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What is Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)?

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The rise in browser-based attacks is the outcome of digitization and increased use of web browsers for online services. Employees are becoming vulnerable to browser-based attacks, which traditional heuristic and detection-based techniques cannot efficiently tackle. Stealthy and sophisticated attacks often breach the security perimeter and compromise end-user systems.

According to Sans Institute's report, 48 percent of threats entered enterprises through web-based drive-by download attacks. The study reported that browser-borne malware attacks cost companies US$ 3.2 million (on average) per year.

It's indisputable that organizations should invest in remote browser isolation to guard against web-based attacks. Remote browser isolation technology is highly effective, simple to use, and offers numerous advantages for companies of all sizes. Here’s what you need to understand about this innovative solution and its benefits.

What is Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)?

Website redirection and phishing are well-known attacks techniques wherein users unwittingly browse a malicious page that steals user credentials or delivers malware to their systems. The best way to address this issue is through isolated browsing for remote employees. 

Remote browser isolation is also known as web isolation or browser isolation. It isolates employees' remote browsing sessions from their systems or devices. This virtualization technique moves browser execution from a user's device to a secure environment. This "secure" environment could be a remote cloud-based environment or an isolated space locally on the user's device.

According to a Gartner Inc. report, by 2022-end, 25 percent of enterprises will adopt browser isolation techniques. Browser isolation ensures no hostile attempts or malware code gets access to the endpoint systems of the enterprise. Remote browser isolation is emerging as a trusted web threat protection tool.

How does Remote Browser Isolation work?

The internal architecture of virtualization depends on containerization or virtualization. When an attacker delivers malicious code through hostile websites, the web browser accepts and executes those codes. Remote browser isolation eliminates this in-browser code execution to protect employees from downloading anything illicit. 

The remote browser isolation technique pushes the entire execution of the browser to an isolated yet secure browsing environment hosted in the cloud. It completely executes browsing within the sandboxed environment. Therefore, all the malicious actions, like wicked email attachments, zero-day malware, ransomware, wicked scripts, or adware, get filtered out, and the employee enjoys a filtered browsing experience. 

Once remote browser isolation filters the session, it delivers the page to the user for regular browsing. The temporary sandboxed environment later gets disposed of from the isolated cloud environment. This process enables employees to browse potentially malware-laden sites with little or no risk. But remote browser isolation solutions are expensive and often add latency to the connection.

Benefits of Remote Browser Isolation 

Remote browser isolation is a cutting-edge technique to secure the browsing experience for employees. Let us explore some benefits of RBI:

  • Prevents phishing: When users unknowingly click a phishing link or open a phishing email, the remote browser isolation solution will sanitize the email text, scan the attachments, check the link for redirection, and other critical factors. Should the solution detect a phishing email or link that leads to a malicious web page or URL, it will immediately halt and isolate the process.

  • Prevent zero-day attacks: Web-based zero-day attacks have become common due to the increased use of web applications. Traditional security solutions can stop suspicious or harmful attacks whose pattern or signature is known to the system. But remote browser isolation uses advanced techniques to prevent systems from zero-day browser-based attacks.

  • Preventing exfiltration of confidential data: Security admins can configure the remote browser isolation settings so employees can browse suspicious web pages in read-only mode. That way, employees cannot provide or input any credentials to malicious sites. Remote browser isolation security settings allow employees to browse only trusted sites. All these measures prevent the exfiltration of confidential enterprise or employee details.

  • Generate details of employee activity logs: During the remote instance of remote browser isolation, it will log all activities of different employees. Through these activity logs, admins can review the cybersecurity incident, understand its root cause, and act accordingly. These logs also help in cyber forensics, training ML algorithms, and protecting infrastructure from attacks.

Conclusion 

Browser-based threats, such as credential stuffing, phishing, drive-by download attacks, and web app vulnerability exploitation, have become commonplace. Remote browser isolation solutions can help businesses to ward off these threats.

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