The World Wide Web is now over 30 years old, and commercial browsers have existed for nearly as long. Enterprises have been using browsers since at least the late 90s when application vendors began to eschew conventional “thick clients” and embrace web-based backends and with browsers as clients. So what does the emergence of a new category of enterprise software called “enterprise browsers” signify?
Browsers: the first consumer apps in the enterprise
While browsers have been a mainstay of enterprise application delivery for many years, they were never designed as enterprise applications: they lacked security and management features that are typically part of enterprise software. When the majority of both users and applications were on-premises, those missing capabilities were less of an issue: some controls—such as data access restrictions—could be implemented in the applications themselves, others—such as content filtering—could be implemented with external network infrastructure. As a result, browsers were slower to adapt to enterprise IT requirements than other consumer technologies that emerged later and found their way into the hands of enterprise users.
Enterprises evolve, browsers stay [mostly] the same
In response to increasing threats against the large consumer user base, many browser vendors implemented protections like Safe Browsing. They also added some basic administrative hooks to enable the management of browsers in a manner similar to other enterprise applications (e.g., using endpoint management tools to set common configuration settings). The migration to SaaS applications and the exodus of users from centralized offices increased the dependence on browsers but also created considerable strain on security infrastructure.
The enterprise browser emerges
The idea of an enterprise browser is one in which the enterprise has the ability to enforce both its security policies and its governance rules.
Seraphic Security enables organizations to transform their existing browsers into enterprise browsers, regardless of whether they’re using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari without forcing users to switch browsers. Seraphic also supports legacy browsers such as Internet Explorer for cases where application compatibility necessitates using browsers that have reached End-of-Life (EoL). Seraphic provides advanced security capabilities to protect users and endpoints from compromise via the web, as well as granular controls to prevent sensitive data leakage or loss via the browser for both managed and unmanaged devices. For more details, visit our Use-cases page.