Using Browser Isolation To Defend Against Common Cyber Threats

Many individuals and large organizations employ different types of security techniques to protect against many cyber threats while using a web browser. The web browser is amongst the most targeted software by many cyber attackers, and a successful attack usually leads to loss of data and resources. Many individuals and organizations share and store information on the web browser, requiring them to secure it.

Browser isolation is among the top browser security methods deployed to prevent some common cyber threats from being successful. Moreover, there are different types of browser isolation, and users can choose depending on their security needs. Below, we will provide comprehensive information about how browser isolation works and the common cyber threats it can protect against.

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What is Browser Isolation?

Browser isolation is a cyber security technique for browser users whereby loading and displaying web pages on a device locally is separated from the user’s activity. In other words, while employing browser isolation, users can access many other browsing functions besides loading and displaying the web pages locally.

To fully understand how browser isolation works, we need to dive deep into how browsing works for most users. When a user visits a website, the code and the web page content are loaded and displayed directly inside the user’s device. Considering how complex the internet is, this is very risky as the code or web page can contain malicious content. Hence, browser isolation is a security method employed to load and display web pages away from a user’s device before they can access and view it.

In some cases, websites that appear to be secured (those with SSL certificates) can still be manipulated by cybercriminals to steal user data. Hence, most browser isolation solutions employ a zero-trust approach, terming every website unsafe until proven otherwise. It is essential to point out that there are different types of browser isolation, and we will look at them closely below.

Types of Browser Isolation

In the classification of browser isolation solutions, they are three major types, and they include:

On-premise Browser Isolation

On-premise browser isolation is a type of browser isolation that deploys its operation processes under the complete control of its owner. This type of browser isolation performs the same functions as the others, such as sandboxing and creating virtual environments for safe browsing. The only difference is that the server where this sandboxing happens is under the control and administration of the organization or individual using it.

Client-side Browser Isolation

Client-side browser isolation is another form of browser isolation with a unique implementation strategy. Remember, in the definition of browser isolation, we said the main loading and displaying of web pages doesn’t happen on the user’s device. However, client-side browser isolation loads the web pages on the user’s device; the only difference is that there’s a special software present.

It is like using browser-agnostic platforms like LayerX, where software initiates the policies that ensure safe browsing. Furthermore, client-side browser isolation uses this software to separate the user’s browsing activity from other device parts. This way, the device won’t be wholly affected, assuming a successful cyber attack.

Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)

Remote browser isolation is the most popular form, and individuals and organizations use it in large numbers. One of the things that separates this type from the others is that it tries to keep the main browsing activity as far as possible from the user’s device or endpoint. The user’s web browsing activity is conducted under a highly sophisticated and sandboxed cloud server to achieve this aim.

So whenever the remote browser isolation solution processes a function, it transmits the result to the user’s device. By employing this method, users can interact with many websites like they usually do without loading any web page or content on their device. This process reduces security risks as much as possible due to a lack of contact with the user’s endpoints.

What Cyber Threats Browser Isolation Defend?

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Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are often considered typical, but they are one of the most dangerous attacks that can lead to severe cases of data and resource theft. Nevertheless, deploying a browser isolation solution ensures one can see through a phishing attack before it succeeds. Apparently, any suspected phishing link or web page is removed before the user finally accesses the page.

Drive-by Download

Drive-by download happens when a user visits a website, and it automatically begins to download a malicious element into a user’s device. Isolating the user’s device from the actual browsing ensures that no payload or malicious content from a drive-by download gets to the user’s device.

Data Loss

Data loss is a serious case for many organizations as employees can intentionally or unintentionally provide access to sensitive data. Hence, browser security solutions like LayerX and browser isolation prevent data loss by limiting what users can upload to the internet. In some cases, some of these security tools often prevent specific actions, such as copy and paste and screen sharing.

Malicious Ads

Some web advertisements were put up by cybercriminals, targeting users who clicked on them. Sometimes, clicking on these malicious ads leads to the installation of elements or payloads such as trackers and malicious plugins. Browser isolation removes every malicious advertisement and tracker before a user can access a web page.

Redirect Attack

A redirect attack is when you try to access a legitimate web page; you are automatically taken to another website without your consent. In most cases, the user is redirected to another website controlled by a cyber attacker; this is something browser isolation prevents from happening.



Above, we discussed the meaning of browser isolation, how it works, the types, and the cyber threats it can protect a user from. Browser isolation is a security tool that attempts to make browsing safe by creating a sandboxed environment for loading web pages outside the user’s device.

There are three major types of browser isolation: on-premise, client-side, and remote browser isolation. Some cyber threats against which browser isolation protects are redirect attacks, phishing attacks, malicious advertisements, data loss, drive-by downloads, and many others.

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