A company focused on guarding against malware infections from Web-based software applications has found that the best way to protect against such threats is to create a separate browser solely for work computing. Trusteer on Wednesday launched the Trusteer Secure Web Access Service that workers can download onto their laptops, tablets, smartphones or other portable devices in order to view work-related apps securely. Workers could then use a commercial Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome for their personal browsing.
To use the Secure Web Access Service, end users would download the browser to their devices and then, when they wanted to access a Web application, the browser would scan the device for the presence of malware. If no problems were found, users could access the application, and both the session and data sent back and forth through the browser would be secured. If the browser detected malware, access to the app would be blocked.
If access is blocked, there are a few options the end user has for remediation, depending on the employer's security policy, says Mickey Boodaei, chief executive officer of Trusteer. "They could block you from connecting entirely, they could remove the malware and allow you to connect, or allow you to connect to a limited amount of Web applications," he says. "It depends on the sensitivity of the information that is being accessed and the severity of the malware that has been found."
The Trusteer Secure Web Access Service is designed for those situations in which employees bring their own mobile devices into the workplace, such as iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tabs or anyone of a number of smartphones, he says. "You basically have zero control over what [employees] are doing once they are not connected to your network, and they could easily get infected with malware."
The service, which starts at $35 per device per year, protects against what Boodaei calls "man-in-the-middle" and "man-in-the-browser" malware attacks. A man-in-the-middle attack is one in which an attacker manages to basically sit in between the endpoint device and the Web site the user is trying to reach. The attack system acts as a proxy that can read all the information being sent between the device and the site, and can also tamper with that information.