Enterprise browsers promise increased security and productivity

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Early February, start Isle unveiled a new kind of web browser – a software product that promises to help companies prevent employees from accessing potentially harmful content. The company’s new Chromium-based enterprise browser, also known as Island, is designed to meet enterprise security requirements by integrating basic protection needs directly into the browser itself.

Based in Dallas with research and development facilities located in Tel Aviv, Island is led by co-founder and CEO Mike Fey. Fey is a former president and COO of Symantec and former GM and CTO of McAfee. Island co-founder and CTO Dan Amiga invented web isolation technology and was previously founder and CTO of Fireglass, which was acquired by Symantec in 2017. Other companies offering enterprise browsers include Honeywell
and Zebra.

“While browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer offer some degree of centralized browser control, most widely used browsers are configured and managed by the end user, leaving the level of security essentially unmanaged,” says Mitchell Ashley, technology research director and consulting firm Techstrong Research.

Enterprise browsers, such as Island, give organizations the ability to manage, control, and enforce web browser governance while maintaining the same features and functionality as end users’ ingrained browser preferences, Ashley says. “Highly regulated industries and organizations with more stringent security, privacy, and governance requirements are likely candidates for high adoption of enterprise browsers,” he adds.

Enhanced enterprise browser security features

Kumar Avijit, Practice Director in the IT Services Team at the IT and Business Research Company Everest Group, notes that an enterprise browser can help reduce third-party risk: “In mainstream browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, many third-party plug-ins/add-ons can be downloaded from stores”, he declares. . “These third-party downloads can pose a serious security threat and, in some cases, contribute to shadow IT.” Enterprise browsers, on the other hand, give IT administrators more granular control over which apps and tools end users can download.

A business browser typically provides a range of enhanced security features, such as advanced content filtering, malware blocking, and phishing protection. “Additionally, the enterprise browser can be configured to automatically update with the latest security patches, ensuring that users are always running the most recent version of the browser and are protected against any new security threats,” says Ryan Fyfe, COO of Workpuls, a workforce productivity and analytics platform developer. Finally, by centrally managing their corporate browser deployment, IT administrators can more easily track all browsers in use within their organization and enforce corporate security policies across all user devices.

Among other features, a corporate browser can give administrators the ability to disable downloads, prevent access to malicious websites, block screenshots, and restrict platform usage. social media, thereby improving the overall security of the organization. “Enterprise browsers are designed with security in mind, making it easier to manage security teams,” says Avijit.

By providing easy access to granular-level controls, an enterprise browser can help a business ensure that its Internet use meets various industry compliance mandates, such as HIPAA
and PCI-DSS. “Additionally, businesses can monitor critical transactions and capture key actions,” says Avijit.

Team Productivity, Collaboration

By providing a secure and centralized platform for team collaboration, an enterprise browser can help improve team productivity. “With a centralized platform, team members can easily share files, collaborate on projects, and communicate with each other,” says Fyfe. “It can help improve communication and collaboration within teams and can help increase overall team productivity.” He adds that an enterprise browser can also offer workflow optimization technology, with features that help teams track project progress and identify bottlenecks.

Organizations can also turn to enterprise browsers as an alternative to using a Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the hosting of desktop environments on a central server. “Accessing mission-critical applications using traditional VDI technology has been a challenge for end users, due to the complexity,” says Avijit. “However, enterprise browsers, built securely and with granular controls [are] a key alternative for VDIs,” he notes. “The transition to enterprise browsers from VDI can improve customer satisfaction scores and increase team productivity.”

Concerns about enterprise browsers

Given all of its added capabilities and complexities, enterprise browsers can be more difficult to use than their consumer counterparts. “Also, they may not be as well supported… which may result in fewer updates and security patches,” warns Fyfe. “Finally, because enterprise browsers are designed for use in a corporate environment, they may not perform as well when used at home or on personal devices.”

In fact, the limited support for third-party app integration could prove to be a major barrier to widespread adoption. Enterprise browsers, depending on the technology stack they’re built on, can end up having very limited integration support, Avijit warns.

The enterprise browser concept is relatively new, so widespread adoption may not happen for some time, if ever. “We haven’t seen industry pull for enterprise browsers,” Avijit says. Still, he remains hopeful that growing security concerns could lead companies to take a hard look at the concept, noting that “there is some traction on themes, such as identity and access management, IoT/OT security and zero-trust security,” which could potentially fuel business interest.

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