March 24, 2021 report
Cloudflare enables browser isolation for teams of all sizes
Every time a user navigates to a website link, their web browser processes and downloads a great deal of external data to their local system. Organizations like Cloudflare help to ensure users can mitigate any risks posed by harmful content from the Internet.
Companies such as Cloudflare operate by switching the responsibility of unknown code execution from the user's device to an isolated remote browser. That way, even the most recent threats such as zero-day attacks will have a harder time accessing target assets and data.
Now, Cloudflare has introduced Cloudflare Browser Isolation for teams of any size. This feature presents as an add-on to their suite of zero trust security and secure web browsing services. From startups to large corporations, this add-on allows organizations to safely browse without installing complex network topologies or changing their web browser of choice.
However, despite the clear advantages of Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), many organizations have hesitated to implement such solutions over the years due to concern over impact to web browser performance. After all, the benefit of a security solution hardly seems to outweigh the risk of downtime or even just lags in network availability that could potentially result in decreased productivity.
Therefore, in light of long-standing negatively affected browser activity due to implemented RBI, many IT organizations only apply this enhanced security posture to highly targeted activities and users. Unfortunately, by assuming certain types of websites are inherently safe, many companies risk a vast array of potentially harmful websites left easily accessible by unsuspecting users.
In order to account for the ever-evolving Internet landscape, Cloudflare has built their Browser Isolation atop Chromium, the same engine that fuels other renowned web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Along with their new Network Vendor Rendering technique, the company helps to make sure web pages are rendered consistently and securely. Similar to a sandbox view, Network Vendor Rendering offers a snapshot of the content an unknown web page contains.
In terms of maintaining web browser speed while an RBI is active, Cloudflare has made their solution operate as fast as possible. Alongside Network Vendor Rendering's ability to display web page contents without significant bandwidth usage or decreased image quality, the team has also established remote browsers near all users connected to the Internet. This way, everyone involved can use the solution regardless of geographic location and proximity to a Cloudflare office.
As almost 30 million users in the U.S. do not have access to broadband Internet, Browser Isolation helps by offering those users with low bandwidth connections an equally secure browsing experience.
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