Cyber attacks have increased at an alarming rate since the induction of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with a 600% increase of cybercrime due to an uptick of phishing email schemes without any sign of ceasefire. As a result, your web browser is more vulnerable than ever to attacks from organized cyber criminals.
This can be can become a dreadful cause of concern when you consider the chilling reality that your web browser is linked to all of your endpoint devices that can connect to the Internet e.g., computers, laptops, smartphones, printers, Internet-of-Things (IoTs), etc. Imagine if they all became compromised!
The problem with your web browser is that it can easily expose all of your endpoint devices to an open cyber battlefield that is steadily flourishing with malicious actors, APTs, and the dangerously curious; all of which are eager to exploit any vulnerabilities in your network, intrude them and gain remote access of your devices, often with a goal of accomplishing financial gain.
Even if your web browser is consistently updated and has a reliable antivirus program installed on it, there are always holes that can become exploited by a diligent adversary(s). Therefore, even if you've placed a firewall in your local network, it may become bypassed, which is when things can become even more tricky and challenging to rectify.
Your Web Browser Is A Dinosaur
The level of exposure your endpoint devices have to potential adversaries and cyber attacks increases each and every time you browse the web, and when they are compromised on a colossal scale, the aftershock of a massive attack ripple through organizations as they scramble to pick up the pieces from ground zero to, well, "fix" everything.
Consequently, the web browser by itself is set to follow a trajectory that will lead it to an ill-fated doomsday head-on—the cyber apocalypse. (As if it hasn't already.)
Simply put, the web browser is bound to meet the same fate as the dinosaurs. Annihilated into extinction, and finally an archaic and obsolete thing of the past.
Just as the dinosaurs were unprepared when they became wiped out with a sudden bang, it can happen to your web browser too.
All it takes is an unforeseeable event of a massive and malicious "asteroid" penetrating our cyber space without any signs or warning, blazing furiously at lightning speed and full momentum, heading towards all web browsers at once to eradicate them into the abyss, creating the largest and most impactful cyber attack to date, that no one is prepared for.
And guess what will receive the full impact? Your endpoint devices that you paid for with all of your precious data stored.
As far-fetched as a cyber apocalypse seems, it isn’t an impossible feat considering the rise of cyber attacks and recent events such as the SolarWinds attack that compromised our U.S. government, or the unusual case of a hacker gaining remote access to a Florida city’s water supply increasing the amount of sodium hydroxide to dangerous drinking levels that can be poisonous.
The truth has proven to be stranger than fiction oftentimes as it has throughout our human history, and as Murphy’s Law puts it “what can happen will happen.”
Black Swan Theory
Consider the possibility of a black swan. In the black swan theory, a “black swan” is an unpredictable event that can come as a surprise beyond what is normally expected of a situation, and it can have a major effect with potentially severe consequences with the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight, as explained by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and former Wall Street trader.
The black swan is a metaphor that derived from a common Latin expression in the 16th century, “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno,” which translates to a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan. It was presumed all swans were white until 1697, when Dutch explorers discovered the first black swans in Western Australia. Sometime later, the black swan term was coined. Who is to say a black swan cannot occur to our web browsers and endpoint devices with devastating consequences?
Is Our Web Browser Safe At All?
That is a great question since the web browser as we know it today has become a part of our daily lives so much that is has become our second brain, ever since the WorldWideWeb was first created in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Thereafter, countless web browsers have emerged from the dark, and impacted a multitude of our lives in monumental proportions on a global scale, unlike any other technology that has ever existed in the history of our planet.
From Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, to Netscape, and many more–the web browser has become a part of our daily lives. So much that we use it on autopilot, without even thinking about its significance and impact, because it has become completely automatic for us to use it for everything e.g., searching for answers to any question, buying products, checking email, social media, etc.
The web browser does its job seamlessly. It is a portal that plugs us instantaneously into the digital matrix — the Internet — behind a 2D screen in a 3D world, where you have the convenience of discovering anything that you search for at the apex of your fingertips, and can connect to anyone far-reaching on a global scale encompassing the limitations of time and space.
But your web browser is not safe while it is connected to your endpoint devices.
We use our web browser so often that we do not even to think to consider how frequently we expose our endpoint devices each time we browse the web and click a link, download a file, visit a website, and/or fill out our information on a form without even verifying their authenticity and if they are even secure.
So, how do we solve this?
Remote browser isolation is the solution
Most people are unaware of remote browser isolation (also known as RBI or browser isolation) as it is in its infancy mode of adoption, but it's a technology that can be used to safely isolate your browsing activity from endpoint hardware.
Yes, that means you can browse the web without worrying about compromising any of your endpoint devices such as your computer or mobile phone, for example, if you accidentally clicked on a bad link or opened up a malicious file.
Your internal networks become removed from cyber risks as a result.
This is a forward-thinking solution for the future of our technology. One of the major reasons it hasn't caught fire just yet is due to cost. It can cost a considerable amount for an organization to physically isolate users' browsers and their browser activity, which is dependent upon which remote browser isolation technology is being used to do the job. Several browser isolation cybersecurity vendors include: Symantec, Menlo Security, Bromium, WEBGAP and many more which you can check out here on index.co.
The web browser by itself will become archaic, or perhaps it already is. As we progress into the future, I believe that browser isolation will eventually become the gold standard for securing browsing activity, and simultaneously will greatly reduce the impact and amount of cyber attacks all across networks globally. A win-win situation for the world!