Since the launch of the Secure Browser service in March 2018, we have seen its adoption spread across a variety of customer use cases. In the research and development work leading up to the launch, we had a few vertical industry use cases in mind, but in less than a year it has gotten traction far beyond what we envisioned.
This clearly highlights that customers across industries and in various geographies acknowledge that surfing the web — while a necessity in today’s digital world — is a serious threat not to be taken lightly. One of the safest ways to surf is on somebody else’s machine in somebody else’s network, leaving no trace of your device or organisation behind.
So, let’s explore some of the use cases and verticals where this service has resonated. By far, this has gained the most interest in the Financial industry, where the ability to provide a cloud-based internet browsing solution without exposing the institution to web-borne threats has been the driving business case. Due to the associated risk, many companies in this space have completely forbidden internet browsing from within the company network. Depending on the size and location of the customer (read: “local regulations and compliance rules”), some have deployed the Secure Browser service to their entire workforce, while others have used this service to give surfing possibilities to their social media teams or HR and recruiting departments.
The HR/recruiting use case is a common one across verticals. Here, it is not so much about protecting the company from unwanted web payloads, but rather about hiding the company’s identity while researching or searching potential candidates. With the browser being a run in a disposable session in a public cloud, there is nothing that can be read in terms of IP address, browser type, cookies, etc. that can reveal who is looking. The very same scenario and business case unfolds in law enforcement and similar functions as well, though the reason for the research is clearly different.
Several “security conscious” Government offices have been keen users of virtualization when accessing non-trusted networks (aka “dirty networks”). Many of these used Citrix Virtualization techniques, some even with Hypervisor Introspection to build a secure internet access solution decades — before the word “Cloud” came to mean something different than a weather phenomenon, or a chemical catalyst used to boost creativity in the music sector in the late 60s. These solutions, while perfectly fulfilling their purpose, demand investment in compute power as well as in skilled resources to build and manage. This is something that often is beyond the possibilities of small and medium sized organizations.
For these smaller organizations, the power of a cloud service really comes into play. The Secure Browser service brings the ability to offer a cost-effective and secure way for manufacturing floor employees to surf during breaks, the ability to confirm price match programs in retail shops, safe and stealth browsing for legal offices, general surfing for kiosks in hotels and physician practices, just to mention a few options. The fact that there is no infrastructure investment and only a small starting fee has brought this solution to a new range of customers for whom building an on-prem solution is out of question.
I often get the question, “How applicable is this for the mobile worker who might not be worried about protecting the network they happen to be on in the cafeteria, lounge, or coffee shop?” Well, these mobile workers usually work with BYO devices and use them not just at coffee houses or on airplanes, not to mention in the office, and also at home. And in most homes, there is usually a network that has all the music and movies, all the photos and videos of kids, relatives, and fun moments with friends. These are things people don’t want to put at risk. Speaking of… when was the last time you backed u your home network? Was the backup done to a device that was not connected to the internet? I digress…
Again, this is just what we’ve seen in the last eight months. As we continue to extend the availability of the service, I’m sure more interesting use cases will show up.
To see for yourself just how easy it is to get going with the Secure Browser service — in less than 10 minutes — please check out this guide for getting started.