With organizations actively adopting cloud computing, browsers have become an indispensable part of every end user’s work life. Unfortunately, browsers have become a conduit not only for cloud computing, but also for cyberattacks.

With this clear as day shift towards browser-based business, cybercriminals have found new ways to steal sensitive business data and wreak havoc on organizations. It often falls on IT administrators to ensure that their enterprise data remains secure. By securing their enterprise’s browsers, IT admins can ensure the security of business data.

 Browser-based threats

  1. Phishing campaigns

Phishing is a social engineering attack aimed at stealing sensitive business data, personally identifiable information (PII), or credit card details. Phising emails are usually sent in mass, seemingly from a reputable email address. The email recipient is tricked into clicking links or downloading attachments that could lead to malware being installed on their machine. Malware used in phishing campaigns typically rests in the background and steals business data, or is ransomware that encrypts computers then only decrypts them in exchange for a payment. 

  1. Drive-by attacks

Cybercriminals often identify vulnerable websites and inject malicious code into them. When users land on such sites while browsing the web, this malicious code gets executed and malware is automatically downloaded onto user computers. These types of attacks are called drive-by attacks.

 

  1. Man-in-the-browser attacks

Man-in-the-browser is a common attack used to steal users’ credentials and PII. In this attack, a malicious third-party interrupts a user’s connection to a site as the user is connecting to it, then redirects the user to a site that looks similar. Once on that page, any data the user enters will be captured, including their credit card details and login credentials.  

 

  1. Malicious browser extensions

Browser extensions require permission from a user to access various aspects of the browser for rendering their functionalities. Just like any term and conditions for other kinds of software, many users provide access to extensions without investigating the permissions being granted. Once granted permission, many extensions can read the content present in a webpage, track browsing history, make changes to web content, and more. Any information present on a browser stops being secure once a user installs an extension from a questionable source or uses an extension that doesn’t have a properly secured cloud database.

  1. Vulnerable browser plug-ins  

Plug-ins are third-party add-ons provided by Internet Explorer that render certain file types present in webpages. Many plug-ins are frequently updated to patch vulnerabilities as they’re discovered. However, the number of people using unpatched, outdated versions of plug-ins far exceeds the number of people using consistently updated versions of plug-ins. Cybercriminals exploit these vulnerabilities by injecting malicious code in websites. When users visit affected sites while a vulnerable plug-in is on their browser, they open their machine up to malware and other damaging code.

6 best practices for maintaining enterprise browser security

  1. Keep all the browsers and add-ons present in your network up-to-date.

  2. Ensure that HTTPS rather than HTTP is used for all communication.

  3. Remove any plug-ins that aren’t mission-critical.

  4. Limit browsing access to only IT-approved sites.

  5. Disable the Google Sync feature in Chrome browsers.

  6. Ensure that Chrome Safe Browsing and Microsoft SmartScreen Filter are enabled on user computers.

Using all six of these best practices will fortify your network against web-based threats. Want to make implementing these best practices simple? Try ManageEngine Browser Security Plus, free for 30 days. Browser Security Plus provides you with a central console for performing these best practices.

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