Island Intros What It Calls the ‘World’s First Self-Protecting Browser’

Dallas-based Island, a startup unicorn valued at $1.3 billion in 2022 and a pioneer in the enterprise browser market, said its new offering is the ideal solution for organizations with extremely sensitive data and applications, to ensure safe operation even on devices beyond the organization’s control and traditional protections.

From left: Co-founder and CEO Mike Fey and co-founder and chief technology officer Dan Amiga. [Image: Islands]

Dallas-based tech unicorn Island has introduced Self-Protection for its Enterprise Browser, which the startup calls a fundamentally new approach and level of security for enterprise work.

Island, a startup unicorn valued at $1.3 billion in 2022 and a pioneer in the enterprise browser market, said its new offering is the ideal solution for organizations with extremely sensitive data and applications, to ensure safe operation even on devices beyond the organization’s control and traditional protections.

“Our customers are many of the largest and most sophisticated financial, healthcare, industrial, hospitality and technology pioneers in the world,” Island CTO and co-founder Dan Amiga said in a statement. “In these environments, we work closely with many of the most sophisticated red teams on Earth leveraging the most advanced techniques at their disposal. This allows us to see first-hand the challenges they face in securing their employees and extended workforce. We’ve carefully studied the attack landscape, and today we are releasing the industry’s most comprehensive built-in solution protecting the browser against the most sophisticated attacks.”

The Island Enterprise Browser defends itself against the majority of known and unknown web-based and physically local threats by building in-depth capabilities to protect attack vectors often used to exploit the browser footprint, the company said. Via Island Self-Protection, the company said it can help ensure the safe operation of the browser even within less-than-ideal environments.

Island Self-Protection mode                  

Island said its Self-Protection includes capabilities to protect in such areas as:

  • Protection from Memory, Process and File Exploitation: Advanced browser security prevents exploitation of the installable footprint of the browser, which includes advanced techniques to protect the browser’s memory, process, and file footprint from tampering attempts including anti-debugging tactics. Attempts to inject malicious code or tamper with these browser resources triggers an immediate audit and, by policy, enforces browser shutdown mode, thereby defeating the attack and preventing data exfiltration.
  • Encryption of Browser Resources: Provisions policy-driven encryption of the browser’s cache, cookies, password vault, and browser storage which prevents the extraction and reuse of any content from these critical browser data stores.
  • Protection Against Network-Based Attacks: Leverages techniques to detect and prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, whether from local unsecured or malicious Wi-Fi, and a broad range of network-based exploits. Upon detection of such attacks, the browser will audit the event and can prevent operation until the interception is removed.
  • Keystroke Logging Prevention: Provides highly complex capabilities to protect from locally installed software keystroke loggers surreptitiously attempting to capture a user’s keystrokes. By emulating false physical key presses, Island can fill a keystroke logger with garbage data, which making keystroke captures unusable.
  • Screen Capture Prevention: Delivers advanced screen capture prevention techniques to protect critical application engagements. When a malicious effort is made to record or capture screens of critical applications, the screens will simply be inaccessible to screen capture by the malicious actor.
  • Device Integrity Controls: Ensures device meets appropriate organizational criteria for accessing critical application footprint. This includes ensuring any existing EPP software or other controls are up-to-date.
  • Attack Surface Reduction: Protects critical browser javascript APIs from opportunistic exploitation by removing their availability when engaging untrusted destinations.
  • Local Browser Isolation: Governs local mechanics of the browser’s real-time compilation mechanics to isolate them from attempts to inject malicious code into the browser’s operation.
  • Deep Extension Protection: Ensures proper extension usage via Island Extension Guard that governs which extensions can and cannot be used, and how they can be leveraged. This can ensure that a harmful extension cannot be leveraged to exploit critical application resources.
  • Hardened Browser Policy: Manages browser capabilities by policy to govern proper use of such core browser elements as developer tools, page source viewing, user settings, and command line interactions.
  • User Safe Browsing: In addition to protection of the browser itself, Island protects the end users from the dangers of the Internet by delivering anti-phishing, URL categorization, threat intelligence, and malware inspection.

Desktop of the future

“The innovation within Island Self-Protection represents a fundamentally new approach to how organizations with highly valuable data can think of using the browser as a critical asset within their architecture, and finally begin to stop attacks at the point of impact,” Island CEO and co-founder Mike Fey said in a statement. “The goal should be to take the victory away from cyber criminals, and we have done just that with Island’s new capabilities to ensure a safe operating experience where other browsers fail to do so.”

Island calls its Enterprise Browser the desktop of the future, empowering organizations to protect users and data and embed productivity features at the very point where they interact with SaaS and internal web applications.

Using the Island Enterprise Browser, the company said that security teams fully control the last mile, from basic protections such as copy, paste, download, upload, and screenshot capture, to more advanced security demands such as data redaction, watermarking, and multifactor authentication insertion.

Island said it’s applicable across a growing number of enterprise use cases, including securing critical SaaS and internal web applications from data leakage, safe access for contractors and BYOD workers, and full governance over privileged user accounts.

Native user experience for hybrid workers

Enterprise Browser also provides a native user experience for the hybrid worker in contrast to costly and poor-performing virtual desktop infrastructure, while supporting built-in safe browsing, web filtering, web isolation, exploit prevention, and Zero Trust network access at much lower cost, Island said.

Automation of repetitive tasks, customized workflows, and frictionless adoption also help organizations realize increased productivity and better user experience, the company said.

In March, Island announced its support for legacy applications that rely on Internet Explorer. The move came as Microsoft continues to execute its End-of-Life plan for the browser.

While the transition to migrate customers fully off Internet Explorer has been several years in the making, some businesses still need Internet Explorer to operate critical legacy applications, Island said.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • Island Co-founder & CEO Mike Fey

    Island, a Dallas-based unicorn that emerged from stealth last February, was valued at $1.3 billion in March. It continues to attract big investments for its Enterprise Browser, which protects companies' SaaS tools and internal web apps from data leaks with a long list of security features. "Being able to further validate our valuation, even with the headwinds facing the broader market, is an honor,” Island CEO and co-founder Mike Fey said.

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