on their computer. Users of unmanaged devices — or the IT organizations of the third parties you interact with — may be skeptical of installing software or even unwilling to do so.
  • Supplying managed devices, such as shipping corporate laptops to remote employees or third-party vendors, reduces the BYOD risk factor. But it can be costly and delay work activities. Shipping overseas can take weeks and potentially become ensnared in customs issues. Mandating that third parties use your corporate devices can add significant friction.

In contrast, web isolation puts control of web-based activity back in the hands of IT, empowering them to quickly enable users with precision and simplicity.

How web isolation makes a difference

Essentially, web isolation provides a layer between what an organization knows and trusts (e.g., managed devices, internal network, public-facing apps and data, data in SaaS apps), and the many unknowns they cannot trust (unmanaged devices, third-party networks, external users, bad actors). 

Web isolation allows users to access and interact with web-based content via a benign video display of web code rendered in the cloud. By applying web isolation to application access, organizations can use this cloud as a sort of broker to protect data in SaaS apps from untrusted access scenarios and control how the data can be handled.

From a workflow standpoint, web isolation delivers another big win. It’s simple: it requires no change in end-user behavior — as critical data and apps can be accessed seamlessly in any browser — yet it delivers a huge improvement toward zero-trust risk management for the enterprise.

Learn more: Web isolation is an enabler, not just a controller

What to look for in a web isolation platform

  • Provides 100% isolation (not partial) for all web-based activity (not just certain types of content)
  • Clientless and cloud-based so it doesn’t require installation, can scale easily and is accessible from anywhere at any time
  • Transparent and seamless to the user workflow

Why SaaS for web isolation is the right fit

Cloud-based SaaS solutions for web isolation enable enterprises to meet zero-trust cybersecurity objectives faster and more cost-efficiently.

Along with zero-trust security, SaaS web isolation delivers another key benefit: simplicity.

  • Business as usual for the workforce. Users can interact online with their same familiar browsing environment, with seamless access to critical web-based data and business applications. Transparently in the background, the session is totally isolated from web-based risks and controlled by policy. 
  • No installation, maintenance. With a complete cloud-based solution, there’s no need for IT to install software or hassle with complex configurations. They can simply customize the solution with their own enterprise security policies for allowable access.

How Silo can help

With Zero-Trust Application Access from Silo, enterprises can maintain zero-trust control while enabling any user, on any device, anywhere access to the apps and data they need for their work. Restrict access to your essential apps through a fully isolated web browsing environment, and shield your data from untrusted access scenarios.

Zero-Trust Application Access gives organizations granular control for security policy enforcement, triggering the isolated environment based on the context of the user requesting access, their device and network. And IT can implement data leak protection policies (upload/download, copy/paste, print) to extend zero-trust capabilities to data at rest. 

See how the Silo Web Isolation Platform delivers zero trust security with speed, simplicity and scalability.  

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