Enhanced Browser Security Leveraging Virtualization Technology
The browser has become the primary point of compromise for a growing number of security threats. The Secure Browser is a security tool that addresses these concerns by providing a virtual instance of an Internet browser application. Fully contained from the system, all changes made to the system happen within the special virtualized container. This enables the Secure Browser to stop malicious attacks by containing them within its virtual space, which in turn, may be easily reset. The initial release of the Secure Browser features the Firefox web browser with Adobe Reader and Flash plug-ins preinstalled and ready to run as a Windows Installer setup (no repackaging required).
For further security, additional browser-specific features are provided for optional enforcement and control. If the browser should initiate a process, the user can be alerted to approve the execution. For even greater security white and black lists may be used to control what processes may be started by the browser. Finally, because where you go with a browser is perhaps the most basic means of mitigating risk, white and black lists may also be used to limit from which sites the browser may or may not load data.
The Secure Browser may be downloaded here as a free tool. Users of the K1000 Management Appliance gain additional unique controls through its ability to customize, remotely deploy, monitor and manage these secure Secure Browsers organization-wide. Particularly valuable is the ability to enforce white and black list entries for managed systems. The K1000 provides centralized deployment and management of the Secure Browser.
Secure Browser Operation
The Secure Browser functions as a normal browser would, but its application window has a subtle wrapper image that helps to differentiate it from traditional browser instances. Additionally, this user interface offers buttons to quickly reset its contents back to a fresh, clean state and to open its settings dialog where further information and controls are available.
The summary tab shows current statistics regarding use of the Secure Browser, as well as links to help and support. The Network Access and Process Control lists allow for local control over what sites and processes are allowed and which are blocked respectively. The Advanced tab includes an option to export settings which may then be provided to the K1000 Management Appliance in order to enforce those settings across one or more managed systems.
With the K1000 Management Appliance, you can enjoy remote monitoring of deployed Secure Browsers and their status. Administrators may optionally limit when they may be used, what sites may be visited and even what processes may be initiated by the browser. The web-based console also advises the current status of any managed Secure Browser and provides statistics such as the number of processes blocked, network accesses blocked, and how file and registry entry writes were prevented from affecting the system (and were instead contained). Administrators can remotely reset a Secure Browser and even disable or terminate one that is running.