Strategies to Secure Web Browsers from Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attack

Businesses today, irrespective of their size, type, and industries, have web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Apple Safari installed on their business systems. This has exposed the entire business network to various cyber threats and risks, which has made it essential for the SecOps teams to secure them to reduce the threats.

According to a recent report published by WatchGuard titled “Internet Security Report – Q2 2022,” it witnessed a nearly 23% increase in browser malware detection from Q1 to Q2. Moreover, the report also highlights that Chrome malware detections were increased by nearly 50%. The numbers are quite alarming and demand businesses to strengthen their web browser security posture to minimize the attacks.

Also Read: Strengthening Enterprise Cyber Defences with Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

Why are cybercriminals using web browsers as vectors?

Attackers are honing their techniques, knowing what technologies are out there and what is being deployed by enterprises as part of their security stack to secure web browsers. Attacks will become more evasive, more ingenious, and more focused on bypassing these existing security defenses as adversaries come up with new and novel ways of getting around them. Attackers will continue to evolve their attack methods to infiltrate the business network through browsers, while organizations continue to rely on traditional ‘detect and respond’ techniques that are no longer fit for purpose. Another report published by Menlo Security observed that they observed an almost 224% increase in HEAT attacks in the second half of 2021. Here are a few strategies that CISOs can consider to minimize cyber-attacks:

Keep browsers on all the systems updated

It is crucial for all the SecOps teams to ensure that all the web browsers on all the systems should be updated in real time and should never be overlooked. Cybercriminals are on the prowl to look out for flaws in web browsers which they can leverage to compromise the system and move laterally in the network. CISOs should ensure they have automated patching workflows integrated to keep the browsers updated to the latest versions. Creating awareness about keeping all browsers updated will help businesses to protect themselves from various browser attacks.

“Vendors are now looking at ways to add security controls directly inside the browser. Traditionally, this was done either as a separate endpoint agent or at the network edge, using a firewall or secure web gateway. The big players, Google and Microsoft, are also in on the act, providing built-in controls inside Chrome and Edge to secure at a browser level rather than the network edge,” adds Jonathan.

Leverage HTTPS

While the end users visit any website, it is crucial that they use a site with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is more secure and encrypted. SecOps teams can educate the entire workforce on how to identify these sites, or they can use an automated tool that restricts the users from accessing the sites that are not HTTPS.

“Browser attacks are increasing, with attackers exploiting new and old vulnerabilities and developing new attack methods like HTTP Smuggling. Remote browser isolation is becoming one of the key principles of Zero Trust security where no device or user – not even the browser – can be trusted,” adds Jonathan.

It is crucial for businesses to create awareness in the workforce about identifying malicious sites and ensure they do not access them.

Also Read: Key Strategies for Enterprise Cybersecurity in 2023

Set unique passwords

Using one password on multiple sites makes it easy for the attacks to compromise the system and steal users’ sensitive data. Because these criminals can get access to data on various applications and servers if they crack that one single password, SecOps teams should design and enforce stringent password management policies to avoid credential thefts.

Implementing tools to strengthen the security of web browsers is essential for businesses of every size, type, and industry. A resilient web browser security posture will enable enterprises to be secured from various threats and risks that cybercriminals can deliver through these browsers.

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