Secure Remote Browsing Through Isolation – The Citrix Challenges

Secure Remote Browsing Through Isolation – The Citrix Challenges

There are numerous players in the world of virtualization platforms and though each platform has it’s own fan base and likewise, its own detractors, Citrix is typically considered a leader in the space. And it’s easy to understand why; Citrixs’ main goal is to make the procurement of information as streamlined as possible, something which anyone in the high-intensity corporate world can appreciate. Citrix supports multi-platform clients, making it accessible for anyone at any time.

Citrix Security challenges

Though Citrix clearly has plenty to offer its users, one of the biggest challenges as the most advanced desktop and publish application host it has is protecting the desktop connectivity to the internet and protect browsers from malicious attacks by those seeking your data or hoping to disrupt workflow. Despite whatever collection of firewalls, sandboxing and endpoint solutions you might have deployed in your security operations center, new threats have the unfortunate ability to hit networks long before security vendors ever get the chance to create patches and signatures to fend them off, regardless of whether or not you’re using a virtualization platform.

 

If the recent spate of ransomware affecting enterprises of all shapes and sizes tells us anything, it’s that one of the most notable security concerns today lies in browser-born malware. Typically, ransomware, along with other threats like Trojans and injectors are delivered to devices via vulnerabilities in browsers. Citrix can help organizations to isolate the access to malicious URLs or from visiting websites that just happen to deliver drive-by zero-day threats. And considering that 20 percent of the top 1 million websites are running outdated software, users are never all that far away from potential danger.

 

Those pesky browsers harbor another pressing concern that using Citrix alone doesn’t address – they tend to leak more data than your old faucet leaks water. Although quick and easy access to information on the web is paramount to almost any working environment nowadays, every time a user opens a browser for internal and Internet browsing at the same time, they run a real chance of exposing mounds of data, such as location, connections, the hardware and software installed on the system, and more. The truth is that unless users are actively combating it, they are being tracked relentlessly by their browsers and scarier still, this information can be easily scraped by other websites and used in a myriad of nefarious ways. The tons of plugins, extensions and add-ons that users download do wonders to make an insecure situation even less secure.

 

Gartner Recommends Remote Browsing

 

So clearly, there are many privacy and security issues yet unaddressed even while using Citrix. To effectively combat this issue, Gartner recommends using Remote Browsing, which they call one of the “Top 10 Technologies” to watch in information security for 2016. Also referred to as Browser Isolation and Secure Browsing, this technology separates the browsing function from the remainder of the corporate network, preventing browser-borne malware from affecting any processes.

 

Remote browsing is the smart and effective way to secure your endpoints without creating friction for your users along the way. In an isolated browsing environment, all browsing activity is controlled and launched on a remote server, allowing users to surf the web anonymously, while isolating all internal secured application browsing, thus preventing malicious web content from affecting your network. It also isolates any email activity and allows for safe downloading of files. And since according the the Ponemon Institute, 55 percent of attacks today begin with browser insecurities such as delivering malware via email attachments, rogue URLs or infected websites, all this, in turn, reduces the attack surface from which attackers can launch their assaults.

 

Malicious actors understand that in order to get what they want, they need to revamp their tactics often – very often. Relying on point solutions that are dependent on signatures and updates gives them a significant advantage, one that no business can afford to risk. The key to real security is in physical and not only logical  isolation; that is, complete separation from the threats that exist in the great wide openness that is the Internet.

 

To find out how you can create a truly secure Citrix environment, check out our comprehensive article addressing the top Citrix infrastructure challenges for secure browsing.

 

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02/10/2016

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