Authored by Harish Kumar GS, Head, Enterprise & Government, Check Point Software Technologies, India & SAARC
CISOs face major challenges in 2023 when defending against threats coming from unmanaged devices, used by third-party service providers, or employee personal devices (BYOD) to access SaaS or corporate web applications. Those attacks have many faces, including stealing sensitive information like corporate data and credentials. The threat has become more pressing due to the tsunami-like surge of attacks over the past years and the growing number of BYOD policies at organizations.
Enterprises, like citadels, fortify their networks and data with sturdy walls (firewalls), vigilant guards (agents on endpoints), and advanced defense systems (cloud and IoT security). However, there is one vulnerability that has remained untouchable - the enemy infiltrators disguised as allies: Unmanaged devices which belong to third parties like contractors, partners, or freelancers. Just as you cannot ask a friendly visitor to surrender their weapons at the castle gate, you cannot ask contractors or freelancers to install intrusive agents on their devices due to privacy and performance concerns. Furthermore, in today's remote work era and widespread use of personal devices in the workplace, the challenge of managing these unmanaged devices is like a ticking time bomb, ready to blow up.
Web browsers serve as the primary interface between users (82% of breaches involved the human element), an organization, and the internet, rendering web pages, executing scripts, and storing sensitive information like passwords, cookies, and credit card details. With rising attacks and breaches, the security of web browsers is a crucial concern for organizations.
Browser security is fast becoming a critical aspect of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of browser security, the threats that organizations face, and how they can manage unmanaged devices to ensure the security of their network.
Web-borne security threats
As web browsers come to be the main interface between users and internet applications thanks to the rise of SaaS solutions, those web applications are an open door to many threats such as data loss and malicious file upload, since often, there is no endpoint security on third-party devices to mitigate the risks. As per a top official of cloud communications firm Tanla Platforms, about 30 crore people are vulnerable to phishing attacks in India, of which 5 lakh potentially fall prey to scamsters.
5 Common challenges and questions to ask yourself when allowing access to web applications from an unmanaged device.
· How do I manage access to these web applications?
· Do I have protection in place for my data? Can users download sensitive information to their personal computers?
· Can the user upload malicious files or other types of content to my organization’s web applications?
· Do I have visibility into the usage of data? Can data be copied, pasted, or printed outside of the web application?
How to mitigate those threats
As a security executive, you have two potential options to mitigate BYOD risks:
1. Strongly limit the accessibility of those unmanaged devices to your network and applications with inflexible policies and impose a restricted VPN (Virtual Private Network). This solution offers limited visibility and control to your security team as the devices remain unmanaged but with limited risk exposure.
2. Another option is for an organization to enable a web browsing security extension installed at the browser level. This solution is not invasive and allows your security team to manage policies for web page, web application access, file downloads/uploads, and protect against sensitive data leakage among other. Furthermore, it offers IT security teams visibility into threats to mitigate them before a breach occurs.
In short, web browser security is crucial for modern cybersecurity and organizations should take measures to secure their web browsers to protect against threats, sensitive information leaks, and maintain their reputation. This includes implementing security policies and using security software, especially due to the rise of remote work and use of personal devices in the workplace.
How does Check Point Harmony Browse help you secure unmanaged devices?
As a complete web browsing security solution, Harmony Browse can be deployed on all mainstream browsers in a matter of seconds.
In this way, your organization can enable a workforce with unmanaged devices such as consultants, temporary workers, and freelancers to browse your web applications safely. Users often unwittingly put their organizations at risk. Harmony Browse offers extensive web browsing protection to ensure your organization is protected from web security threats. Among its features, the solution prevents users from visiting phishing sites or downloading malware without compromising workers’ productivity.